Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In – He is The Lifter of Our Heads

journaling Bible Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - He is The Lifter of Our Heads by Amy Bruce

Greetings Beloved Illustrated Faith Family!

I am so tickled to bring you a post featuring the talented Elaine Davis’ Bella Blvd Illustrated Faith Delight in His Day designs!  I love her whimsical, cheerful art and this set is just so fun.

I prayed, “Lord what do You want me to create using these adorable pieces?  What watercolor technique can I encourage others to try?”  My favorite all time sticker in this set is Elaine’s “He lifts me Up” hot air balloon, and I thought it was about time I added one of those cute puffy stickers in my Bible.  So I started there.  An image of transparent textured blocks came to mind, and I thought of what I often teach in my yoga classes about the Lord being the lifter of our heads.  I got out all of my supplies, grabbed my journaling Bible, and started creating.

I love how God can make all sorts of jumping off places when He wants to speak to us.  We might start with something simple, like a cuter than cute puffy hot air balloon, or we might start with a verse, a sermon, a devotional.  The important thing is when He gives us a cue, jump in, yes, jump into His Word.  Bring out all your supplies and let Him teach you through creating.

So here we go friends!

Let’s journal truth.

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I started with my watercolors and turned to Psalm 3:3

But You, Oh Lord, are a shield about me,

my glory and the lifter of my head.

I am using a 3/4″ flat wash brush and puddles of very concentrated color.journaling Bible Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - He is The Lifter of Our Heads by Amy Bruce

We are going to explore a technique called glazing.   Glazing involves applying one color over another.  The transparency of watercolors allows you to see “through” the layers and adjusts the tone and color with each layer.  It is an amazing technique, especially on watercolor paper and is used by many watercolor artists to add depth and dynamic color to their pieces.  I used a similar technique here https://www.illustratedfaith.com/watercolor-tutorial-leaning-one-little-word-2017/ to create lettering.

We begin with the first color.  I am using the Illustrated Faith Bible Mat to give myself a smooth surface and keep any watercolor from transferring to pages behind my entry.

journaling Bible Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - He is The Lifter of Our Heads by Amy Bruce

The flat shape of the brush allows me to make almost perfect rectangles with nice clear edges.  Make sure to dry each layer completely before overlapping.

journaling Bible Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - He is The Lifter of Our Heads by Amy Bruce

Next color, a corally pink.

By the way you can see the corner of a large Strongs Concordance in the picture.  I often use these pages to try techniques or brush strokes before heading to my Bible Journal.  The paper is similar and since I am using watercolors, you can still read everything and look up stuff.  One day, when a grandchild of mine pulls this big book off the shelf, he or she will find a happy surprise of Grandma’s colorful strokes.

journaling Bible Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - He is The Lifter of Our Heads by Amy Bruce

Last color, Illustrated Faith pink.

journaling Bible Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - He is The Lifter of Our Heads by Amy Bruce

A good dry with my Ranger Heat gun.

journaling Bible Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - He is The Lifter of Our Heads by Amy Bruce

I went over some of the blocks lightly again to saturate the colors.  You need to be careful doing this because any liquid will reactivate the watercolors and they might blend — this is a real danger, especially on thin Bible paper.  I took the risk because, well… saturated color is my thing.  In Heaven, I am sure all the colors are going to just pop.

journaling Bible Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - He is The Lifter of Our Heads by Amy Bruce

This beautiful collage of shapes could remain just as is but I wanted to add another layer of depth so I grabbed my Uni-ball Signo white gel pen.

journaling Bible Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - He is The Lifter of Our Heads by Amy Bruce

I made some shapes recede and some pop forward just by where I chose to add texture.

journaling Bible Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - He is The Lifter of Our Heads by Amy Bruce

I found these pens work best when the pen is vertical and your touch is light.  Hard for this girl who holds pens and paint brushes at an angle but the clear white lines are so, well, worth it.

journaling Bible Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - He is The Lifter of Our Heads by Amy Bruce

Now comes the fun part.  Dumping out Elaine’s design goodness and playing with paper pieces.

journaling Bible Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - He is The Lifter of Our Heads by Amy Bruce

I knew I wanted to use the puffy hot air balloon so I started arranging around that.  I punched a scalloped tab out of her fun candy paper.

journaling Bible Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - He is The Lifter of Our Heads by Amy Bruce

And I can’t have a page devoted to this without one of my ALL time favorite washi tapes.

journaling Bible Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - He is The Lifter of Our Heads by Amy Bruce

I used a paint card and Illustrated Faith pen to underline the text and added the small detail of coloring the little hearts on each end of my underline with a pink gel pen.

journaling Bible Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - He is The Lifter of Our Heads by Amy Bruce

After I glued everything down, I was so happy.  That’s what Elaine’s designs do to my heart.

I decided I wanted to add some lettering with one of the verbal cues I give in class to help people remember He is the lifter of our heads.  I grabbed Bella Blvd’s Wonky Alpha Puffy Stickers and Illustrated Faith’s Typed Hey Sugar Sugar white alphas.

When we check the alignment of our necks and face during class, I will say, “let’s get out our God hands” and we use our hands to simulate Him holding our heads and lifting our faces.

journaling Bible Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - He is The Lifter of Our Heads by Amy Bruce

I also could not resist adding a sticker beneath “believe” from the basics collection.  It is really His unconditional love that lifts our heads.  We are His because of His great love.   Doesn’t matter what we do.  He is always the Good Father.  We will never be perfect children, but we belong to a perfect Father.

I think of a small child, tears streaming down his or her face, head cast down because he or she is ashamed of something they have done.  They can’t make eye contact with you because they feel so much shame.  They stand legs locked straight, back bended low, tears dropping to the ground, eyes staring at a speck on the floor.    But what does a good mama do?  We lift their little heads with our finger or cup their faces in our hands, look them in the eye, let them confess, and then speak over them.  We restore them just by locking eyes with theirs, letting them know we still love them and that connection of love is not broken because of some broken plate or stolen cookie.

journaling Bible Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - He is The Lifter of Our Heads by Amy Bruce

I think is the same with our Father.

Yep, even at age 51 when we mess up.  All we have to do is run to Him and bring our sadness over whatever we may have done.     We can be assured, He will cover us with His forgiveness and grace.   Then, if we let Him, He will place His loving touch under our chin and lift our face, so we KNOW, we are forgiven, restored, and securely His.  He is indeed the lifter of our heads.

journaling Bible Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - He is The Lifter of Our Heads by Amy Bruce
A bit of messy scribbles around Believe and hands and my journal entry is complete.

journaling Bible Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In - He is The Lifter of Our Heads by Amy Bruce

I am praying right now that if there is some hidden shame that is keeping you from running to the Father, don’t waste any time, run…run…cry cleansing tears and confess — accept His forgiveness and then let Him lift your chin, feel His eyes locking on yours, you are His.

You are loved.

Hugs,

amy bruce

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Princeton Select 3/4″ Flat Wash Brush | Derwent Eraser PenWhite board | Ranger Heat Tool

4 Comments
  1. Profile photo of Amy Edwards Doggett
    Amy Edwards Doggett 5 days ago

    Love your page, Amy!! Especially the watercolor technique! I’m going to try that soon! Thanks for sharing (your art and your message)! I also wanted to say I was surprised to hear you are 51! Sometimes at the age of 44 I worry I’ve missed so much time (I’m sorta new to art and bible journaling) and it’s too late to start something new or have big dreams, but I’m encouraged by your art (I follow you on IG) and the fact that you teach yoga!

    • Profile photo of Amy Bruce Author
      Amy Bruce 5 days ago

      Sweet Amy – Never too late for Jesus to do a new thing! I am so glad my post encouraged your heart sister! I am praying right now that the Lord opens your eyes to all He has for you! So many blessings and hugs, amy

  2. Profile photo of Andrea Walford
    Andrea Walford 5 days ago

    What an incredible page. So bright, bold, vibrant, and FUN! What a great way to celebrate our faith. Seeing your page evolve through to the end just made my heart happy. Thank you for blessing me with your art.

  3. Profile photo of Kristin
    Kristin 4 days ago

    What a beautiful technique/page/message! Thank you for sharing! I love the details with the white gel pen. Do you think that would work on a thin layer of acrylic paint, too?

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