Hi, I am Kristin and I blog about faith and family at Taz + Belly. I’m so excited to be sharing here with you about something that is such a huge part of my life and has made the biggest impact on my relationship with Christ in all of my thirty-five years. There have been so many “fresh starts in January” in my life where my biggest desire was to make my relationship with Christ more important, more intentional, more frequent. Just more. I’m not sure what it is about the dullness of February, but once the sparkle and shine of the holiday season fades, I always find myself discouraged and overwhelmed with the goals I made for the new year and a new me.
Last February, a good friend posted a photograph of her Bible on Instagram. She had doodled some words in the margin and added some color. It was beautiful and I was so curious about something that seemed to speak to the deepest parts of my soul. I clicked her hashtag and found another profile and another and before I knew it, I had stumbled down the rabbit hole of Bible Journaling. In case you aren’t familiar, Bible Journaling is a world-wide phenomenon where artists and crafters use various supplies to illustrate and decorate the margins of their Bibles as a form of worship. If you are longing for a new way to connect with scripture, I invite you to grab some of your favorite tools and just meditate on His Word.
Getting started can be so overwhelming and I don’t want you to take a look at my Bible and think “I can’t do that.” I promise that if you saw some of my very first entries, you would know that God really took over and He led me to create things I never expected or thought possible. Let’s walk through the process of creating a page together!
I use an inexpensive mechanical pencil and lightly sketch the verse I want to illustrate. Once I have a general layout on the page, I go back and layer more pencil to fully flesh out the design until I like the shape of each letter. For some, I add dimension to make them bubble letters or look more like calligraphy.
Once I am happy with the shape of each letter, I go back and outline everything with a single pen line. Once I get the basic shapes, I add details to a few of the letters and once the ink is dry, I erase all of my pencil marks.
I love using a light grey marker to add shadows to all of my words. Just be consistent about where you put your shadows on each word and the entire page will look more dimensional.
Sometimes I like to add in some embellishments in the negative space to add a little more interest. Here, I decided on polka dots and varied them in size. Some I filled in and others I left empty. I love the movement on the page and feel like it looks so much more finished.
For color, I like inexpensive watercolor paints the best. I filled in the bubble letters with some pastel colors and then used them again to add a wash of color around the verse. I wasn’t too precise – I just added concentrated color nearest my illustration and let it fade the further away from the verse I got!
The thing I love most isn’t the finished page or the satisfaction that comes from making something beautiful. It’s the process that makes me excited. Seeing my Bible among a pile of my favorite art supplies, worship music blaring in the background and His Word in my heart. I have read more of the Bible in the last eleven months than ever before and so many new verses have been revealed that speak so directly to this season of my life. I would love to encourage you to seek an artistic journey with your Creator. I firmly believe that as a Creator, He equipped us to create. He has blessed you with a talent and a desire that you might not even be aware of yet.
Still worried about your artistic abilities, but really want to give it a try? Click here to download a free printable of verses and images that will fit right into the margins of a journaling Bible or can be clipped onto a page of your existing Bible.
You can visit the Bible Journaling section of my blog for tons of resources, including more specific questions answered, my favorite supplies and video tutorials of my some of my favorite pages. I am so excited to see what God does with my life through Bible Journaling in 2016 and I would love to invite you alongside me.
Find other great Bible journaling resources at DaySpring. (Purchasing through our link helps support BCW blog and it’s at noadditional cost to you.)