Bible Journaling Psalm 136 His love endures forever

Psalm 136:1
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,
for His steadfast love endures forever. 

I made a little time to doodle some art in my Bible this morning. It is such a good stress reliever... creating and meditating on His Word.

I began by wetting the entire page with a large round brush and then tapped in watercolor paints. This is know as the wet-on-wet technique. If you stick to either cool (blue/purple) or warm (red/orange) colors, they won't get too muddy or turn brown. 

Here I used purple, blue, and green. 

After this picture, I added yellow in that blank spot towards the center. Also, the orange dots are the flowers from the other side showing through. They are only showing through because the page is so wet. Once dry, you can't see them.

Then, I drew large daisies and painted them with acrylic paint. I'll put a supply list below, but the acrylics I'm currently loving are from Martha Stewart.

I let this dry for a few hours and then touched up a few areas with pen and added lettering.

I had first made the center of the flowers "wild salmon" but then added some "chamomile" to the brush and went back over them to brighten them up a bit.

It was a fun, quick page and great reading this Psalm where David recalls all of the great things God had done for Israel. He is so good to us and His love endures forever!

Supply list... my philosophy is to use what you have, but if you're in the market for some new supplies, here are some recommendations:

(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 and affiliated sites.)

Some of my favorite watercolors:

I also used the yellow from this set (this price is crazy but yes, they are professional watercolors. I got my set probably 10 years ago on clearance at Michael's crafts for maybe $30):

Here are the pens I recommend. They come in a variety of tip sizes. I used the "B" for this page. Here is a large set. There is also a 4 pack:

Not used here, but these are the best white pens ever:

And as stated above, I used Martha Stewart acrylic paints for the flowers. They can be found at many craft stores and my other favorite brand, Folk Art, can be found at Walmart.

Thanks for joining me on another fun page!

Keep doodling,
:) Ann

Bible Journaling tutorial Christmas nativity

Matthew 2:1-2
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him."

As I type, there are 3 days until Christmas and it does not feel like Christmas at all. There are a thousand little reasons why I just want Christmas and this year to be finished; however, I am doing my best to focus on the true reason for this holiday and to convey that to our little one. 

I was inspired last week by several Instagram #biblejournaling posts that did a silhouette of the nativity scene over a beautiful sky background and thought I'd try one too. Here's how I did it... so easy!

First, I carefully removed the mish-mash of washi tape that I had on the page for Matthew chapters 1 and 2. Carefully!!!

the ESV double-column journaling Bible

Next, I sketched in the nativity scene complete with Bethlehem on the left (wish I could find the Instagram post that had a sweet version of the city over the text of the page), a donkey (Jesus would later ride into Jerusalem on a donkey) and a shepherd (He is our Shepherd), and the 3 wise men (all worldly wisdom will bow to Him). 

As you can tell I just freely drew this... proportions are off and animals are rather funny looking, but it's my style and imperfect like me.  

Then, I started to layer a background of the night sky in watercolor. I began with dark purple (supply list at the end of post) at the bottom and chose to put yellow at the top to signify the breaking of the dawn and a new era for all people of the earth.

To do this, I tapped a clean, wet brush over the area I was about to paint and then picked up some color and tapped it onto the wet page. This is called wet-on-wet in the watercolor world. Super easy... just tapping my brush!

I added blue overlapping the purple a bit and up to the yellow (but didn't mix because the yellow wasn't dry and I didn't want it to turn green).

After this first layer dried, I went back in and darkened the purple and extended the blue further up. 

Some of the areas did turn a funny greenish color, but I just kept going and added pink at the edge of the blue... you know how clouds sometimes turn pink at sunset? I was going for that on the spur of the moment. I tapped a little purple on the areas that had turned green to tone them down. But was pleasantly surprised that I created a sort-of galaxy effect on accident!

Happy little accidents! Thanks, Bob Ross!

Once I was happy with the background and it dried (you can either let it dry naturally or use a hair dryer... carefully!), I was ready to ink in my nativity scene. 

I've always preferred the Faber-Castell PITT pens as they've been more smooth and consistent in their laying down of ink and because I have several widths/brush tips due to their great bundling deals (see below for Amazon affiliate link).

I started with an S tip and slowly did the outline and then re-traced just inside that line with a 1,5 tip to make it a bit thicker. Then I filled the areas in with a SB. It dried in a few minutes and I went back over the silhouette with the SB to get an even coat of black ink. 

And since I can't seem to leave well-enough alone, I got my favorite white pen and added stars and highlights on the faces of the Holy family.

See? Easy!

Sketch... paint background.... ink silhouette... add white pen details! 

And here are the supplies I used:

(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 and affiliated sites.)

Some of my favorite watercolors:

I also used the yellow from this set (this price is crazy but yes, they are professional watercolors. I got my set probably 10 years ago on clearance at Michael's crafts for maybe $30):

Here are the pens I recommend. They come in a variety of tip sizes. Here is a large set. There is also a 4 pack:

And the best white pen ever:

I had a fun Saturday creating this page and it helped me feel a little more like Christmas while focusing on the real meaning of Christmas. Now off to start a new family tradition and bake some yummy gluten free cupcakes for our Happy Birthday, Jesus party!

Here's a little bonus page I did. For me, it's not Christmas if you're not listening to all of the Amy Grant Christmas albums! So one afternoon while watching our little one, I simply wrote the lyrics of the song "Emmanuel" on Isaiah 9 with a Pilot G-2 shimmery gold pen. So simple and fun! Bible journaling doesn't have to be complicated or expensive.

The pen is from this set. They are great pens! I got mine in a 3 pack from Walgreen's, but this is a good deal:

Thanks for following along with my little artsy journey. I hope it inspires you to connect deeper with God's Word.

Keep doodling,
:) Ann

Tutorial how to fix a Bible journaling page you HATE

Two years ago, I painted a page that I loved... until I added lettering at the bottom! 

The block letters looked terrible so I thought I'd doodle on them with my new shiny Glaze pens... even worse!!! The colors turned out muddy over the watercolor and the doodles were just too busy on the page.

And so it sat for two years. Then last week I was flipping through my Bible and saw that page and I got an idea on how to fix it. So here is what I did and how you can transform pages that you aren't happy with too!

** I will add affiliate supply links at the bottom of this post if you are interested in purchasing any of the products I use.

The original page was painted with watercolor and watercolor pencils. The pen details on the lettering were glossy so I assumed my craft acrylic paint might just slide right off and I'd end up with an even bigger mess. Fortunately I have a few bottles of gesso. Gesso is a page primer that adds a bit of "tooth" to smooth pages so that different mediums can stick to it better. It also provides a barrier from one layer to another (but note that it will re-activate water-soluable mediums). Anyhow...

I grabbed a bottle of Liquitex Clear Gesso and with a flat paint brush, applied it over the entire green grass area. I opted to use clear gesso instead of white because I didn't want to botch things up again and splatter white all over my page. Since I painted it on fairly thick over the letters, I let the gesso dry overnight.

Step 2
Now to repaint the grass. I didn't think watercolor would adhere and dry over the gesso so I looked through my acrylic paints for greens that would blend in. I had one a bit darker and one a bit lighter so I decided to just repaint the entire grass section. 

I started with the darkest and painted an even coat on the entire section. Then I mixed a little white with the dark and added actual "blades" of grass. Then I added more blades with the lighter color as well as the lighter color and darker color swirled together. I allowed this to dry overnight as well.

The colors I used were: Folk Art 2552 Citrus Green, Martha Stewart 32007 Granny Smith, and Martha Stewart 32076 Wedding Cake.

The next day there was a tiny area that had a bit of shadow from the black pen of the lettering so I just added a few more blades of grass. 

At this point, I was very happy with how it turned out and didn't want to ruin it again with lettering. The surface of the acrylic paint (because of the brush strokes of the grass) is not smooth, so lettering would be difficult. But if using this method, you could easily add acrylic paint flowers or other details or paint the base layers with smooth strokes to then add pen on top. 

The great thing about the gesso is that it also forms a barrier to prevent whatever is on top from bleeding through to the back. I haven't tried to watercolor on the back of the gessoed page though. I assume the watercolor would float on top of the page and have a hard time absorbing and cause excessive wrinkling (like pages that I've done that have washi tape on one side and then I tried to watercolor on the back side).

back of page

love each other!

I hope this brief tutorial was helpful if you have any pages that need rescuing!

so much better!

Supply List:
The following items 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 and affiliated sites. (Also, these are items that I use and love and therefore recommend.)

Bible - I use the double column version, but here is the ESV single column version.

Watercolor Pencils - either of these sets are fantastic

Pens - for black I use Pitt pens, for white I love the Signo Uni-ball UM-153

Gesso - Liquitex clear - currently the Amazon price is over $20 USD. I would recommend using a 40% off coupon at a local craft store like Michaels, Joanns, or Hobby Lobby. I believe I got mine at Michaels.

Paint - I use cheap craft acrylic paint. The best deals are probably at your local craft store or even Walmart.

I hope you enjoyed this!

Keep painting,
:) Ann 

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 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...