Illuminated Journaling Workshop

My daughter (Hannah) and I recently attended an Illuminated Journaling Workshop taught by Jann Gray and hosted at Cedar Springs Christian Store in Knoxville, TN. It was a two day, three session workshop and I met a lot of wonderful people, had a lot of fun, and learned a lot.

Jann Gray (12)

Friday night we had to drive through a rainstorm to get there and arrived a couple of minutes late. My daughter didn’t want to risk getting her camera wet so all of our pictures are from Saturday.

Jann Gray is a very sweet and outgoing person with a lot of passion about art, and even more passion for God’s word and His children. (I actually met her at ICRS the week before).  We all introduced ourselves and Jann explained how she feels about Art Journaling as a way to express ourselves and interact with God and His word. She emphasized one of here favorite sayings “It’s not about the art, it’s about the heart.”

Friday night was mostly about creative play. We got to use actual loose Bible pages and small pieces of watercolor paper to experiment on. It was a time for us to learn about some of the craft supplies and let go of fears. Most of the students were brand new to art journaling. (It was strange being one of the “veterans” with only 3 months experience.)

Illuminated Journaling Workshop (37)

Saturday morning we learned one of Jann’s favorite art techniques for Bible journaling –  tracing a picture into the Bible, filling in large areas with watercolors, and then adding in detail and shading with colored pencils. We got to be some of the first to use a new product from G.T. Luscombe called “One and Done” (because it has eliminated one step of a two step process). The “One and Done” is packages of line art and alphabets preprinted on vellum that include graphite paper and a wooden stylus. They have tried to include some favorite images and all the vellum sheets are reusable. We used one of a row of houses. Hannah is working in her regular Inspire Bible and I’m using my pre-release Inspire Large Print.

Jann Gray (11)

I learned lots of things that day. (including but not limited to)

  • You should use graphite paper instead of carbon paper because graphite is erasable and carbon is not.
  • Bible paper has sizing in it that makes watercolors work wonderfully (if you know what you’re doing).
  • On Bible paper watercolors should be used fairly wet but dried often (watercolors will sort of float on top of the paper as long as you don’t push too hard with your brush or allow them too much time to soak in).
  • When going for realistic looking shadows they shouldn’t be gray but a darker, slightly more cool (blue) version of the color the shadow falls on.
  • The acrylic paints I’ve been using aren’t made just for Bibles they just know how to market.
  • I’m either going to have to edit some of my previous posts or add some new ones now that I know more what I’m doing.

Illuminated Journaling Workshop (38)

After lunch we worked with acrylic paints. You need acrylic paints that aren’t too wet for use in a Bible. They are usually labelled full body or high viscosity but almost any acrylic that comes in a tube should work. If you use the right ones they won’t bleed through but you want to avoid adding water to them (just wipe your brush with a paper towel between colors if they are similar and be sure to dry thoroughly when you have to rinse the brush out.) The acrylic paint is actually a thin coat of plastic so some pens won’t write on it very well but it will protect your page from others (like Sharpies).

The pictures of my completed projects will be included in my “Various Art Mediums in the Inspire Large Print Bible” post which will be up in August (The Inspire Large print is currently due to ship Sept 1st).

Illuminated Journaling Workshop (39)

I’ve talked a lot more about the “art” than “heart” parts of this workshop but if you’ve read very many of my previous posts you know that’s the part I’m more comfortable discussing. One of the key “heart ” parts I would like to share is that there is always room on God’s refrigerator for our work. Jann wanted all of us to remember how proud we felt when our parents (or others) displayed our artwork when we were little. Then remember that as long as we put forth an effort to draw close to him while we worked God is always proud of us and our artwork.

Illuminated Journaling Workshop (40)

Hannah decided to go a different direction with the acrylics than what Jann was demonstrating but I love how her mountain turned out.

The last part of the workshop was Jann demonstrating all the products in GT Luscombe’s Trends Metallics kit. (definitely going on my wish list). We were all given the opportunity to stay and finish any project we wanted.

I met a wonderful group of women at this workshop and look forward to seeing them again when Cedar Springs gets its Journal Together days set up. If you’ve never attended a workshop I recommended trying to find one in your area or at least setting aside a day or two to art journal with others. It will give you a great chance to share tips, triumphs, what not-to-dos, and God with others.

Jann Gray (10)

Randy spent most of the time Hannah and I were at the workshop in Cedar Springs Christian Store (he HAD to spent hours in a Bible bookstore).  Here’s what happens when we leave him to his own devices.


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About The Author

Lucinda Brown

Homemaker, Pastor's Wife, and former homeschooler (my kids graduated). I love to read (especially God's Word) but am a reluctant writer. Besides reading I enjoy cooking, gardening, and a large variety of crafts. I don't consider myself an expert at any craft and am always finding new crafts and art mediums I want to try.

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