Bible art has been around for a long time, but it has been recent that it has hit mainstream crafting outlets. A lot of crafters shy away from it because they think it is only for those that stamp and color. It is not just for stampers — it is for everyone. I want to share with you 12 things you need to create art in your Bible from a mixed media point of view. I tried the stamping way and it just did not work out for me. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great way to create art in a Bible. It just was not the best way for me.
Before we get to the 12 things you need to create in your Bible we have to address the fear factor. A lot of people (I was one of them) are afraid to do anything more than highlight in the Word of God. I do not recommend using the Bible you study out of as the one you art journal in. Also, if it is a heirloom do not create art in it. Keep a separate Bible for your art. My Bible Art time is not when I am actively trying to learn about God. It is my time of worship. Sure I learn things as I do it, but it is not my study session. This is the time that I turn on my worship music, unplug from my head and engage my heart and create. If you are still uneasy about creating in a Bible pick up an art journal and use that instead.
The Most Important Thing
Obviously the Bible or journal you create in is the most important thing. It also can be the most expensive which is silly. I am going to share with you the Bible that I am currently using, but I do not recommend it for everyone. You can use a Bible found in the nightstand at a hotel to create art in. A local church will give you a Bible if you ask. You do not have to buy one to do this. A Bible can be the cheapest and most important thing you need. With all of that being said, this is the Bible I am currently using:
- Gel Plate(s)
- Clear Gesso
- Black Journal Pen
- White Paint Pen
- Date Stamp
- Black Archival Ink
- Paint Brushes
- Black Alphabet Stickers
- White Alphabet Sticker
This is the secret to beautiful Bible art. It is also what allows you to add medium to thin pages found in your Bible without tearing or seeping through. Gesso provides a barrier that does not allow paint to seep through to the other side. Since it is clear the words can been seen through it. If you were to use white or black it would prep your surface for paint by providing a little bit of a tooth, but it would also cover up all the text. Clear Gesso preps the pages while still allowing the words to be seen on the page and whatever else it is covering.
Gel Press Plates
I use a Gel Press plate on almost all of my Bible Art pages. It is a great way to add a bunch of texture. Basically, you squirt a tiny bit of paint on the plate, brayer it out and stamp whatever you can find on it. I like to use trash — bubble wrap, bottle caps, sponges and anything else I find in my recycling bin. You just want to be careful not to use anything sharp on your Gel Press. Once you create your desired art on your Gel Press, flip it over and stamp it in your Bible.
This is a must when spreading paint on a Gel Press Plate. Just remember to store it brayer side up. Otherwise it will get a flat spot that makes it impossible to roll.
I like a nice heavy body acrylic paint. Water based paints tend to be runny and can smear if they get wet again. Acrylics hold up nicely and when they dry are like a plastic.
Black Journal Pen
Not only can this be used to write with, it is great to outline shapes you create in your Bible. Black is a great way to pull everything together and allow the eye to rest.
White Paint Pen
Finding a white pen has been challenging. I like a white paint pen because it can be used over any art created on the page. One of my favorite techniques to do is outline an image with a white paint pen. Let it dry. Then write over the white with a black fine tip journaling pen.
The best way to document your art is to date it. I did not realize how important that was until I looked back over some pages I created in the beginning of Bible Art. It was wonderful to see how God was working in my life based on the date on the page and how far I had grown artistically.
Black Archival Ink
This will stand the test of time and will not move if it gets wet. Plus, if can hold up in conjunction with different mediums.
I do not use paint brushes often, but enough to need them. In addition to painting with, they are great to flick with to finish off a page.
Great way to add a little sparkle and bring your Bible art to life. Outlining a few images is a great way to use these glitter glues.
Black Alphabet Stickers
Use a white paint pen to draw around each letter to make it stand out.
White Alphabet Sticker
Use a fine tip black journal pen to draw a border around each letter to make it pop.
How to Bible Art Journal
The most important thing to keep in mind is the journey. Try not to focus so much on the final result. Use your time to worship God through your art. You are not going to like every page you create and that is okay. It is not about creating a masterpiece each time. It is about spending time with God. If you end up not liking a page just shrug it off and move one. You will be your worst critic and you are not required to show anyone. I like to put on some Christian music, find the scripture that spoke to me recently and just go from there. It is the pages that I have no plan for that turn out the best. Trust the creative process. Trust God. You will not be disappointed!
Here are a few videos to help you get started with Bible art and how to use a Gel Press:
If you have any questions about Bible art journaling mixed media style please do not hesitate to ask in the comments. If I do not know the answer I will research it and point you in the right direction.
Until next time ~ Happy Crafting!