Are you a journaler? I’ve done art journaling and Bible journaling for years, although not nearly as much art journaling as I’d like….I get as far as finishing a sketch and I have to get on with other big projects! But every fall I slide back in…and today I’ll compare some similarities and differences in art journaling vs Bible journaling.
Video: Art journaling vs Bible journaling
Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!
Similarity #1: Journaling mediums
Both types of journaling can allow for a lot of the same mediums – but with Bible paper you may need to adapt by using less of a medium, and testing it out to see if it bleeds or ghosts (see a discussion of that here.) But you can easily overcome it with a tip-in as discussed! There are no “rules” about any journaling as far as mediums, although some might think my pages are “illegal” since there’s not a bunch of Tim Holtz products on them like on many journal pages.
Watercolor, micron and white gel pen
Monoprint (gelli) with gouache flowers. Painted over text in the column above and below the headline.
Similarity #2: Journaling goals
Making art is a pretty straightforward goal! Sometimes journaling helps an artist relax, get un-stuck, or test out materials. However, I find that with just imagery, it might be pretty but lacks #3 below. Most of the time if it’s just an art piece without journaling, I’d do this in my sketchbook instead.
Acrylic with micron and signo white gel pen.
Acrylic + gouache, practice page for my Gratitude Junk Journal lesson.
Similarity #3: Personal growth
For me, growth comes from journaling, usually something I’m working out in-the-moment; I don’t use art or Bible journals anymore as a diary, but letting the art help me see past questions, blocks, and obstacles in my life.
Journaling happened first, then acrylic paint covered it up.
Journaling is atop the gelliprint; dark pen on dark color background
Difference #1: Journaling focus
The most obvious difference, Bible journaling is about faith, and art journaling can be faith related but I typically focus on art.
Based on a sermon; Jesus may not be what we ask for, but He is what we need in every circumstance.
Created while blue about the state of things. Left white space to journal reviews by students and cheered me up a ton.
Difference #2: Journal types
The paper in journaling Bibles is pretty much the same as you’re used to in most other Bibles; that doesn’t make it not ok for art! Ironing a wrinkled page after the watercolor dries can help it smooth out – it won’t be 100% back to normal but then again, your page has art on it which is an improvement 🙂
Art journals have thicker paper – but any sketchbook is fine.
Journaling Bibles can have wide columns, various arrangements but usually left and right sides. Also can get interleaved with blank pages between printed text pages.
Any journal or sketchbook is great for art journaling! I like the Dylusions books because paper is nice and thick. And works well for alcohol marker too.
Difference #3: Journaling process
While pages can be approached very differently one day to the next, my own process can be vastly different between art and Bible journaling.
- Bible journaling entails hearing from God first. Independently of figuring out an image to paint, I study first, make art later after assessing what I heard and how it applies to my life. I don’t decide “today I’ll paint a fish” then go seek a verse with a fish in it.
- Art journaling may have an idea in mind first, or can begin with just making marks. My art journaling sessions are often used to get un-stuck —- and once I put some color on the page, I dig deep to learn why I was stuck in the first place. Usually that leads to journaling and figuring out what to create art-wise.
Message received – it’s not my job to get someone cleaned up and repentant; my job is only to encourage them to look to Jesus and He’ll do the rest.
Page began with inspiration from Diebenkorn. Which led to journaling atop the paint, and painting over it to restore the design and hide the journaling.
If you struggle with what to create on your pages, try a themed journal. Find a small one like this little board book with few pages, and make a list of X number of related things to journal about. It could be favorite artists who inspire you, moments of “aha” when you learned something in art, your favorite trees, it can be anything! I decided to try capturing my current Sandy-isms; these change over the years, so this is my 2023 list of over-blathered phrases. Tab through using the arrow to see them all.
Gratitude Junk Journal class giveaway
I get to give away a seat in the class! You’re most welcome to comment on this post, too, but go pick out one of my classes that you’ve taken or a download – and leave a review for other students to see! After my recent bout with feeling like a failure, it does my heart so much good to know all that I put into my work is making a difference for artists. I’ll have random.org pick a winner from all new reviews this week – and announce it on Saturday Sept 30!
My class lesson inspiration
Below is the inspiration for my lesson in class; I created this small version using a gelli print with gouache for the bird painting; in class I do a different technique for the background on bigger pages, and show you how to paint the image – but you can also do the same with any image you want for your page. Acrylic or gouache works great!
Lots of instructors will be using all different mediums in class – you can use whatever you like. Get inspired by all the themes of gratitude!
My journaling classes sale
For the remainder of September, get a nice discount on two of the journaling classes:
This class teaches a study method to help to read Scripture deeply, hear the message God has for us as individuals – and then a method to brainstorm imagery to express God’s message!