If you've been on Pinterest lately it is likely that you have stumbled upon some Bible journaling pins. It seems to be all the rage right now. I have been doodling in the margins of my Bibles for years but recently I have been inspired to take it to a whole new level.
The Bible that I am currently using to worship through art is the NKJV Note-Takers Bible from Zondervan. The outside margins are wide and allow for drawing and hand-lettering to emphasize the corresponding Scriptures.
Once I've meditated on a portion of Scripture I begin to sketch out in pencil what I want to highlight. I always place a piece of cardstock under the page I am writing on so nothing will bleed through and my pencil pressure won't leave indentations on the next page. In this case I was going to hand-letter the verse so I also slipped a lined sheet of paper under my work so I could stay semi-straight.
The next thing that I like to do is ink in my pencil lines. I prefer to use Pigma Micro Ink Pens of varying sizes. In this instance I used black ink but the pens also come in several other colors.
The next thing that I do is get rid of my pencil lines. I prefer using a kneaded eraser because it is gentler on the thin Bible pages. To use a kneaded eraser you just pull off a piece and then blot it on your pencil marks. It will gently lift the graphite off of the page without tearing the page. When your eraser starts getting dark spots just stretch it like you would with silly putty and it will absorb the graphite and become good as new. I like it because I can roll it into a fine point and tap my page to get rid of the tiniest spots without destroying the whole drawing.
Now you can embellish however you like. I added more ink to my lettering and used stamps to add some interest to the journaling. I like to use acrylic paint with my stamps. It works best if you put out a puddle of paint and then use a cosmetic sponge to load the stamp with paint. Make sure that you don't overload the stamp or you will get a smeared image. (See my middle flower for an example.) Once you finish stamping it is important to clean the paint off of your stamp. I simply use a baby wipe to clean it. Works like a charm.
Once you get the hang of it the sky is the limit. This year for Advent we used Ann Voskamp's Unwrapping The Greatest Gift.The illustrations for the book and the ornaments were beautiful and I wanted to remember them throughout the year so I did a simple version of each day in the margin beside the verse. I used Prismacolor colored pencils for this and it worked very well.
Here's another example of a sketch from the Advent series. Don't forget to put a piece of cardstock between your page and the one underneath it. You don't want to leave ugly indents and ruin that page for journaling.
When you decide to journal think outside the box on what materials to use. The above picture uses stamps and watercolor pencils. If you've ever done any scrapbooking look through your supplies for fun stickers and stamps or other embellishments that might be appropriate. The limit is only your imagination!
This is my most recent journaling entry. For this particular verse I wanted to do a streaky background with acrylic paint. The first thing I did was put cardstock under the page. Then I used a thin coat of DecoArt Americana Multi Purpose Sealer. I used a blow dryer to dry it. It dries clear. Then I thinned my paint with a small amount of water and applied it in a streaky manner. I blew it dry again and then proceeded to sketch out what I wanted and then ink it in. The bottom of my page curls up a bit but I'm almost positive that will straighten out once the Bible is shut and it sits a while. None of the paint bled through to the back of the page and the ink didn't run!
I love this new outlet for not only my art but my worship of my Creator. I say be brave and give it a try!