Greetings Beloved Illustrated Faith Family!
Well, Valentine’s Day has passed. What a complicated day it is!
When I was in my early 20’s, I was a receptionist at an accounting firm. I hated Valentine’s Day because everyone got flowers, candy, even cute stuffed animals delivered. It was my job to sign for the precious gifts and then deliver them to the “loved” recipient. Walking back to my desk, I was always so empty and sad. I knew I had nothing coming to me. I did not have Jesus then. I had no idea how very much I was loved by the King of Kings.
Things are different now. I know a love that is never ending, steadfast, and lavish. A love that doesn’t love in the ways of the world but in a personal, intimate way. It’s the healing love of the Lord Jesus. He loves in ways that I could have never imagined. And nothing I can do will ever separate me from the Love of Jesus.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Lord loves us so much my friends! I read this week that His steadfast love is mentioned 100 times in the Psalms. Not only does He love us abundantly, it is super important to Him that we know how much we are loved. Now, that’s something to sing about!
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
3 Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
5 For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
My heart and message is this: if nothing was delivered to you on Valentine’s Day by the standards of the world, open you hands friends, open your heart, and get ready. I am praying right now that our Lord lavishes you with a love you have never known — so much love that you can’t help but sing!
Let’s journal truth.
I decided to journal in Psalm 100.
I spent last weekend in training and had the opportunity to walk on the beach. There were so many birds — flocks of them — all different kinds, grouped together in the water and on the sand. My favorite birds by far, were these funny little birds with long awkward legs. They didn’t seem to fit in at all but they just kept up, running with the other birds. I thought, yep, God loves birds of all kinds; and there I am — funny and awkward — different — and loved, so loved by my King.
Anyway, I wanted to make a bird you could duplicate.
Did you know can draw almost anything by breaking it down into simple shapes? I gathered a few supplies.
A circle template is helpful but you can also use anything that makes a circle. Some examples would be washi tape or tops from containers and bottles.
I broke the bird down into three circles – the body, the head, and the base of the wing.
I played with the circles until I got the basic shapes I wanted.
After sketching out the legs, beak, tops of the wings and tail, I decided to go back in and make the bird’s belly a bit bigger.
I traced my pencil drawing with a black sharpie.
After making a darker image, I slid the page behind my Bible page and traced it.
Viola! A bird on a page – LOL.
Can you imagine the possible birds you could create just by manipulating the size and placement of the shapes? Ooooohhhh…. I can’t wait to see what you create.
Next up puddles of watercolor. I kept my colors light and watery and my palette limited to my favorite colors in the Illustrated Faith set.
I selected a larger #8 round paint brush. I don’t want my strokes to be precise but more loose.
I stroked down a foundation of clear water inside the bird’s body. Note that I did not fill in the whole body, just light strokes within the body shape. This is where your watercolors will travel when you add color. You can find more examples of this technique here and here.
Next I dropped in the teal color by loading my brush and tapping it down lightly into the path of water.
Now here’s the magic part, drop in some green and watch the colors play together.
Dry the area well with a heat gun or let it dry naturally if you have the patience – hmmm….let’s just say, I use a heat gun.
Next up the wings! Again, lay down your foundation of clear water and then add pink.
More magic, drop in some yellow.
So pretty. Now the beak. Just a bit of clear water and then drop in orange.
Dry well and erase any pencil lines. I use a large paint brush to sweep the eraser shreds away. More on that here. I also scribbled some outlines with my Illustrated Faith precision pen.
Next up, a bit of my own handwriting. I first write in pencil and then go over the pencil lines with my Illustrated Faith precision pen. I decided to add some additional interest by adding another line on the downstroke of each letter. I usually color these areas in with black but I liked them with the blank space.
I also grabbed some of my favorite Illustrated Faith supplies from the You are Loved Collection and added a bit of washi sticker tape and the adorable love, love, love sticker under steadfast instead of writing “love”.
I used an Illustrated Faith paint card to underline the text with colored pencils. I got a little underline happy and went into Psalm 101, all good stuff!
I dug into the You are Loved Collection again for the tab. A bit of washi sticker tape, “I love you more than you’ll ever know”, a tab, and some stickers.
And my page is complete. Don’t you just love the mess that surrounds it. Oh my, all those piles of color and design just makes my heart sing. Yep, He loves me, right smack in the middle of my artsy mess.
And He loves you too — Lavishly and unconditionally friends!
If you make a singing love bird, please tag me on Instagram @designsbyamybruce. I want to see what you create!
So many hugs,