Creative Meditation on the Word of God
There is a new craze in the world of Bible journaling which has created a back-order of up to six weeks or more for journaling Bibles, from major Christian booksellers. This new trend in studying and meditating on the Bible has a following that is growing by leaps and bounds. Sources such as the Illustrated Faith website or the Bible Art Journaling Community on Facebook, which teach the spiritual element and artistic process of this new art form based on scripture, are increasing in number. What has sparked this revolution in the way people are studying and journaling the Word? Many of the followers of this new movement, as seen on Facebook postings, attribute it to the spiritual connection that comes after reading scripture, meditating upon it, then recreating the verse with creative hand lettering and simple yet colorful art elements.
The tools needed to start are basic. First you can obtain a journaling Bible (preferably one with wide 2″ margins), or if you have objections to marking up a Bible, a simple mixed-media art journal pad, will do just fine. As you progress over time, you will start collecting different artist pens. These pens come in various colors and mediums, such as gel, metallic, fluorescent, watercolor and the all-time favorite -Micron pigma pen. The latter is a color-fast, non-bleed through, archival quality ink that enhances hand lettering efforts because of the quality of the nib and consistent ink flow. For the addition of color to your lettering or artwork, color pencils are the favorite because they don’t bleed through the thin Bible pages. Yet other mediums from watercolor, pastels and even acrylics can be used if the page is properly prepped beforehand with a gel medium like Gesso.
Now, you only have to gather yourself into a quiet place to begin your Bible study in whatever form you prefer; whether it’s a formal study, a reading plan, or a daily devotional – this is where you begin. Prayerfully, as you think about what you have just studied, the Holy Spirit will convince you of a verse, a thought or something you need to do. These words or thoughts are what will become the basis of your artwork – hence “Bible Art Journaling”.
Now is the time to put pencil to paper to create your personal piece of scripture art. Sketch lightly a paraphrase of the verse or your thoughts in a creative, even whimsical lettering style. Examples and tutorials overflow if you search for “creative hand lettering tutorials” on the Internet. These are simple fonts that are easy to construct and any imperfections in your efforts only add to the frank and honest portrayal of that which is flowing from your heart to God. After the written layout is satisfactory, you can make it permanent with your Micron pen or any ink-based pen is satisfactory.
Finally, embellishments with simple artwork, such as banners, scrolls, stylized flowers, etc. give your verse its inspirational style. Adding layers of color with pencil, crayons or watercolor to the letters and art add that final touch of beauty. As you explore this subject you will find beautifully simplistic work by some, right alongside brilliantly detailed artwork by others.