Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Adventures in Bible art & journaling :: Getting Started

If you are like me, you may have recently heard the buzz about Bible journaling (or Bible art journaling)...or maybe you haven't even heard of it yet. As the new year is almost here and many people are deciding on their New Year's resolutions, I thought I would share about this concept - I think it would be a fantastic resolution (for those who are inclined to make resolutions). 

I was introduced to the concept about 3 months ago via the Journaling Bible Community group (on Facebook), but looking back, I can see that I had been drawn to the concept (pun intended) for awhile. 
The above picture is from over 15 years ago, drawn in the margin of my Bible (Psalm 68). I have written in the margins, underlined, and created drawings/notes that were prompted by a lesson in church. I am sure many of you have done the same. 

For me, I see a journaling Bible as a way to draw and respond or reflect on what I am reading or thinking about and keep it all in one place. (Before this, I had lots of random pieces of paper that I had drawn on or written on, but with no real order to them...and most of which have been lost in the shuffle.)

I know that there are a variety of responses to the concept of writing in your Bible, drawing in your Bible, covering the words of the Bible, etc. I don't plan to get into all that here, but I will say that I have chosen (for now) to have one particular Bible just for drawing and word art. I still have a large variety of Bibles on my bookshelf for reading and study. 

Choosing a journaling Bible:
There are many journaling Bibles available, all with different options (and different translations). I am using the NASB Note-taker's Bible. (You can see my full review of this particular Bible here.)
Bible: Zondervan (NASB Note-taker's Bible)

When choosing a journaling Bible, I would suggest making a list of your priorities first.

What is most important to you in a journaling Bible? 

Do you want the most room for words/art? (If so, I would suggest choosing a single column Bible that is either classified as a journaling Bible or as one with wide margins.)

Do you have a very strong preference for a particular translation? (If so, your options will immediately be narrowed down quite a bit, depending on your translation preference.)

Are you most concerned with finding something affordable? (There are all sorts of price ranges in journaling Bibles, ranging from $10-15 up to $80 and more.)

Bible journaling supplies:
For myself, although I have a large variety of craft supplies, I am choosing (for now) to keep my supply list simple - which is helpful in making my Bible art and journaling a very portable process. Portability is important for me, but I also wanted to keep it simple so that I do not get overwhelmed in gathering and hoarding supplies for this, but rather keep the process focused on what I am learning/hearing/thinking about.

The first thing I did in my Bible was to work on a test page (an almost blank page at the back of my Bible to test a variety of pens, pencils, and inks). I did this because I wanted to see what tools I could use on my pages with the best result (good visibility but least amount of show-through). Bible pages are very thin, so what you may be able to use to write or draw on other books may or may not work well with Bible pages.

For my test page, I used a black (or the darkest color if there was no black) in that style of pen/pencil/ink that I owned. I figured the dark colors would show through the most, so they were best for testing.
From the variety of pens, pencils, and inks that I tested, I narrowed the options down to what I felt worked best. These are the pen styles that I ended up choosing to use (because they did not bleed through the page):
From top to bottom: Sharpie (Pen. - fine point); Sharpie (Pen. - medium point); Sakura (Pigma Micron 01 - fine point); Sakura (Pigma Micron 05 - medium point); ZIG (Millennium 05 - medium point); 

And if you are curious how these look as far as line style/thickness, I have shown them on a piece of lined paper here: 
From top to bottom: Sharpie (Pen. - fine point); Sharpie (Pen. - medium point); Sakura (Pigma Micron 01 - fine point); Sakura (Pigma Micron 05 - medium point); ZIG (Millennium 05 - medium point); 

In addition to the pens, I decided to use colored pencils to color in my images:
Colored Pencils: Prang
I also use, but they are not pictured: Pentel Metallic 1.3mm Colored Pencils

If you don't want to worry about having a pencil sharpener nearby, you may want to opt for the Crayola Twistables Colored Pencils

When I am using colored pencils, I also like to keep a Pentel Clic Retractable Eraser handy - for those times when I color outside the lines. :o)

Bible journaling entries:
As of right now, I do not have one specific method for choosing what I draw or write. I may be inspired by something I see, hear, study, or a random thought that pops into my head. From the variety of prompts, I find the page in my journaling Bible that corresponds and I draw or write accordingly. I don't intend to create art masterpieces for each entry, that is not the point for me. Some entries are just written words that stand out to me, some are pictures that are immediately brought to mind, and some may be influenced by other art/images that I have seen. 

Finally, I have decided to date each drawing/entry in my journaling Bible, and keep a running master list of each on the front (and, eventually, back) thick cover pages of my Bible.

I hope to share my Bible journaling here on my blog regularly (both to hopefully inspire others and to keep myself accountable). You will be able to find all my posts pertaining to Bible art or journaling here

Thanks for stopping by!

If you are sharing your Bible art & journaling on your blog, please leave your blog address in the comments. I would love to stop by and take a look!
Bible: Zondervan (NASB Note-taker's Bible);
Colored Pencils: Prang (various colors); 

Pens: ZIG (Millennium); Sakura (Pigma Micron); Sharpie (Pen.);

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