When you write, it’s recommended that you have variety in your sentence structure. Some should be short and simple. Other sentences should be longer, and more descriptive. The variety keeps our attention. When you create visually, the same premise works. If everything is the same size, length, or style we lose interest. So if you’ve only tried creating in your margins, I’d like to encourage you to think outside that box. If you were to add some occasional full page spreads in your Bible Art Journaling it would excite your eyes, which engages your brain. This post is going to go even farther, and show you how to use the two full page templates for Psalms 5:3 to create a single composition in your Art Journaling Bible.
Why it’s okay to create in your Bible
Before we get into the project, I want to quickly mention that this IS OKAY. Really. You can cover up whole pages in your Bible, here’s why.
If you’re using a wide margin Bible for art journaling than this is your Bible for creative process and worship. That means you can write, underline, paint, print, and stamp in it all you want. If you want to look something up later, use a different Bible (or Bible app on your phone). In this Bible, you’re spending time meditating on the Word by creating with it.
If you’re a beginner who would like to know more about the process and benefits of Bible Art Journaling, I’d love to have you read my post, “Why you should try Bible Art Journaling.“
How to Pull Together a 2 Page Composition
The larger and more divided a composition is the more you need to pull it all together. Here are four tips that will help you to take the two Psalms 5 templates from the Creative Resource Library and create a unified composition in your Bible. I’d love to have you read these, and then follow along with the step-out below to create these pages in your own Bible Art Journaling.
4 Things to Know about Your Work
- Be aware of the eye of the viewer. Look at your work and take note of where your eye is first drawn to. After that initial focal point, are there other focal elements that draw your eye around the piece? As visual creators we want to have our viewers engage with all parts of our page.
- Size, shape, and color will all draw the eye. Larger shapes draw the eye. High contrast areas, as well as color combinations (like complementary colors) engage us. Certain colors (like red) grab our attention immediately.
- Some things will stop the eye. A harsh line, an edge, a pop of color that isn’t connected to anything else on the page. These things will cause us to stop and look away. We also don’t like things to be too repetitive. Although some repetition creates a rhythm that can lead us on, too much is hypnotizing and causes us to look away. We don’t like everything to be the same size, the same color or value. It doesn’t engage us.
- Layers can reveal or obscure. Depth in a work can draw you in, but it can swallow you too. When you create, every time you add another layer or element, you risk losing what was there before. Part of your role as a creator is to know when to push away parts of a new layer so you can pull up the best of the previous. You want the best of each to build your composition upon.
How to have a conversation with your work
Once you know those 4 things, you can start a conversation with your work as you’re creating. I asked my self what color should the tent be, and knew it needed to be a bright warm color to balance the cool dark of the mountains and sky above it. When it was time to choose the color for the word “Voice”, the answer was to pull on the dark purple tones so that the eye would connect the two spaces. If you understand how compositional elements work, then you can make them work for you. Sometimes though, it isn’t a question you can answer and inspiration steps in.
Using Full Page Templates in Your Bible Art Journaling
Supplies and Tools
- Wide margin Bible
- Psalms 5 templates (Creative Resource Library)
- Pencil (no.2 works fine)
- Kuretake Watercolors
- Caran d’ache Neocolor Crayons
- Paintbrushes (small and medium)
- A small container of water
- Paper towel
- Pitt Artists Pens in different sizes for outlining
- Chisel Tip Pitt Artists Pen (optional)
Step One: Print out the full page templates for Psalms 5
For this project, there are two free downloadable templates that I’ll be using. You’ll find the templates in my Creativity Resource Library in the Bible Art Templates section. To print, click on the link to open and then either save, then print or send it to the printer right away.
Step Two: Prep the templates.
This is super simple. For the template that says 1 of 2 (1/2) fold under the margin on the right side of the paper. For the template that says 2 of 2 (2/2) fold under the margin on the left side of the paper. Slide the first template under the page on the right side of your Bible. The second will get slipped under the page on the right.
Step Three: Trace the Psalms 5 template page 1/2.
Using a pencil, trace over the design. Some of it might not be super clear, so you can flip the page back-and-forth, or you can use a marker and go over the lines on the template and darken them. However, you don’t have to trace every detail now either. I usually just trace the larger elements and give myself an idea of where things are and then add the smallest details (like the flowers and crops of grass) after I’ve laid in my large areas of color. At that point I’ll look at the template to check the details, but sketch them in by hand.
Step Four: Trace the Psalms 5 template page 2/2.
Repeat the tracing process in Step Three. This time you’ll be tracing the lettering too. When you trace block letters just outline them. We’ll fill them with color later. You can also choose not to copy some of the design from the template. The template is there as a tool to make things easier for you, you can choose to edit it as much as you want. For instance, instead of outlining the sunbeams you decide to just paint them.
Step Five: Take note and add the date.
This is optional, and I often do this at the end; but I love to add the Bible reference, as well as the date and a small note somewhere on the page. The note can be a short prayer, praise, or just a sentence or two about the weather. If I’m away from home I write that down. Or maybe there’s something memorable that’s happening. If the verse has a special meaning for me- I’ll add a note about that. These little notes can really be impactful to come upon at a later date when I see the prayer answered or time has passed and the memorable event is just a memory.
Step Six: Start to add in the big blocks of color.
In my mind, it makes sense to start with the back and move forward in design. I also fill in the largest blocks of color first. So in this design that would mean filling in the mountains, the sky, the center of the sun, and the meadow. You can use any type of art medium you choose, but I like to use paints for this. In the video I’m using the Kuretake watercolors. These are my watercolors of choice. I LOVE how the vibrant colors saturate my page. Wet your brush first, and then fill your brush with the pigment and then just lay it into the larger areas within the piece. To get the edges of those areas switch to a detail brush and work smaller and more slowly.
Step Seven: Color the medium-sized elements like the rocks and trees.
You can continue to use the watercolors, but with a smaller sized brush; or you can try a different medium. I chose to use the Neocolor Crayons by Caran d’ache. They are highly pigments sticks of color that are water soluble. You dip them in water and then draw with them as you would a crayon, for an intensely colorful line. Or you can color lightly with them on the paper, and then use a wet brush and move the color around. The third option is to lift the color from the crayon with a wet brush. I use the first two methods primarily. If your pages get too wet be sure to blot them with a paper towel and then consider letting the area dry before working into it any more or you risk tearing the page.
Step Eight: Start to color in the details.
This is where you work in the smaller details like the firewood, the smaller trees, the blades of grass, flowers, and the stars. What colors you use are up to you, but try to make choices that will help you unify the two pages into one strong composition. Another tip is to let the direction of your mark reflect the natural lines the landscape would follow. So imagine the water flowing around the rocks, and the rocks having a somewhat rounded shape and fill in their color with that in mind.
Step Nine: Outline and accentuate the drawn elements
Before you start the outlining make sure your paper is dry. Then, use a pen to outline the shapes in your drawing. These sketched lines are going to define the look of the finished piece, so you can keep them loose and playful- or hard and exact. The original template leans towards the playful and loose. Because of the layers of color you’ve created, you might have lost sight of some of the original pencil tracing. You can use your template to look at, and then add any of those details in by hand. Maybe you lost some of the rocks, or the tent lines and stakes. This is a good opportunity to have fun creating your own touches.
For More Inspiration…
For more awesome ideas and “blow your mind with the coolness” inspiration pics, check out my Bible Art Journaling Pinterest Board! And for a collection of my favorite supplies (including the Bible I use), my resources page has all the links.
If you’d like to know more about what Bible Art Journaling is, try reading my post “Why you should try Bible Art Journaling”. It will explain what it is, and what benefits it has for your personal faith experience. I hope you LOVE this and anything I can do to help makes me happy! And if you’re a beginner, I have a whole bunch of posts on Bible Art Journaling in them you’ll be introduced to different techniques, pro tips, supplies, and more. I also have a Quick Start Guide to Bible Art Journaling and templates available for download in my Creativity Resource Library!
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I would also LOVE to talk with you about this, so if you have any questions just leave a comment! Thanks for taking the time to hang out with me- I’m super excited to see where this takes you! If you found this post helpful it would be wonderful if you would share it to social media through the links below or by pinning the image below! Thank you !!!