Art journals, you say? What are they? Glad you asked. An art journal is just a book that includes different types of pages, ideas, and prompts to get you not just writing but being creative and artistic as well. Your quiet time is ideal for focusing on God’s word and what He has said. These art journals can help focus that time even more, on a passage, a word, or an idea. Creating visual images with colored pencils, pen and ink, or markers can help you really zone in on what God is saying to you. Each of these journals are lovely, really beautiful, and they feel comfortable in the hand. They are all very different in content, though, so let’s take a look at each one.
The Illustrated Word: An Illuminated Bible Coloring Journal
The Illustrated Word is a hard-cover journal that is about 6″x9″. There are about 150 pages (unnumbered) that are filled with opportunities – to create, to learn, to write, to copy, to color. The pages of this book are nice and thick, somewhat rough like construction paper.
In the old handwritten Bibles, the scribes would often illuminate the pages. Many examples of this are included in this journal as inspiration, generally one per two-page spread. The pages with these examples are lined. Every few pages, there is a full-page image to color. Many of these are Bible verses but a good number are examples from old manuscripts recreated for you to color. These manuscripts are cited, which also gives a nice historical connotation to the illumination.
This is one I am claiming as my own. It is beautiful and the line drawing recreations of the ancient illustrations are a joy to color and fill in. It allows for meditation and time spent thinking. It will be a wonderful journal to use for sermon note taking each week in worship time. And I will be able to think on the notes over and over as I color in the images.
Faith & Lettering Journal
Focusing on the scripture that tells us that God’s Word does not return void is where this journal had its beginning. Krystal Whitten is a graphic designer and professional letterer. She had combined her faith and lettering to further enhance her own understanding of God’s word. In the introduction to the journal, she talks about how she came to combine faith and meditation time with lettering and journaling. She designed this journal to inspire one to “reignite your devotional time, to imprint Scripture upon your heart, and to help you dig deep into the Word of God through the art of lettering.”
Included in this journal are the basics of hand-lettering, Bible journaling, sermon sketch note-taking, and space to write about using these in your devotion time. Some pages contain a full-page, full-color Bible verse that has been hand-lettered. The pages accompanying those are lined for journaling. There are several scriptures that are lettered in a vertical column for you to see it done, trace it, and then practice it yourself. These are two -page spreads. There are a number of lettering styles that are shown with space to practice. These are done with graph pages so that there is a way to make sure your spacing and sizing stay consistent. There are some other pages for you to do your own work on that are pages with dots in a grid. Many of these have small images of quotes or verses, as well. There are pages to practice flourishes and banners and other things.
This hard cover book is 160 pages (unnumbered) and about 7″x8″. The pages are smooth and thick, making it ideal for a variety of writing tools. The cover is beautifully decorated with different images and words to encourage. It is embossed and contains some beautiful gold accents. There is a pen loop on the spine of the journal to be able to keep a pen or pencil close at hand. This journal would be great for someone new to the idea of hand-lettering for Bible study and figuring out how to get started. It gives some great letter styles and decorative ideas to get someone started. And it is just overall beautiful.
Illuminate Your Story Journal
Once again, this journal has its origins in the illuminated texts of times page. The illuminated pages gave color and beauty and significance to the texts. For someone just starting to learn how to created these lovely illuminated letters, it can be overwhelming. This journal is a great start, though. Illuminate Your Story Journal includes a number of things to help instruct one new to this type of artistic expression.
Inspired by this history of illuminated letters, the journal begins with a written history of them. It talks about the different regions and peoples to use these and gives lovely examples. There is instruction in the process of illuminated letters and then help for creating your own, including a list of suggested supplies. Then the journal really begins, for you start to do your own work.
The journal has step-by-step instructions, both visual and written, to guide you through drawing and creating the entire alphabet in illuminated letters. There are two styles for each letter with steps for creating each. There is a Bible verse or quote to go along with almost every letter. (I did notice K, Q, V, and X did not have one.) Along the way there are also visual and written instructions for creating other flourishes, animals, flowers, and the like. Quite a variety of ideas and inspiration. The pages with the instructions all are on dot grids to help with size and space. The pages with the quotes and verses are lines for written reflection or whatever practice you might desire.
This lovely hardcover journal is about 6″ x 8″. The 160 pages are thick and smooth, allowing for beautiful layers of color and smooth writing. It includes a woven ribbon bookmark sewn into the binding. The blue cloth spine includes a matching pen loop, both of which coordinate lovely with the cover image. The embossed cover is simple yet elegant and there is a keepsakes pocket on the inside of the back cover. And, to keep from losing anything, the book is held closed by an attached elastic band that goes around the whole book. All in all, this will make a lovely gift for one of our girls who enjoys doing hand-lettering but isn’t very far along with the skill yet.
Overall Thoughts –
Y’all, these are all three just lovely art journals. Ellie Claire has created beautiful works of art to help you create your own beautiful works of art. There was another campaign for other Ellie Claire journals and oh how I wish I could have seen those journals since these are so lovely and high quality. (Unfortunately, I didn’t get my name in on that one early enough!) But these, I highly recommend these for anyone in your life starting on the path of hand-lettering or creating Bible artwork, whether they are new to it or looking for new inspiration.