HOW TO START BIBLE JOURNALING

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Bible Journaling is something I absolutely love to do, but I will be honest and say it took me a very long time to get there! Here’s what I mean: When I first purchased a journaling Bible, I was so excited to get started but I quickly let doubt and fear take over. I felt my lettering wasn’t good enough just yet, and the thought of having that inexperienced lettering be permanent in my Bible FOREVER kind of freaked me out. I would complete a page and then just hate the layout and lettering. It didn’t look as pretty as other artists that create Bible art. So literally after completing a handful of pages, I stopped and it sat for quite a while. I eventually realized that the point of Bible journaling is not for it to be perfect, the point is to spend time with God. And if my lettering wasn’t perfect, that was ok!  I know down the road my layouts will improve with practice, and this will not be the only Bible I create art in!  I also had a light bulb moment one day and asked myself why not sketch things out in pencil first, then ink it out? That simple technique made all the difference in the world!  So if you feel the same way I did, just know you’re not alone! And it’s ok to NOT be perfect!

To get started with Bible Journaling you need to pick your bible. Are you looking for a hand lettering bible? Are you looking to paint and water color in it? Or are you looking for something to just take notes with?

Below are the 3 most popular Bibles. I encourage you to read through each one, click on the links to get more detail about them, and then decide which bible is best for you!

BIBLES

Interleaved Journaling Bible

This is the Bible I currently use. Interleaved simply means insert blank pages. So for each page of scripture, there is a blank page inserted next to it. This gives you a ton of space to create your art. I have not tried painting in this Bible, but I have successfully created water color backgrounds using my Tombow Dual Brush Pens. This Bible has been perfect for hand lettering and creating doodles and illustrations.

bible journaling

Illustrating Bible

This Bible is on my wish list!  It is a spiral bound Bible which means it lays flat. It also has thicker paper and has wider margins than most single column journaling bibles. The thicker paper comes in handy for those wanting to use paints, watercolors, or anything that would saturate the paper more than just pens and markers. And because it lays flat, it would be easier to hand letter in. It currently is out of stock, but I have a feeling it will be well worth the wait!

Single Column Journaling Bibles

This bible has ruled lines in the margins which helps with note taking. It’s great for those looking to take notes, write prayer requests, or just write reflections on your scripture reading.

My Process and Favorite Tools

Now that we’ve familiarized ourselves with the types of Bibles out there, let’s talk tools! I use A LOT of different tools for my Bible, which is great because it gives me a ton of room to be more creative!  I’ll take you through my process of lettering from start to finish. But keep in mind, this isn’t THE only way to create Bible art, it’s just one way! The cool thing about Bible art is that it can literally be anything you want it to be.  There is no wrong way to do it!  Layouts and composition can be done in anyway. If you want to letter out one verse and fill the whole page with it, do it! If you want to fill the page with multiple verses, do it! This is YOUR art, it’s YOUR creativity and it can be done in any way you want!  There is no wrong way to be creative!

When I’m lettering, the first thing I do is read the scripture on the page and highlight the verses that resonate with me. I love using Tombow’s Mono Edge Highlighters for this. They are bold and bright, do not bleed through the pages, and they are dual tipped!

bible lettering

Next I choose the verses or verse I want to letter and then sketch it out with my Tombow MONO Drawing Pencil. I like to use the lower scale of H pencils for sketching such as a 2H or 3H. These have lighter lead which makes them perfect to be traced over with a different pen and to be erased later on. My favorite eraser to use is the Tombow Dust Catch Eraser . It catches those little pieces of eraser and doesn’t make a mess when erasing!

bible lettering

Next I ink out my lettering. I actually use a variety of pens for this because I have too many favorites! The Tombow Fudenosuke Pens, TwinTones, and Dual Brush Pens are my go-tos. You can letter with all of them, doodle/draw, or outline your lettering. And none of them bleed through the pages!

For this particular page, I used the Red Fudenosuke Pen to letter out my verse.

bible lettering

Then I added a shadow with the Black TwinTone Marker.

bible lettering

I wanted to add a little more to it, so I added some florals using the Twintone Markers and colored in the flower with a Dual Brush Pen.

bible lettering

Here’s the finished page!

bible lettering

Here’s another page from my Bible. I used the bullet and brush tips of a Dual brush Pen, and the Fudenosuke Soft Tip Pen.

bible lettering

And that’s my process! It really isn’t that hard to create Bible art, you just gotta decide to go for it!

Other Tips to Share:

  • When creating art with paints, water and water colors, put a piece of cardboard or thick card stock behind the page you are working on. This will help preserve other pages.

  • If drawing/doodling is not your thing, try stickers and stamps! Illustrated Faith is a great place to find these.

  • Don’t keep your art confined to the margins. It’s OK to make it extend over the scripture on the page!

I recently started a brand new IG account called @faith.based.lettering I’d love for you to follow along! I share my Bible journaling, sermon notes, and encouragement weekly!

If you’re also looking for inspirational artists to follow that create Bible art, here are some of my favorites:

Thanks for following along today!

Do you have any questions about Bible art that I didn’t cover? Let me know and we can chat more!

Till next time,
Mandy