Greetings Beloved Illustrated Faith Tribe!
How often does God ask you to step out of your comfort zone and just try something new?
For years I have used salt with my watercolor art. I had it on my mental “to do” as a tutorial for the Illustrated Faith blog since last year; but frankly, I was afraid to try the technique on the delicate pages of my Journaling Bible. I even had a fellow artist suggest a tutorial on the technique but I brushed it off, “yeah, maybe later.” I simply didn’t want to wreck a page. I didn’t want to take the risk.
But — Here’s what the Lord has been speaking over me — “FEAR” is not from the Lord —- especially fear that your are going to mess something up when one of its major purposes is to grow in Him. The Lord isn’t afraid of me messing up a Bible page. Why am I? The purpose of my Journaling Bible is to spend time listening and learning from my King and that might mean stepping beyond my comfort zone. Trying new things and taking risks, by listening to Him, trusting Him first.
Yep… trying salt in your Bible even… and then writing a tutorial! Gulp!
So thought, what better place to try salt out then in a place where the Lord tells us about the importance of salt? That led me to our focus scripture, Colossians 4:6.
Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
I flipped to the passage; and my heart sank, I had already journaled on the page. And then I felt like God whispered, “look, I gave you the whole page next to it, trust Me!” So I jumped in. Come jump with me!
- Illustrated Faith watercolor brush and watercolors
- Rock sea salt
- Be Bold Bible mat secured with washi tape – this is important to protect the pages behind – we are going to be using LOTS of water
Isn’t the salt pretty? I love using rock salt with my watercolors, it just gets more beautiful each time I use it. You can use regular table salt for this technique but it is harder to remove from your page — especially delicate Bible paper. I strongly suggest using only the larger granules in your Bible.
Next, saturate your page with water in a random pattern.
I started with the darker blue. You want to drop the color in. More on that in this post Watercolor Tutorial | Leaning In – No Beginning and No End.
You can see pools of the concentrated color.
Next I decided to grab my Illustrated Faith Teal and dropped that in.
Last I added a bit more of the colors from my egg palette.
Ready for salt!
Sprinkle the salt on liberally.
It’s like magic watching the watercolors interact with the salt.
You can dry this with your craft heat tool but I prefer to let it dry naturally. This took almost a day and a half to dry in a sunny window.
You will still see the pools around the rock salt even when the water is evaporated. Make sure the whole page is totally dry before the next step!
Sweep the salt GENTLY onto your Bible mat. I just used my fingers.
The mat makes it easy to return the salt to its container. Watercolor rock salt can be used over and over again. The granules are like little jewels that absorb a bit of their journey each time you use them. Love.
I decided to add some white speckles to the page to invoke an ever greater feeling of grains of salt.
I used white gesso because I wanted the medium to be thin, matte, and opaque. I also did not want it to mix with the watercolors. Gesso applied using this method usually remains on top and I wanted it to stand out. You could also use fluid acrylic paint (as long as it isn’t too shiny) or even white watercolors.
Next I grabbed all of my black alphas. I knew I needed a bit more grip to adhere the alphas because using salt leaves a textured surface that wouldn’t really hold stickers. I used a high quality matte medium that I knew would not leave a sheen behind and cause my pages to stick together. I applied a light coat underneath and a light coat on top. The Bella Blvd “BE” is a puffy sticker with strong adhesive so matte medium was not required with those letters. I love combining letter styles and word fetti!
I wanted to add another layer of interest so pulled out my You are Loved clear cuts.
You can’t speak grace without love! Don’t forget to peel the top clear protective coat off before sealing the clear cut down. I used matte medium on the edges and it worked beautifully! I cut out a “&” from the She Blooms collection paper using my Sizzix and prestaged my “seasoned with salt” on a clear piece of packaging.
Adhering down the remaining letters.
A few more stickers!
I also added a tab, an arrow sticker from the Illustrated Faith His Word cardstock sticker sheet, and a fun paperclip I made.
Because the actual scripture is on the opposite page, I wanted to add the chapter and verse information. Books of the Bible Little Bits worked perfectly!
Date stamp. I have been remembering this on almost every entry — who says you can’t teach old ladies new tricks!
Also a warning to those who don’t like bleed through. Because the watercolor is very wet and sits on the page for a longer period of time, you can see a shadow of the colors on the opposite side. I did not prep my page so that might be a solution if this bothers you. As for me, I am ok with a bit of learning spilling over onto the backside.
Lord, let my words be filled with Your grace and seasoned with salt.
Please tag me on Instagram if you try this technique at @designsbyamybruce — I want to know what you think!
It took courage to try salt on fragile Bible paper but I am glad I was brave.
I love the texture and depth.
Most importantly, the technique really resonates with the verse which illuminates truth in my heart — one of the big purposes of creating in my Journaling Bible is to weave truth into my creative soul so I can remember it and live it out.
He doesn’t call us to be afraid but to be BRAVE, sit with Him and learn! He has so much to tell us.
Lots of big squishy hugs,
additional supplies: Bella Blvd Tiny Text – Black | Tim Holtz Alterations Alpha Die Cut | Sea Salt – Large Granules