Bible journaling has recently become very popular. It is a way for individuals to meditate on scripture while expressing one’s creativity. There are many opinions on whether or not the text in the Bible should or should not be covered. Although, there are now many journaling Bibles with wide margins to draw or take notes and even some Bibles that have blank pages between each page, there is still controversy regarding what is acceptable in this form of scriptural art.
When I first began journaling in my Bible, I purchased a Bible specifically for this purpose. I have several versions that I have for reading and studying. For my journaling Bible, I chose one with wide margins as my journaling Bible. In my first entries, I elected to keep my artwork in the margins, or if I did decide to add something over the text, it was usually just a form of watercolor or light background coloring so I was still able to read the text.
As I have continued in my Bible art journaling, I have learned to relax some. As a perfectionist, this was very hard for me to do. But seeing now how much my own faith and Christian walk has come since engaging in the scriptures with this form of art, I have come to the conclusion, that this is for me. Each person has to decide what they feel is right for them. Whether they decide to journal only in the margins, a separate journal, or cover the text or not.
So how do you begin? Don’t tell me you can’t draw, etc… Because I am definitely not an artist, and you tube has become a close friend. So here are my tips:
- Choose what you will use to do your journaling in. Whether you will choose a journaling Bible with wide margins, or one with blank pages, or maybe you decide to do yours in a separate art journal… it is up to you. Do what you feel comfortable in. Pray about it and you will know what is right for you.
- Gather your supplies. There are many ways to do Bible journaling. I have tried a few and still have lots more I intend to try. But I honestly think my personal favorite is using my Prisma colored pencils. In my opinion, starting with colored pencils, is a good way to start the process. I prefer the Prisma pencils because they blend well and their colors are so vibrant, but you may have another brand you like. Prisma pencils are a little on the pricey side, and if you are not able to get these, then I also like Crayola brand colored pencils. Also, I use micron pens for outlining my text and designs. These do not bleed through when using, (unless of course you color or stay in one spot too long).
Other supplies I have tried: Prisma watercolor pencils, clear gesso to prep page if using products that bleed, brush markers (which will bleed, unless page is prepped). Choose one media to use and begin with that. You can always add more a little at a time and venture out. Quick note, it is a good idea to use a mat between the pages so you will not impress on the following pages when you are doing your art. Also, if using any other media, besides colored pencils, it is probably best to prep page with clear gesso.
- So now that you have your supplies, where do you start? That’s really a good question. I wish I had a simple answer for you but I don’t. You could maybe start with your favorite scripture, or maybe choose a verse that stood out to you when you were doing your daily Bible study, or maybe a verse from Sunday’s sermon. The point is, there are no rules, you can start wherever you like and choose any verse that speaks to you.
- Ok, so you say you can’t draw? First of all, your entries do not have to be masterpieces. They aren’t for sale; they are for you. Secondly, there are templates you can buy for tracing, lots of videos you can watch on how to draw certain items, like flowers, etc, As you begin to do this, and do a few, you will become more and more creative. I have a few templates on this blog that are free to download and use, and I will be adding more soon. I also, plan to add some instructional videos.
One last thought, there are no rules in Bible journaling. This is for you and what a great heirloom to be passed on to your children and grandchildren. I know if my Mom was still here with me, she would so enjoy doing this. Some of my favorite treasures from my Mom are a couple of paintings she did while taking a beginning art class. She always criticized her work, but I personally feel they are beautiful and even more so now that she’s gone.
The goal of Bible journaling is to engage and meditate on God’s Word. Bible journaling for me has become a form of therapy and what better therapy than the Word of Our Creator.
Questions or comments, feel free to contact me or comment below.
This one was done with colored pencils and Micron pens to outline
Example I did using watercolor pencils. In this example, I prepped my page with clear gesso.