.... and why you should consider trying this new trend.
A box of aqua colour pencils lay strewn across my table along with assorted felt-tips, brushes and sponges. My focus was centred on the open pages of artwork and I hardly noticed the door opening until my daughter stood beside me.
"So... what's this?" she asked. She picked up a couple of my doodles with interest. I presented the open passage of my Bible and the illustrated key verse I was working on in my journaling Bible.
"I've just started this Bible art journaling.. it's pretty absorbing, once you start. I'm planning this as a heritage Bible to hand down to my kids and grandkids."
"Great idea!" she commented. "I really hope I get this one."
There is nothing new under the sun
It's not a new phenomenon to spend time in Bible reading, praying and developing the spiritual habit of journaling. But it's a valuable exercise and one that can impact generations if you begin a journaling Bible that can be passed on to your children or grandchildren.In fact, I wrote about this in a previous article.
But recently, Bible journaling has developed into a more succinct, visual presentation of faith. Some have referred to it as illustrated faith, devotions in the margins or simply, Bible Art Journaling. And it's a trend that continues to grow in popularity. And, in itself, this isn't new either. After all, beautiful examples of calligraphy and illumination of Bible passages can be found in museums and arts collections throughout the world.
Create your Journal Bible as a family heritage
If you have previously considered starting a Journal Bible as a family heritage to hand down to your family, then this art journaling may be something to consider including.
Consider including your grandkids
But also consider the possibility, and personal impact, of art journaling with your grandkids. I bought a journal Bible for my granddaughter and we've already completed a few pages together. It's a wonderful way to share, interact together and build memories. Here are some samples below...
First up, you'll need journaling Bible- one with columns on either side. Some have a central column for your journaling. (You can find some here, but they're readily available from Christian bookstores.)
If you're like me, though, you're probably feeling a little inadequate. After all, there are so many beautiful, and inspirational, examples on Pinterest. Check out some here to see what others have been doing.
Here are 5 simple ways that you can begin your Bible art journaling:
1. Begin with a bookmark design
If you're uncertain of how you'll begin, try this approach. Karla Smallwood-Dornacher produces beautiful Bible bookmarks and some of her artwork is free. I bought some of her designs (they're not expensive) and slipped them under the page in my Bible. Then I traced the design and just coloured it in. My granddaughter had no trouble doing this, either. In fact, her design was better than mine.
I've created and included a very simple version for you to try. You'll find it below this article.
Now, your next question is going to be, 'What do I use?' Good question. I've used water-colour pencils, colouring pencils and even markers. But everyone seems to have different ideas about the materials they use. You can find some links to others' suggestions here:
Time-warp Wife: Includes ideas, free printables and plenty of information
Melissa's Ultimate List ... including some free printables
The Thinking Closet... there is a stack of info on this site
Homegrown Hospitality.... You'll find so many different ideas and different techniques when you visit these blogs, so I hope you'll be truly inspired.
2. Use a simple lettering design
A great way to begin is just with lettering. You can use lettering templates or trace the wording. Check out this design from Erin Bassett as a good starting point and then branch out with your own ideas.
3. Try doodling and incorporating stickers, stamps and even washi tape
There are plenty of great examples and ideas using this technique and if you're one of those talented people who creates intricate doodles while talking on the phone, this may be the approach for you. You can find inspirationhere or watching the YouTube clip below...
4. Be a part of a weekly Bible journaling prompt or challenge
This is a great way to start if you're not sure just what to work on or lack inspiration. Erin Leigh offers 31 days of Bible journaling challenge filled with samples, ideas and helpful suggestions. You can find more information here on her site.
5. Join a Bible art journaling Facebook group
This can be really helpful. The groups are generally closed so that you don't have to feel anxious that the whole world is looking at your designs. See what others are creating. Include positive feedback. Share your own designs. Ask questions. Discuss what you've found useful and where to find resources. It's a great way to encourage others and gain inspiration yourself. Check out these as a start point:
Bible Journaling FB page Illustrated Faith FB page
Now... just in closing ...
Some have asked whether the pens/paints bleed through the page??
They can, a little. The image below shows the reverse of a completed design. I've recently used these pens, Faber Castell PITT artist pen with a brush nib, and they have been great. But even if your design does show a little on the reverse, there is a solution.
I printed a design onto vellum paper, cut it to size and adhered it with clear double-sided tape to cover the reverse page. You could, similarly, create your design onto vellum and position to hide any bleed-through of colour/pens. (Vellum is lovely to work with.)
In summary: You'll find Bible Art Journaling is easier than you imagine with these simple ideas to get you started. Begin your Bible Journal today as a wonderful heritage Bible for your children and grandchildren. Download and print the bookmark below as simple design for your first project. Check out the Bible Art Journaling board on PInterest for more inspiration.
Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.