Awhile back I started seeing beautiful illustrations of scripture and meaningful quotes all over Instagram, called illustrated faith. I quickly fell in love with it and spent days scrolling through the #illustratedfaith hashtag.
Most people are choosing to use a journaling bible with wide margins to create their illustrations. Some people choose to only use the margins while others draw directly over the words. Many of the illustrated faith pictures I have seen have been so beautiful and to me it was a wonderful way to use your creative side in worship.
But I can’t bring myself to draw and paint in a bible.
So what do you do when you want to try your hand at illustrated faith but you do not feel comfortable drawing pictures in a bible?
For me I found my answer in using a sketch journal.
First of all let me say that drawing directly in a bible is a personal choice. The heart behind the choice is what matters and I don’t see anything wrong with it. It’s that person’s own choice. However just on a personal note, I choose not to do so. If you do choose to use a bible to express your artistic worship through illustrated faith in a bible, than you are still just as amazing.
But I really wanted to give it a try. There’s something so beautiful about reading and studying scripture and then taking the picture that God has placed in your head and putting it down on paper.
I found my solution by using a sketch journal, that I found on Amazon.com, instead of a wide margin bible.
I love it.
Here’s why using a sketch notebook instead of a wide margin bible is a great way to participate in the illustrated faith movement:
The paper in a sketch notebook is thick and is actually made for a wide variety of artistic mediums. You won’t have to worry about accidentally tearing the page if you press down too hard or when the page is wet from watercolors. You also won’t have to worry about being able to see through the paper to the illustration on the other side.
Lately I’ve been using oil pastels that I smudge and smear to really get a nice blend and I never think twice about apply a lot of pressure. The pages are thick so you can really give them a good artistic beating.
It’s Made For Paint
One of the things that I have really started to enjoy creating pages with are watercolors. This actually shocked me at first. I saw some examples online with beautiful watercolors and thought that I would never be able to do that.
Can I just tell you that adding watercolor to your pages is so easy? I found some of my kids watercolors that are simply the cheap ones you buy during the back to school sales and I have loved creating with them.
Using a journal for illustrated faith lets you get wild and crazy with watercolors without worrying about how much paint will the bible page hold since it’s not very absorbent.
You can also watercolor on top of oil pastels to create a lot of depth, texture or color variations. The oil pastel will resist the watercolor. It’s fun, you should try it.
There’s A Lot Of Room To Work With
When you use a sketching journal to create illustrated faith pieces, you have a ton of room to work with. When you use a bible you might just have a margin or some area at the end of a chapter.
I’ve really enjoyed being able to use a whole page, or two, to create with. Maybe you would as well.
It’s Helped Me Study More
Having a lot of room to work with is great but it really is a lot of white space. I could just draw and design on every single page but I’ve chose to go deeper and use it as a bible journal as well.
Lately I’ve been finding an area of the bible to study and making notes in the journal with pencil. Later I go back and rewrite them in pen and erase the pencil. Then I create an illustration to compliment what I’ve been learning.
Because I look forward to spending time creating beautiful illustrations, I make myself sit down and study the bible before I let myself work on any artwork. Many times I’ve gotten lost in the Word of God and have put aside my desire to create. Other times when I just need a relaxing night I’ve still read a few short verses but then I let myself simply think on them while I finished coloring another page.
When I look at all the empty pages I have left to work on, it makes me excited to think about where it might take me in my bible. It’s a good thing and it’s been great for me personally.
I’m Leaving a Beautiful Legacy
One of the biggest draws for me in participating in the illustrated faith movement was the legacy you’re leaving behind. So many of us have our grandparents bibles that we can look in and read the notes in the margins. It’s an incredible look into their faith and their walk.
Hopefully one day my kids will look through my illustrated faith journal and see my walk through my words and my illustrations. They’ll get to learn what I was learning, see the connections that I had to those verses and then see it as I saw it.
It’s a beautiful legacy. I’m leaving them the story of how God has worked in my life and my drawings to encourage them onward in their walk through life.
Have you considered trying out illustrated faith?
What do you need to get started with bible journaling and Illustrated Faith? It doesn’t require a lot to start, you can actually nab some of your kids crayons if you want! Here’s my simple list for things that I have enjoyed using.
You can keep us with my illustrated faith journey by following the hashtag #clumsyfaith on Instagram.
* This post contains affiliate links