Greetings Illustrated Faith Family!
Oh what a lovely gift it is to come to you with two Advent posts so close together!
Day 15 in the Illustrated Faith Tis the Season devotional does not disappoint. I was so excited to lean into the passage in Revelation. What a beautiful word God has for us. Here’s what stood out to me —
For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult and give Him the glory…
While I was reading the scripture, I couldn’t help thinking of the “Hallelujah” song by Pentatonix. I loved thinking about God being glorified by the broken Hallelujah moments throughout the Bible. The men and women who just gave their all — mistakes included — to the Lord as a humble offering.
I started lifting my heart to our Lord, “for Your glory God, I give You every part of me, every broken part, the things I have done well and the things I have regretted, let it all be for Your glory Lord.”
So how to illustrate?
And I thought — Charlie Brown. Yep. If you don’t know the Charlie Brown Christmas story. Watch it. It’s one of my favorite of all time stories. In fact, I collected the figures so my kids could play with them when they were small. We watched “A Charlie Brown Christmas” every year. My son still sets up the figures on top of my piano. They make me smile so big when I look at them.
I love Charlie Brown’s heart. Nothing ever goes right for him. Yet, he continues pressing on through life. On Christmas eve, he brings a small, pitiful tree to the school play and sets it on the stage. The tree is thin, weak, and sparse. The tree even looses more of its needles as Charlie Brown sets it down. And when he adds an ornament, it bends over in it’s weakness. All the kids laugh at him, except Linus, Charlie Brown’s wise-beyond-years friend. Instead of joining the laughing crowd, Linus wraps his blue blanket around the base of the tree; and wonder of wonders, the tree changes. It stands up taller, it seems to change, light enters its branches, and it becomes beautiful. Everyone is in awe of the miracle and a hush falls over the stage. In this still moment, Linus tells the Christmas story of Jesus. What a picture of redemption friends. Of how His love and grace, make all things beautiful and in the stillness and hush…Jesus comes and redemption reigns.
Let’s journal truth friends.
First, a pencil sketch. I only drew in a few lines for my tree trunk leaving spaces for the branches and wrote out my heart words.
It’s always best to begin with puddles of colors. As described in my https://www.illustratedfaith.com/watercolor-tutorial-leaning-no-beginning-no-end/, I love to use a school whiteboard to mix my colors.
You might notice, I mixed three different colors of green. The beauty of watercolors is their transparent nature. Layering is not as easy on thin Bible paper but it is possible! Layering makes your watercolors dance in happiness and depth.
So let’s start painting our tree branches. “Load up” your brush with the lightest green. When I say “load up your brush”, I mean “load it up” with color. Let your brush be moist (not soaked) with clear water and then roll it in your prepared pools of color. This allows the color to saturate the brush so you can carry lots of color to your page with minimal water. I am painting with #8 round.
Now tap your color into the first layer of your branches. Move slowly, so the color can be released onto the page and apply in a random fashion to the branch area. There is no science to this. Every person will put down color differently, that will make each of our trees unique!
Ooops… I need to erase my lettering at the top so I can fit a star. Be flexible and let the process be organic in nature. Changing plans isn’t a bad thing!
Wonky, simple star added with a #4 round brush.
Next up, the slightly darker bright green. You can use basically the same method of just tapping color down randomly.
And our tree starts to come alive. The last layer will be the dark green. We are going to use the darkest color to create the shape and depth of the tree, so use it sparingly and strategically.
I dried my tree with my Ranger Heat tool before putting my lettering back on the top of the page.
Next up, .65 Illustrated Faith pen over the pencil lines. Check out how I let the letters flow and don’t freak out if I am not following my pencil lines exactly. I also slid my Illustrated Faith calendar behind my cover so I would have a level surface to write on.
Erase those lines and add some flavor to your lettering by thickening the downstrokes of your letters. Again, I use my heat tool when I am finished to seal the ink and make sure nothing smudges.
I wanted this entry to be simple so I grabbed my 1″ punch for the 15th day circle and then I punched my scalloped advent tab.
I looked at the page and I looked at my sparkling white lighted tree in the living room. I have been so overwhelmed this year so I originally told my children, “let’s just do lights this year.”
Well… that didn’t last. Slowly every night I have been pulling boxes out of the garage and adding memory ornaments. Each ornament tells a part of our family story. Yep, this tree needs an ornament. Teal, of course.
Hmmm…. here’s the spot. Stop or go. Add or be done. I decided to keep going and add my scribble black and white lines.
And the ornament needed extra attention and another layer of watercolor.
Our little tree is complete.
Well….maybe some lights. I dotted some bright yellow lights with a yellow gel pen.
I think Charlie Brown would like it.
Have a Merry Christmas my beloved Illustrated Faith Family!
ESV Leather Journaling Bible | Illustrated Faith Bella Blvd Devotional Kit – Tis the Season | Illustrated Faith Bella Blvd CHRISTmas Collection – Greatest Gift | Illustrated Faith Bella Blvd Watercolor Set | Illustrated Faith Bella Blvd Precision Pen – .35 and .65 | Daniel Smith and Sennelier Watercolors | Illustrated Faith Bella Blvd Tape Runner | Illustrated Faith Bella Blvd CHRISTmas Collection – Gift Tags #1401 ( pictured) | 1″ circle punch | Fiskars 1.5″ scalloped circle punch | White board | Ranger Heat Tool | #8 and #4 Princeton Neptune Paint Brushes | Signo White Gel Pen | Glaze Yellow Gel Pen