I am taking you right through my Bible journaling process and will try to answer all of your questions along the way.
Q:What inspires me to create around a verse in my journaling bible?
A; Before I start my day with anything, I start with prayer. Okay and coffee.
I pray specifically to be lead to the right verse to create around. I also have a very stuffed binder of notes from all of the sermons I have heard through the years that I look at (not really knowing what I am looking for.) Something usually jumps out at me and then I look it up in my "regular" bible. (I have a NIV Study Bible ) My Journaling Bible is an ESV English Standard Version. I compare the two translations and then create something either based on the words I have read or I rewrite the verse on the margin of my journaling bible reflecting the NIV translation.
Okay, so with all of that out of the way, here is my step-by-step creative process. This margin is based on 2 Corinthians 4:6.
Place a piece of paper UNDERNEATH the page or area you are working on. Add color to your brush, brush over verse and then blot with a paper towel. The blotting removes a little color as well as the moisture and helps it dry.
*KEEP THE PAPER UNDERNEATH YOUR PAGE THE WHOLE TIME*
Once the verse is highlighted, I draw a little something out inspired by the verse (Not always though. Sometimes it is just words.) There is no right or wrong way to do this. It simply is whatever I feel lead to do.
For this margin I drew out a cross with a heart in the center (which represents Jesus and love) a little sunlight to represent the light and a few clouds to represent the dark. I am using a Pilot G-2 .5 black pen.
Q: Do I pencil it out first?
A: No. Not on these pages.
If you feel unsure about this process, draw something out on white paper and place it underneath your page margin. The bible paper is thin enough to see the image. Then you can trace it out. *I keep that paper underneath my page because these bible pages are thin and the fine tip point of the pen is sharp. That paper underneath helps the pen from ripping the page when you are writing.
It can be words directly from the verse or it can be words from your mind and heart.
Here is the MOST IMPORTANT thing.
This is not just about the process of "doodling" or creating in your bible but about WHAT the inspiration is, which is the verse, the truth, the Word.
If you find yourself consumed with how it looks, fussy over whether it is bleeding or crinkling your page, you need to STOP and realign your mind. Remember WHY you are doing this and what it is all about.
Yes, it is about creating, but it is more about the Word.
Okay so now that the Public Service Announcement is done, lets continue.
I added some key words from the verse.
Here is a look at the reverse side of the page. YEP, it does bleed a little and the sharper the pen you use, the more the reverse page is going to appear to be embossed. IT IS OKAY. Time to add some watercolor.
Q: What watercolors do I use?
A: I have a set of watercolors that I bought at Micheals. It is their store brand, "Artists Loft" I also use a waterbrush instead of the regular brush included with the set. I don't have any professional watercolor skills. It is water, brush, color. That's it...oh and blot.
I added color to the heart and to the cross. Notice that I stay away from the edges most of the time. If the moisture hits that pen line it will bleed a little. Just remember to blot, DON'T WIPE.Remember: It is water, brush, color and blot. I added gold and grey blotted and then added blue and yellow.Here is a look at the reverse of the painted page. It really doesn't bleed too much and again, it is okay if it does.
It is IMPORTANT to let the watercolors dry completely.
While my colors were drying I did a little shadowing on the lettering using a Zig Writer Marker in Platinum. Once I finished adding the shadows, I went back with the Pilot G-2 .05 pen and doubled up the lines on the letters. Add little details to the white space inbetween the lines. Sometimes I fill in the double lines with pen ink, some I leave alone. Go back and forth between these two photos (above and below) to see the very subtle differences.Once the watercolors are dry, I double up the lines on my image. Look closely at the photo above. See how the cross, the sun rays and the clouds are just a single line?
Once you double up those lines and add a little something to those double lines it changes the entire look. Compare this picture below to the one above. At this point, I feel like my page is done...for now. Thanks for taking to time to go through the process. I hope to see you over at the Bible Journaling Community on Facebook.
If you are interested in learning a little more about my doodling and lettering, I have an ongoing online workshop that you can purchase, download and work at your own pace, wherever you are in the world. To check it out, simply click here.