So, you have decided to have a go! Excellent! Both Rachel and I have already got so much out of studying the Bible through journaling.
Below we have listed some of the things that we like to use. Some of the links are affiliate links (which means we might get a couple of pence if you buy using the link).
The very first thing on your list of equipment to do your Bible journaling is a Bible. You may choose to create in a sketch book, which would mean that a Bible ap on your phone would be sufficient. However, if you are choosing to create art in an actual Bible you could get hold of a Journal Bible which has wide margins. These come in lots of versions, Rachel and I are using the NIV (New International Version). Some have two columns of writing for the scripture whilst others spread the text across the page as in a standard book (single column). You can even get interleaved versions where there are whole blank pages to create on.
We are using Bibles with double columns and wide note taking margins.
Where possible, please support your local Christian bookshop. You will find that the staff will be able to order a Bible for you if they do not have it in stock.
However, if you want to buy online, below are some links. There are many available to suit all budgets:
It appears that only ESV are doing interleaved Bibles at the moment:
Under £25 ESV Interleaved here
Large print Bibles NIV here (pre order for November release)
There are also Bibles that have some illustrations already printed on some of the pages – ready to colour!
Bible pages are thin … this poses a bit of a problem as inks and paints will tend to bleed through them. There is however, some equipment, that seems to, generally work on these thin pages.
I have been using Uni pin fine line pens and they seem to have very little bleed through. They are also permanent so if you want to paint over them they do not smear or run.
You can get hold of a set of these pens here.
I also enjoy to add colour with pencils. I have found this very safe. The colour does not leak through the page even when I have added a water wash over the top to enhance the colours.
I have been using Derwent Graphitint pencils, Faber-Castell colour grip pencils and drawing pencils. The Derwent Inktense pencils are really good if you have a little more to spend. Inktense (24) Inktense (12) Inktense (36)
For a water wash over these pencils, you can, of course, use an ordinary paintbrush, but both of us really love the water brushes. They are also great for water colours too. I have been using Rowney watercolours – here are a selection small set medium set large set.
However, if you prepare the page you can use other art materials too. I use acrylic paint to cover the margins (it is also good for covering those odd times that the pens do bleed through – usually when I have left the nib too long in one place). This one is one that I have found to be of a good consistency, it doesn’t need extra water added to it in order to cover the paper smoothly. They come in a variety of colours as well as transparent.
If you prefer, you can use gesso.
Hopefully, once you have applied the block, you should be able to use anything you like. From water colour and acryilc paint to felt tip pens!
These Stabilo fine line pens are great for colour but are also thin enough to do fancy writing and detail too (you will have to prepare your page before you use these). While this photo is up, you will also an eraser that is soft and doesn’t smear to rub away all your pencil sketch lines.
It is a good idea to have an old Bible to test out any new materials or techniques you are hoping to use.
You can use stamps, add extra paper and print outs, but beware that the more you add to your page the heavier it will be. Bible pages are fairly delicate so you don’t want to give your beautiful illustration an excuse to rip. Extra space can be added with flaps and your own version of interleaving.
In order to track your journey you may want to get hold of a date stamp. Be warned though, the ink from this will bleed through the page so apply it to a prepared section.
Rachel creates lovely tabs that she attaches to the pages she has already created. This is a great idea because you can then find the page easily. The tabs often represent something of the artwork or lesson learnt on that page. I, however don’t … at the moment, although I might regret this later! I may add books of the Bible tabs at some stage which reflect some of the content that has spoken to me.
You will also need resources in order to study the scripture. This can come in the shape of an app, a concordance, a commentary, Bible study notes or even Google can produce some great articles to help with difficult questions.
The last things you will require are time and an open heart. It is easy to illustrate a favourite story or verse, but maybe there is something else that GOD wants to speak to you about through the scripture on the page. Spend some time reading and chewing over what the Bible says. Both Rachel and I have found that the richest things are formed in the conversation that we have with GOD … after all, He is the author. What would you want to ask the author of your favourite book? He knows you best and wants to speak to you in your language, take time to listen.
So … here we go then. Let the adventure begin!
Katy and Rachel x