When I was growing up, my grandmother had a beautiful family Bible with gold leaf on the pages, illuminated letters inside, and beautiful paintings throughout. Since I couldn't find a family Bible comparable to the one that my grandmother had, I started playing around with journaling in my own Bible in the hopes of creating something my family will treasure. There's something really soothing about interpreting what Scriptures mean to you by creating your own art and I hope that one day my descendants will look upon that Bible in the same way I use to look at my own grandmother's Bible.
However, I always get disappointed when I try to attempt lettering or any types of embellishments because I'll be honest, I haven't the first idea what to do. Because of this, when I was given the opportunity to review three beautiful art journals from Ellie Claire, I was pretty excited.
The Illustrated Word: An Illuminated Bible Coloring Journal
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2Seb7os
I'll start with my favorite of the three to begin with. This first journal is 9 1/4 x 7 1/4 inches and approximately 160 pages in length. The beautiful cover is soft to the touch with recessed artwork and gold accents while the pages are heavy weight paper ready for a wide variety of coloring media, from markers, pencils and even water colors.
This journal is beautifully illustrated with more than 40 line drawings of artwork found on ancient manuscripts as well as inserts showing the original artwork. A notation at the bottom of the pages lets one know where the artwork can be found, such as The Church of England Book of Common Prayers. This journal is a nice cross between a journal and an adult coloring book. The lined pages are perfect for writing down thoughts, prayer lists, or devotions.
Even with cheap colored pencils, I was easily able to achieve beautiful colors from the high quality pages. The details are enough that one picture can provide many hours of relaxation without feeling overwhelmed.
Faith & Lettering Journal
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2KE25i7
The second journal I received was the Faith & Lettering Journal. This journal is the same size as the Illustrated Word journal, measuring 9 1/4 x 7 1/4 inches and approximately 160 pages in length. This particular journal offers guides and tutorials to practice free hand lettering, journaling, and creative artwork before trying them in your journaling Bible. The cloth binding allows for the journal to lay completely flat.
Beautifully illustrated colored pages offer an inspirational platform for your own artwork, while the lined pages give a place to practice how to take sermon sketch note-taking or to reflect on your walk with God and how journaling has strengthened your faith.
This journal also features an elastic strap on the spine, allowing for a convenient place to keep a pencil or other writing utensil.
Illuminate Your Story Journal
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2SinZu2
The smaller of the three journals, Illuminate Your Story offers an introduction to Illuminated letters and the various styles used by Monks throughout history. The cover features the same soft touch material with recessed lettering and gold accent. This book also features an elastic band to hold a writing instrument as well as a elastic band to keep the journal closed and an attached ribbon bookmark. The fabric spine allows for the journal to lay flat. This journal is 8 1/4 x 6 1/4 inches and contains roughly 160 pages.
This particular journal walks you through creating your own illuminated style lettering. Each letter is given step by step visual suggestions along with spaces to practice your own letters in two different lettering styles. These pages offer drawing guides as well as grid background to make practicing simple. Other pages offer instruction of how to draw various flourishes such as birds, flowers, and Celtic knots.
My own personal attempt at creating an Illuminated letter A.
In addition to the guided practice pages, there are plenty of lined pages for journaling. Each of these pages highlight a prayer, devotion or scripture to offer encouragement or to help bring your mind closer to God before taking pen to paper.
Finally this journal includes a pocket in the back for keeping small keepsakes. Whether you include worship guides, postcards, letters or even artwork that you might want to try later, this addition can accordion outward to hold a descent amount of materials.
My Final Opinion
However, since each of these journals offer a different technique, each of which I would love to master myself to use with my own journaling, I have opted to keep all three for myself.
However, I have decided to order a second copy of the Faith & Lettering Journal to give to my oldest daughter as a Christmas present.
Any of these journals would make for a great gift for the journaling lover in your life.