Sunday, August 2

Journaling by Heart: Week 5: Process & Palettes

Welcome back to Journaling by Heart, a free summer workshop for art journaling your faith.
 I’m so glad to be back with you for this week's workshop.

Melissa and I have been SO encouraged by your work, your journeys, your stories.
Truly you bless us by being here, so thank you.

This week I’ll going into more detail about my process of art journaling
& we’ll play with color palettes. Let’s get started.

My Process

Last week I loved Melissa’s description of meditating on God’s Word. I so enjoyed her assignment to carry around a verse and meditate on it. It helped me stay focused and REMEMBER what it is that God is teaching me, instead of being focused on me. 

Today I want to take you through my thought/faith/prayer process so that it {hopefully} might help you on your journey. Our goal in art journaling our faith is to meditate on and interact with God and His Word and to be changed by it. It’s such a personal, individual process, but it’s so encouraging to do together, isn’t it?

In this workshop we want to give you a bunch of tools to pull from as you continue art journaling your own personal faith journey. To do that, I thought I’d share my process:

   1. Read the Bible
               Pray that God would open your heart and mind to what He wants to teach you.
         {But how do you decide what to read?}
         When I am unsure of what to read, there are several things I’ll do.
*** I’ll read and reread and reread a gospel: Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John. My mentor in college taught me to always have a foot in the gospels.  If you haven’t read through those four books I would highly suggest starting there.
As I read I mostly ask, Lord, what does this say? What does this mean? What does this mean for me today?

*** Second, do a topical study by looking up verses with specific words  freedom, love, anger, children, marriage, grace}  to see what the Bible has to say about it. We looked up verses about grace for this workshop and this week’s verse, Galations 5:4 spoke to me.

          *** Third, Psalms and Proverbs are always great wisdom.

          *** I listen to a sermon online or read whatever series my church is going through at the time.           Right  now we’re studying Proverbs and the sermon notes always have extra verses to look up.
          What do you want me to learn?
          What do you want me to do with this?

          2. Meditate on it.
          Think about it, break it down. Ask lots of questions, as Melissa explained last week.
          Sometimes, if I’m really confused I’ll turn to a study Bible or an online commentary. But it’s             also okay to read and be confused, and not know and ask questions. In fact I feel like it’s in all           of my questioning that I find my faith and understanding grow stronger. God is so faithful to             show up.

    3. Choose a verse or phrase
              that speaks to you, that encourages you, or that you feel like God is trying to teach you.

          4. Start journaling.
         I like to start with paint. You can start with your preferred medium.

For this workshop we looked up verses about grace. 
Galations 5:4 spoke to me about me.

You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ;

 you have fallen away from grace.

You have fallen away from grace.
You have fallen away from grace.
You have fallen away from grace. 

Then I read the verse in context:
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let

yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. 

Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

Galations 5: 1-4

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. It’s part of the freedom passage. 

God keeps bringing me back to freedom. 

I instagrammed this in a doodle last spring:

It’s all for freedom. So that I can be free to be all HIS, to do what He is calling me to do, what I was created to do. God is opening my eyes to so many areas that I thought I was free, and I’m not. 

In this verse I’m seeing how clinging to his grace is the only path to freedom. They are connected. Everything is connected.

And then, as I go back and read {I love this} Paul begs us to stand firm. To not let ourselves be burdened. I have to be vigilant and refuse to allow it, like our default mode is to be burdened, and I have to fight to be free. It’s a choice. I have to get to choose grace each day. I get to invite the Holy Spirit into every area of my life, or else I’ll be burdened again.

Lord, I can’t do this. You have to do it for me. Help me cling to your grace through your Holy Spirit. I lay down my running and striving and trying. I lay it at your feet. I don’t want it. I pray that you would lead me and guide me to freedom, only by your Holy Spirit. In Jesus name, Amen!

There’s so much more I could say about the whole process of journaling my faith; how it’s causing me to interact with the scripture and see things I've never seen in a whole new way. I wanted to give you a glimpse of that today. I hope it does the same for you.

Playing with Color Palettes

I was in a rut with color. I found myself drawn to the same colors and same combinations in every single piece. I wanted to get out of my go-tos and explore some new color palettes.

Here is a fun excercise I use to find new, interesting, and different color palletes,
that I wouldn't naturally choose. This is so fun.


index cards

or buy one.
I like this one.

Brushes of various sizes
Small, detail brushes
Various Sizes 

Step 1: Lay out 8 index cards and choose a color.

Any color. 

Step 2: Paint a line of the same color on the top of each index card.

Step 3: Choose 2 more colors.

Paint a line of the first color on the top row.

Paint a line of the second color on the bottom row.

Step 4: Start painting lines to complete your palettes.

Add more...

And more until...

you're done!

* Note: Some have 4 colors and some have 5.

Some felt like they needed another color. You decide!

Step 5: Choose a palette.

Stand back and soak in the color goodness.

Isn't it pretty??? This makes me so happy.

Now, choose a palette you love. It's gonna be tough,
but the cool part is, now you have 7 more palettes to use,
either on another piece, or to cut up and use in your journal.

Step 6: Paint a layer of gesso over your page.

Step 7: Using only the colors from the palette card you chose,
start painting.

Choose one color from the palette you chose.

Paint half of each page OVER THE WET GESSO. 

{Don't let it dry.}

Paint vertical stripes of the remaining colors from your palette on the rest of the page.

Step 8: Doodle your words with white ink.

I like to start with white ink to get an idea of the spacing and composition.

If I mess up, it's easy to paint over.

Add doodles with your white ink.

Step 9: Doodle your words with black ink.

Paint over the white ink with black ink and continue your doodles all over the page.

Your Assignment:

1. Read & choose a verse for your journal.

2. Create lots of color palettes from steps 1-4

3. Choose one color palette that you love and create your verse.

Have fun with this!
I can't wait to see you color palettes.
Join us on Facebook to share your journal.



  1. "It's like our default mode is to be burdened and we have to fight to be free"

    Wow, that is a powerful observation Erin, and I think it's absolutely true. It reminds me of Hebrews 4:11 that says, "Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest...

    The only thing we have to "labor" to do is rest. :) Another of example of how good God is, all He wants us to work at is learning to rest in His finished works. :)

    I love your color exercise!! I can't wait to play with some color palettes today!

    ♥ M~

  2. Hi Erin, I have a question about this week's post? Where do you buy the white speedball ink? I found the black on amazon but can't seem to find white? Leaon

  3. I am so loving following along with this class!! Thank you a million times over for doing this and sharing your secrets and talents! Maybe I missed it, but can you tell us what size/kind of brushes you used for the white lettering and then the black lettering over top of the white? Thank you so much! Cora