Hi, friends! I have been overwhelmed by the support and response to this series! If you missed Part One, take a moment to catch up!
Now I want to talk to you about one of the more experimental parts for me: paint (and stuff). This step will allow you to take your creativity up a notch, and to get a little more colorful in your bible! You'll also get some nice, thick, crinkly pages, which I love, so get ready for some satisfying page-turning!
Also remember, this is NOT about being perfect (thank God)! In other words, YOU DO NOT NEED TO KNOW HOW TO PAINT.
Actually, let's pause for a moment to remember that this process isn't meant to be intimidating or scary in any way. You absolutely do not need anything more than prayer, an open heart, and your pen and bible! But if you're interested in exploring some additional (super fun!) ways to document what you're learning and experiencing from your bible study/devotional/church sermons, etc., then let's continue.
BASIC BIBLE JOURNALING PROCESS & SUPPLIES
- PAINT AND STUFF -
PAINT - ACRYLIC OR WATERCOLOR?
What I use: Pelikan watercolors, any brand of acrylic paint, any brand of paintbrush (specifically synthetic bristles for watercolor and pony-hair bristles for acrylic), and the bible mat from Illustrated Faith
What I do: Just so you know, I don't know how to paint. Not technically, anyway. It's something I find a lot of joy in though, and sometimes the paint I play with ends up looking pretty! Yay!
I prefer watercolor because of the way it naturally mixes and blends, and the end result, with the gorgeous, messy watermarks, is one of my favorite things to look at! And one fantastic thing about using watercolor in your bible is that you can usually still see the words through the paint once it dries, in case that's something you're concerned about.
I've tried a view different brands of watercolor paints, and have ended up sticking with Pelikan watercolors for awhile now, because they're the least chalky paints I've found so far (once dried, the paint doesn't dust off of the page).
I always, always place a bible mat under my page before I begin, and then I paint my heart out. One of my favorite "techniques" for watercolor looks like this:
Eee! So pretty, right? That was done on watercolor paper and not in my bible, obviously, but I do use that technique straight onto bible pages! (No, I don't ever prep my pages with Gesso prior to painting.) My only tip: don't overdo it on the water!
As for acrylic paint, I am still learning. I mean, I'm still learning watercolor too (and everything else), but I have much less experience with acrylics than I have with watercolor. That's one of the reasons I don't have a favorite brand, I suppose! I can't yet really tell the differences between the brands, besides some elasticity (if that's even a thing in paint). Usually I just choose two or three colors that I can guess will mix well, I put them on my palette, and start putting colors in places on my page. It works out well sometimes, and other times it looks like my one year-old got into my paint and had a go at it. Oh, well.
I recently found some round sponges and have become obsessed with how fun (and easy!) they are to use with acrylic paints!
PASTELS AND GELATOS
What I Do: As I said, I don't technically know how to paint, and now here we have this: I am almost clueless about how to use these pastels and gelatos properly. But they're fun to play with! There are some really helpful tutorials I've seen here and here. And here. I have had some success with these mediums, and I use the pastels and gelatos mostly for coloring in specific spots rather than for covering a full page.
So you guys, that's it for Part Two! Sorry if it was anti-climactic, but I guess that just proves that you don't have to be an expert at anything in order to do this. It's all about how you're connecting to God through the Word!
Just in case you're still on the fence about the whole thing though...
WHY ILLUSTRATE YOUR FAITH?
HERE'S WHY I ILLUSTRATE MINE
A few of the ways illustrating my faith has impacted me, personally:
- It's helped pull me out of bouts of depression and anxiety on several occasions.
- It's helped me memorize parts of scripture.
- It's provided me with opportunities to share my faith publicly.
- It's given me a creative outlet for worship.
So like I've said before, I know I'm not and I'll never claim to be an expert bible journaler, but that isn't the point of this journey. My prayer is that through this new series of basics, and through my series of blogging through the bible, you'll be encouraged, inspired, made hopeful, and will maybe take a couple of steps of faith on your own bible journaling journey!
Leave a note with any questions you have about the process/supplies covered here, and let me know if you have any questions you'd like answered in a later post!