You Confess And He'll Forgive ~ Bible Art Journaling Challenge: 1 John 1:9

by @Fitzysmom

Bible Art Journaling Challenge: 1 John 1:9

This week's Bible Art Journaling Challenge is based on 1 John 1:9.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I made that confession of faith at an early age. I was raised in a dysfunctional family and because of the things that were inflicted on me a seed of hate began to grow. The interesting thing is that hatred is what brought me to the foot of the cross. As the Holy Spirit began to woo me He also began to reveal my sin and part of that sin was the hatred. 

While I became a believer at an early age I by no means always chose the right thing. In fact there were many instances where an outsider would probably outright question my salvation. But the miracle in my life is found in 1 John 1:9.

I confessed my sins and God was faithful and just and He forgave my sins. Then miracle of miracles He went on to cleanse me from all my unrighteousness. Glory to God! 

By no means is this a closed group that is limited. This body of Christ is open to anyone who will confess and believe. If you've not made this decision please consider this your personal invitation. I'd love to spend eternity getting to know you better. Just think of the stories we could tell about God's faithfulness. Amen and amen!

The Process

This week's art project is more a what not to do tutorial than a to do one. I had planned out in my head what I wanted to do but when I sat down to do it I guess I was a bit distracted. So here's what I did and how I fixed the mess.

Seal the page.

Step 1: Seal The Page

My first step is commonly to seal the page of my Bible that I will be using. I like to use this Delta Ceramcoat All-Purpose Sealer. It leaves a nice smooth surface and after a couple of days the page tends to straighten right out. I usually seal the page I am working on and the back side of it as well. That keeps the edges from wanting to curl and it also puts me a step ahead! 

Brilliant . . . right? Ummm, not so smart this time. You see I intended to use colored pencils and micron pens for my project. 

The mess.

As you can see from the above picture this particular sealer doesn't do so well with colored pencils, Pigma Micron Pens, or watercolor for that matter. Normally when I am using these elements I don't seal my Bible page until I am finished with my project. I've not had problems with any of these products bleeding through. After I have everything like I want it I spritz with Krylon 1311 Matte Spray. (I will say that I LOVE the Delta Ceramcoat All-Purpose Sealer when I am working with acrylics.)

On a side note you can use the Krylon between layers too. For instance sometimes I paint something and then I use the Krylon before I ink it in. The reason that I do that is because I can always quickly remove smudged ink with rubbing alcohol and it won't ruin the painting underneath.

Decide on the layout.

The Real Step 1: Decide On The Layout

In the original challenge the technique is about hand-lettering. That was my original plan. I measured the space that I wanted to use in my Bible then I went into my Publisher program and messed around with some fonts I liked and then I printed it out.

I used Saral transfer paper to transfer the outline of the words onto the page. I really like using Saral because it is wax free and water soluble. This comes in very handy when you are painting. Instead of trying to erase your graphite lines with an eraser you just take a damp paint brush and lightly scrub the lines and they disappear. 

Add some color.

Step 2: Add Some Color

Since I made a mess of the Bible page I needed to figure out a way to cover it up and start over. The easiest thing seemed to be using my pattern as the main thing instead of just a template. So I trimmed around the words and then added color.

I wanted an ombre look so I used Indigo Blue, Copenhagen Blue, and Permanent Blue Prismacolor Pencils. I started at the bottom with the darkest color (Indigo Blue) and worked my way up to the lightest color (Permanent Blue). 

Blend the colors.

Step 3: Blend The Color

When I use colored pencils I want the end result to have a watercolor or blended look. Without the blending step it has a very amateurish look to it. To avoid that I like to use Gamsol and a blending stick. 

I keep my blending stick clean and sharp by rubbing it on an emery board. There are fancier tools out there but that is what seems to work for me. Using Gamsol is as simple as dipping your blending stick in the liquid and then rubbing the blending stick on your colored pencil to blend the colors and lines together. I went over the outside boarder and then lightly did the words.

Glue the text in place.

Step 4: Glue The Work In

Now that I have the colors blended like I want them it is time to glue the text onto the Bible page to cover the messy words up. I like the Elmer's Craft Bond glue stick. It goes on in a deep blue color so that you can see that everything is covered but then it dries clear. I prefer the extra strength as opposed to the school glue. I've used it on several types of surfaces with good results.

Finished work.

Finished Project

Well, it isn't what I originally planned but I am okay with that. Having to cover up the ugly is a good reminder of the meaning of the verse. The work of the cross was designed to cover the ugly in me. 

Want To Join The Fun?

Rebekah R Jones has put together a wonderful group of fellow Bible doodlers. If you are interested you are welcome to join in the fun. A new challenge is posted each Tuesday. Check out her introduction to the Bible Art Journaling Challenge on her blog and join the Facebook group and/or the Google+ Community.

If you are interested in seeing more of my Bible Art Journaling posts just go here and you can scroll through them.

Disclosure of materials.


  1. Good recovery and it was educational for me to learn what you use for blending and sealing.

    1. Thank you Teresa. I know most people use clear gesso on their pages and it looks like it works very well. I'm primarily an acrylic painter so I tend to use that type of sealer. So far it works for me . . . well except for the above example. LOL

  2. Great work . I had to do something similar to solve bleed through. I chose to print a page on the computer and cut and paste.

    1. I've used a computer print out on several of my designs. I think it works well. I saw your ants moving an apple project and loved it!


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