Leftover Paint Collage Flower Tutorial

Some may call me "thrifty." I just call it what it is... I'm cheap. Money, or lack thereof, has been an issue most of my 40+ years. As a result, I hate wasting things. The crafty side of me is always coming up with ways to re-use items. Right now, I have a bag of ripped t-shirts in my closet with the assumption that someday I'll have time to sew them into cute stuffed animals or patchwork skirts. 

Anyhow, when I paint, I tend to put a bit too much paint on my palette. What to do with that leftover paint? 

Well a few years ago, I started just scraping it onto sheets of drawing paper with an old plastic gift card and storing it in a drawer. A few weeks ago I stumbled on to some amazing collage artists on Instagram who created their own papers for their collages. Bingo! There's what my drawer of leftover painted pages will become.

So after I painted this page in my Bible (see blog post HERE for details), I decided to be intentional with my leftover paint.

acrylic craft paint layered over watercolor

I have a pad of 9x12 white drawing paper and with my old, trusty brushes, I used all of the excess paint to paint a large square or rectangle. Note: this is just cheap acrylic craft paint. 

my tiny craft desk

And then I simply let them dry overnight. 

I really loved how that Bible Journaling page turned out so I made a reference page and taped it above my desk. It has my go-to flower doodles with a favorite color palette (with Martha Stewart craft paints) on it. 

reference page

So the next weekend when I had some time and was trying to find a creative outlet for some anxiety and grief, I got out the painted pages and with the reference page taped to the wall as inspiration, I just started cutting out shapes to make flowers similar to the ones I draw all of the time. 

Only this time, I didn't draw or pre-plan anything first. I just started cutting. Like in elementary school, I just needed to be a kid and play and cut and glue things for a little bit.

a sunflower and lots of leaves in several sizes

And cut and move around and re-cut and glue I did! It was so fun to just play for a few minutes. 

My pad of drawing paper was on my desk and I had placed a sheet of watercolor paper (that I had dabbled blue watercolor on the day before) on it to serve as a sample background while I cut my flowers... and I really liked the little bits of flowers hanging off of the edge of the blue and onto the white paper. 

daisy petals lined up waiting to be glued on

After I had finished cutting and gluing together all 4 flowers, I decided to keep that background arrangement

And ta-dah! My finished piece...

leftover paint collage flowers

It was such a fun, playful, stress-relieving time, that when things were a little overwhelming last Sunday, I made myself sit down and make some more.

even more flowers!

waiting for stems and leaves
I didn't have enough green left so I simply pulled out the pad of drawing paper and squirted some Martha Stewart "granny smith" green on the paper and spread it out evenly with a paint brush.

now with stems and leaves

They have been sitting out on my desk all week and have curled up a bit. But that will be resolved with a few days of being pressed in a book and then mounted to thicker cardstock.

happy flowers

Another fun, relaxing time at my little craft desk. 

Keep blooming,
Ann :) 

Bible Journaling watercolor and acrylic paint flowers tutorial

Job 41:1

"Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook?"

This will be a fun and easy tutorial, I promise! But first a little backstory...

Over the last 8 weeks, our small family has been going through the valley. That's putting it mildly, but I know millions of people all over the world have it a million times worse that we do. 

8 weeks ago, we had to say goodbye to my favorite cat ever on the entire planet, Stomper. I'm still in shock. We had been doing all we could to treat him for fluid on his heart and kidney disease, but eventually his kidneys couldn't handle the medicine to keep the fluid off his heart and we had to help him walk Home. I'm still in shock. He was 17 and my baby boy and the best kitty ever. He was a maine coon that I adopted from a shelter when he was a kitten and we loved watching him grow up and his antics of behaving like a golden retriever dog. I am glad he is healed now, but I miss him dearly.

The day before he passed, we found out that another one of our cats, Abby, had Asthma and a heart murmur. Again we did everything we could for weeks, but tests revealed she had heart issues as well and her kidney levels were high. The vets couldn't pin point what was going on with her heart, but we got her on an inhaler and lasix. She spent a Friday at the vet for tests and observation and that Sunday night, she had a massive heart attack and died in front of me. 30 days after Stomper passed away! She was a snoeshoe (a reverse siamese cat like Grumpy Cat) that I fell in love with and adopted from a Humane Society nearly 10 years ago. I am glad she didn't have a long, drawn out, painful end, but it was a very traumatic event.

The kicker is that during this time, my daughter and I got sick and then my husband ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. A few weeks later we were better, but then my daughter got another cold and I got bronchitis. After a few weeks of that, we got sick for a third time! Fortunately that was somewhat mild and lasted only a few days. All of this despite vitamins, essential oils, home remedies, medications, and over-the-counter elixirs. 

Anyhow, the last 8 weeks have been pure survival mode. And leaning on God for strength and guidance.

I didn't do any Bible Journaling for probably a month and a half mainly because of the shock and just not feeling well enough to do anything. But a few weeks ago, I just opened up my Bible and tried to find a blank spread in Psalms, but there weren't many so I ended up in Job.

I got out my watercolors and just painted blobs of color down on the page. 

It felt good. To be honest, I wasn't reading or praying or reflecting or anything "spiritual" during that time. I just needed to do something creative to get unstuck. And blobs of watercolor helped a lot. 

While I painted, the passage my eyes kept falling on was Job 41:1 "Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook?" This is God asking Job this question and my understanding is that a Leviathan is a big, scary sea creature. 

But I just kept reading that question. And MY answer was, "no, I can't, but YOU can." All of this mess, this heartache, the sicknesses, the ridiculous pile of vet and hospital bills... all of it is still in God's control. Like the big, scary Leviathan.

So, on to the fun tutorial part...

(There is a supply list with Amazon affiliate links at the bottom of this post too!)

First, like I mentioned, I painted "blobs" of watercolor. To do this, I got out my trusty Prima Marketing watercolors in the Tropical palette. With a fat #5 round paintbrush, I dabbed plain water around the border of the page. Then I dipped the brush in color #23 "wild berry" and dabbed that on top of the water on the page. I made sure to leave some spots saturated with paint and others more watered down. I repeated this process with color #21 "sunset" in the center of the page. The page on the left was done with #20 "north isle" on the borders and #22 "lush" in the middle. 

Because the page was so wet and it was late, I left the page to dry for a day; however, I think it was 2 days before I got back to finishing it. 

Again, I didn't have a plan or image in my mind to create, so I got my thick Tombow pen out (a medium Faber Castell Pitt pen would work great too) and drew some of my standard flower shapes... a daisy, a sunflower, a coneflower, and a rose. 

Now the real fun part... acrylic paint. Because the background was too dark to continue with watercolors for the flowers, I thought it would be fun to layer watered-down acrylic paint over the blue background.

I selected my favorite Martha Stewart Crafts paint colors (the ones I have are the "multi-surface Satin acrylic craft paint"). Names listed below...

  • white - wedding cake
  • yellow - chamomile
  • pink - poodle skirt and 
  • blue - surf
  • purple - periwinkle
  • orange - wild salmon
  • green - granny smith

I put a small blob of each color paint on my little palette and because I'm kinda lazy when it comes to cleaning my brushes, the brushes from 2 days prior were still sitting in a glass of water. Fortunately this worked out because the wet brushes watered down the acrylic paint a little. I took each color one at a time and painted all of the corresponding areas. White for daisy petals, orange for coneflower petals, yellow for sunflower petals, etc.

And I absolutely love how it turned out! I thought my pen lines were a little to drastic and the watered down acrylic paint (that was applied rather sloppily) "softened" up the look of the black lines. 

Maybe it was a combo of me needing time to just create without a plan and choosing my favorite colors and flowers, but this layering of acrylics on watercolor has turned out to be one of my favorite Bible Journaling pages yet.

I hope you enjoyed the process and are inspired to try something new and out of your comfort zone today. And if you are going through a valley season, remember God is in control of the Leviathans.

Below is a supply list with affiliate links to Amazon products. This means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using these links. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to amazon.com and affiliated sites. 

  • Bible - (I have the double-column version, but HERE is their single-column version)
  • Watercolor paint - Tropicals by Prima
  • Brushes - Artist's Loft round brushes size 5, 3, and 3/0 (I prefer plastic handle to wood because I tend to leave them in water and wood splits)
  • Pen - Tombow Fudenosuke
  • Acrylic paint - (see colors I used above, but HERE is a fun set of 10 other colors from Martha) 

* Note: I am a big believer in using what you have on hand to craft (especially with a mountain of vet/hospital bills), but if you're interested in some new, upgraded supplies, please consider purchasing through the affiliate links above. It will help with the mountain of bills! :) 

Grace and love to you,
Ann :)

... dedicated to Stomper and Abby...

Bible Journaling Grace watercolor pencil tutorial

2 Corinthians 12:9

But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you,
My power is made perfect in weakness."

Who else needs an extra dose of grace today? Me too! It was a looooong week and I was so grateful for some time yesterday morning to listen to some hymns and paint in my Bible after praying and hearing God whisper to me that I needed to relax all day and give myself some grace. 

I pictured this page in my head and am so happy with how it turned out. It's not perfect, but ... GRACE! I had a fun, relaxing time while working on it. And that's what was needed and important for me at that time.

I would love to share with you how I created this page. I had watercolor pencils for years before I used them. Now they are my go-to art supply and I want to share how easy (and portable) they are!

I have my most used supplies in a little container from Snapware (I got them with a 40% off coupon from Joanns) and this way if I want to get away to a bookstore or the park, I can just grab my Bible and the little container and go. 

Below are affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using these links. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

In it I have, 
  • a pencil and an eraser
  • PITT pens (I constantly use the xs and s sizes)
  • a white pen
  • watercolor pencils (both Staedtler Karat and Prismacolor) both come in different quantities. I was gifted 36 of the Karats 20 years ago and purchased the 24 pack of Prismacolors 2 years ago. I love the brighter color options in the Karats and they "activate" very well, but the Prismacolors go on buttery smooth and blend nicely. 
  • and 3 waterbrushes
Ok, let's get started.

First, I sketched my design with a pencil. I knew I wanted the word "grace" in bold with different flowers behind. My go-to flowers when doodling are a daisy (small circle with a lot of long petals), a sunflower (a large circle with tiny half-circle petals), a rose (a circle that spirals in to the center), and a coneflower (a half circle on top with 5 petals below). I allowed the flowers to overlap and planned to clean them up during the next step.

Once I was happy with the sketch, I inked the lines I liked starting with the word. Then I moved on to the daisies. As I inked the other flowers, I omitted certain lines to make them appear under the daisies and the word. I prefer the Pitt pens as they are waterproof and do not bleed when I activate the watercolor pencils.

Now the fun step... coloring! I picked out my favorite colors and made sure to get 2 or 3 shades of each color. 

I started with the lighter color and then added shadows with the darker color. For example, I colored the rose a light pink and then added darker pink to some of the petals (specifically on the bottom left of each element).

Keep coloring and shading as much or as little as you want.

And now on to step 4. Activate! I use a waterbrush... again for the convenience and ease of portability. It is a paintbrush that houses it's own water supply in the handle and the water wets the bristles when you gently squeeze the handle. I pick the lightest color first (yellow here) and gently swipe the brush over the colored areas. After activating a shaded area, I wipe the brush on a tissue to get the color off or else it will transfer the darker, shaded color to the next lighter yellow area I activate.

Repeat this process (cleaning your brush between colors) for all flowers. Keep in mind that if you activate the purple coneflower petals before the blue tops dry, the purple will run into the blue. Fortunately, since the Bible pages are so thin and such a small amount of water is used, each color dries quickly.

Now when coloring the background green, I used a different technique. Instead of coloring + activating, I dabbed the wet brush directly on to the pencil thus "lifting" off some of the color and then put the brush directly to the page (as if I were painting with actual watercolors). This allowed me to control how intense or diluted the color was in different areas. 

Once dry I noticed that the word had faded a bit from the water (I had used a different pen). So I simply went over it again and it made it nice and bold... standing out from the outlines of the flowers even more. Tada!!!

I finish my pages by "highlighting" the verse with the above watercolor technique, adding a heart on the verse number, and then signing and dating it. It's funny to look back over pages now and see the date and remember "oh yeah, I was sitting in this room painting and God was helping me go through this season or that circumstance."

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial for simple, easy, fun Bible Journaling. You are creative! God created all of us in His image and as the Creator, He made us creative. Give yourself some grace, have some fun, and get to doodling His promises to you!!!

:) Ann

PS - I did do a few mixed media pages last weekend and hope to share those with you soon.

Bible Journaling doodling with a favorite pen

Hello Doodlers,

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been having an extra rough few weeks. But on two different evenings last week, the heat broke just enough for me to sit on the porch and mindlessly doodle in my favorite Bible with my favorite pen.

I shared on Instagram that growing up in the 80's, my mother usually had one of those Bic pens with four ink colors and a blue barrel. Years ago, I saw them at our local grocery store and bought one out of nostalgia. Then I saw that Bic had a special Spring edition with pink, purple, blue, and green inks! My color palette!

I used them to journal for years and then PaperMate came out with their InkJoy line which included 4 color pens! The ink is more like a gel... thicker and glides smoothly. And last week I grabbed my pen and Bible and headed outside for a minute of quiet.

Simple flower doodles...

They do show a bit of bleed through on the other side of the page, but that is easily covered by adding acrylic paint or paper embellishments to that side.

As I was doodling my little daisies and coneflowers and roses, I teared up a bit. I miss my mom and this new season I'm in has me longing to be a responsibility-free kid in the simpler times of the 1980's. And instead of remembering the hard times, I fondly remembered the sweet things my mom used to do to try to help me not be so scared all the times... little gifts in my lunch, funny stories about the cats on the ride home from school, her providing creative opportunities for me. 

I wish I could go back and tell my little scared, sad self to not be scared and sad and to enjoy this time because life tends to get more complicated as you get older. But I can't. 

But I can do what I can to enjoy my time now and provide a fun, secure, loving, creative, safe home for my daughter. 

Part of what helps me try to do that is to spend time doodling in my Bible...

And even enjoy mistakes along the way. I initially drew these flowers with just one line but then botched up the one at the top. So I implemented a fun technique from Joanne Sharpe and went over each line 2 more times and it gave a fun new dimension to my doodles. 

Fun note, I took Joanne's Bloomin' Doodles class the summer we moved to North Carolina and I was pregnant and super sick. I would sit by the pool at the apartment and listen to the class on my phone while doodling in my notebook from the drugstore up the street (I couldn't drive because of OCD) and try not to get sick. I should probably go back and listen to the classes again now that I'm feeling better!

Now put your phone down and make something creative! Relax in His presence and enjoy THIS time!

:) Ann

Below are affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using these links. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

PS - here's the pen I used...

And if you want to be extra cool like my mom, here's the original Bic...

Bible Journaling Psalm 106 and a lesson from my watercolor palette

Psalm 106:1-2

"Praise the Lord!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,
for His steadfast love endures forever!
Who can utter the mighty deeds of the Lord,
or declare all His praise?"

It was a long week and I was more than relieved to have some time Saturday morning to sit down to a blank page in my colorful Bible.

A blank page. A fresh start. A new day. And His Word and a little set of watercolor paints to soothe a weary soul. 

As I opened my watercolor tin, I saw the dried colors I mixed a few weeks ago. And I thought I'd paint tiny flowers with just the dried colors.

first coat of paint
And then I saw a lesson right there on my tiny watercolor pallet. 

The paint was dry, crusty, and essentially useless. But add just one drop of water...

Just one drop of water refreshed the paint enough to allow it to fulfill its purpose. Sounds pretty dramatic for a little blop of paint, but I saw me in it...

Most of the time I feel like that little smudge of dried up, useless paint. Worn out from the daily tasks of my new role as a mom and my body revolting from a lifetime of worry and stress that I have allowed. 

I was in bed most of the day. My limbs felt like spaghetti and I couldn't even stand long enough to shower. But just one drop of water...

Jesus said He is the living water (John 4). We must go to Him daily for refreshing and comfort and direction. And He will calm the fears and restore our bodies. 

If we don't go daily, we will quickly return to our dry, thirsty state.

The lighter green color dried up in about 10 minutes. 

Now back to painting, I added more details with my tiny number 3 brush and love how my teeny, tiny flowers turned out.

Then I added the verses with my trusty XS Pitt pen.

Make some time to draw near to Him today and He will refresh your soul.

:) Ann

PS - below are the affiliate links for the products I used here.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using these links. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Bible Journaling Psalm 19 the words of my mouth

Psalm 19:14
"Let the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my Rock
and my Redeemer."

Psalm 19 and 22
Our words really are powerful and for the better part of this week, mine have not been kind, uplifting, or acceptable to anyone, let alone God.

But I keep trying. That's all we can do, right? Cling to God for strength and help and get up the next day and try to be more Christ-like. 

And then there on the next page is Psalm 22 complete with David crying out "my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Someone else cried that out in the New Testament. But fortunately, David doesn't stop there. He asks God to be close to him.

And the fantastic news is that every time we feel like God has forsaken us, He is right here with us. "Christ in you, the hope of glory." Colossians 1:27.

He will help. It may not come when we want or how we want, but He is here and He will help if we ask. 

I was fortunate to have some quiet time yesterday and today to catch my breath after a long, difficult week and I gathered a few basic supplies and created these pages while meditating on His Word. 

I'm grateful for stumbling upon Bible Journaling as it has helped me read and retain portions of God's Word that I might have otherwise glossed over. I hope this encourages you to give it a try.

Supplies (see top photo for brands):
a handful of watercolor pencils
a waterbrush

Have a blessed day,
:) Ann