When I was studying art in college, I had a professor who taught that being made in the image of God meant that we were made with the ability to create. He taught us that no other creation could think and create the way that God has gifted man to create. I just love the picture of that being an aspect of being created in His image. He gives us the gift of creativity, the ability to build, paint, and invent something new in the world around us. Creativity makes the world so much more beautiful! I love finding bits and pieces of creativity in scripture like this verse.
“You shall speak to all the skillful, whom I have filled with a spirit of skill, that they make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him for my priesthood.”
While giving Moses all the intricate instructions for building the tabernacle, God assigns the skilled to making specific pieces beautiful. Earlier in the chapter, God says the garments are to be made special for beauty and for glory. God didn’t want His people to half heartedly throw things together, He wanted His dwelling place to be beautiful! To do that, He tells Moses to have “the skillful” be in charge of making these clothes, and later more decorations for the tabernacle. It says that the skillful are specifically “filled with a spirit of skill”, or in other translations the “spirit of wisdom”. How cool is that?! God wanted His dwelling place to be PERFECT, so He gave specific skills, even called wisdom, to specific people. He gave them the gift of creativity!!
I don’t know about you, but it’s so easy for me to overlook my own creativity and talent as just a hobby I enjoy. I don’t often think of it as a skill the Lord has given me for a purpose. How much cooler is that, though? To think that God gave me these gifts for a reason! He filled me with the spirit of creativity so that I can make beautiful things. And even better, I can create beautiful things for His glory! If you’ve been reading along with Shanna’s Created to Create devotional this month, you know that that idea is so close to all of our hearts – to use the gifts God has given us to glorify Him, especially using our creativity for Him. Doesn’t that make you just want to paint everything in sight!?
I got the idea to paint a sewing machine in this passage from my sweet friend, Christy. After all, the skillful were called in this passage to sew garments so it just fits perfectly! I get questions a lot about my process of drawing and painting, so here’s a little photo tutorial for you!
My first step is to draw everything out with a pencil. I draw it, and then go over the lines quite a few times until I like it. Especially with my cursive, I find that just drawing over the original lines without erasing helps to get just the write shape. I almost always am looking at some sort of reference photo, so don’t be afraid to look for inspiration! I found a photo go this vintage sewing machine on Pinterest. I got a little excited and forgot to take a photo of just the pencil, but here you can see all my sloppy pencil lines. It’s going to be erased anyhow, so why not make a mess!?
After that, I go over the lines with a pen. The Illustrated Faith pens are so awesome for this! I start with the first outline, and then go over it 3 or 4 times. As you can see, one line gets the picture across, but adding multiple lines help to give it more shape and character!
The next step is to erase those pencil lines. My best advice is to be EXTRA careful. I can’t tell you how many pages I’ve ripped or wrinkled with my over zealous erasing. Hold the page down with one hand, then slide the eraser slowly over the page in one direction.
Then comes my favorite part, the paint! I use Winsor and Newton watercolors, but any set will do. When I want more vibrant colors, I grab my couple dollar set from Michaels. I paint a base, solid layer over all parts of the image. I mixed pink, orange, and a tiny bit of black with tons of water to get that vintage pink color. The cream is just a very watered down brown. The gray is also just very watered down. I love that watercolors are so versatile and flexible to water down and mute!
After it dries – seriously the letting things dry might be the hardest part for me!!! – I like to add some texture. In the corners, I went over the first layer of paint with a less watered down version to give it a little bit more dimension. For the pink, I just used pink and not the mixed version. The cream, I used watered down brown again, but with a little less watering down.
Add a tab or bookmark, stamp it with the date, and look how fun it turns out!!
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