Friday, December 29, 2017

Studying Scripture: The Best Pens For The Catholic Journaling Bible



It's here! It's here! A Catholic Journaling Bible is finally available! From Blessed is She and Our Sunday Visitor, it features the NAB translation, complete footnotes, and wide margins for notes, prayer, and art.  It also has a beautiful handlettered verse in each book of the Bible from Be A Heart Design.  I've written before here and here about my desire for a Catholic Journaling Bible and how I used my current study Bible, so you probably won't be surprised to hear that I preordered this gorgeous Bible the day it was available.  It came a little early, so I've been spending part of my Christmas Break days enjoying, reading, and doodling (and experimenting a little).

I've been posting some of my margin doodles on Instagram and have gotten LOTS of comments and messages about the pens I've been using.  Pens and Bibles happen to be two of my favorite topics, so I am happy to pull together some info about the pens I liked (and didn't like) in this particular Bible.

(FYI- the links below are Amazon Affiliate links. That means that if you click through and purchase something, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.)

I tested these pens specifically in The Catholic Journaling Bible, but most of these recommendations would hold true in other Bibles as well.  I believe that Sacred Scripture deserves our utmost respect, but that shouldn't stop us from underlining, highlighting, writing quotes, prayers, and favorite verses- basically making our Bibles loved and used and ours and a conversation with our Creator.  If you are nervous about writing in your Bible, here are a few thoughts:

-If it is about your writing, remember that your handwriting is part of you.  God doesn't care what it looks like.  He wants you to spend time with Him and love His Word.  If you want to use your Bible as encouragement to embrace your handwriting as well as try some new lettering techniques, you might like this little workbook I have. 
-If you are not artsy, use the space to add notes, prayers, and quotes related to that Scripture.
-You also can start by printing out the verses you want to letter using a font you like and trace or transfer it.  You can see one idea for that in this post
-Another idea is to add art/doodling/holy cards in with washi tape so you are not writing on the actual pages of the Bible.  Find what works for you and your study & prayer.

I started with quite a variety of pens, both what I already had and also with many new pens I received as Christmas gifts.   I tested them with quick doodles on inconspicuous pages, knowing that I would rather have a mistake there than within the Books of Scripture.  I looked for bleeding, ghosting, and smearing.  The pages of this Bible are very thin, so even the print itself "ghosts" (can be seen through the page.)  If you want nothing to show through from page to page, you will either need to stick with light pencil or apply a layer of gesso or white paint before writing (maybe I'll do a follow up post on more techniques like that).


General Supplies I love for working in my Bible:
-These colored pencils (supplemented with a few Crayola colors)
-This pencil sharpener (sharpens both large and small colored pencils)
-These pencils (the only kind worth having!)
-This little ruler
-This eraser
-Washi Tape like this
-Vellum like this or this or this

Pens:
I thought I'd show you the writing samples with each pen (and a few pencils) as well as the back of the page so you can see the potential ghosting and bleeding.

Staedler and Crayola Colored Pencils
Bleeding- No
Ghosting- Minimal
Smearing- No
Dent Into Page- Yes (the Staedler pencils have wider, soft lead that does not dent as badly)
Smooth Writing- OK
*I used colored pencils to color code my study Bible for the good reason that they don't ghost, fade, or bleed.  They are probably the best option for adding color to Bible Pages.

Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens
Bleeding- Yes
Ghosting- Yes
Smearing- None
Dent Into Page- No
Smooth Writing- Yes
*So fun to write with, probably not the best option to writing directly on Bible pages.

Sakura Micron Pigma Pens (Various Sizes)
Bleeding- No
Ghosting- Yes
Smearing- A little
Dent Into Page- No
Smooth Writing- Yes
*Micron pens remain my favorite for all things lettering!


Sakura Micron Graphic 1
Bleeding- No
Ghosting- Yes
Smearing- A little
Dent Into Page- No
Smooth Writing- Yes
*Micron pens remain my favorite for all things lettering!  However, this Graphic Pen is super bold, leading to most ghosting.



Pilot G2 07 Gel Rollerball Pen
Bleeding- No
Ghosting- Yes
Smearing- Yes
Dent Into Page- A little
Smooth Writing- Yes
*While these are sooo smooth to write with, and super affordable, they do smear easily.  You have to be careful while working or when erasing pencil guide marks, even after dry time.


My Life Unit Fine Line Drawing Pens (10 colors)
Bleeding- Yes
Ghosting- Yes
Smearing- Minimal
Dent Into Page- No
Smooth Writing- Yes
*These pretty colored pens were a Christmas gift, and unfortunately they majorly bled through the page and even onto the next.  They'll have to be saved for things not directly written on the Bible pages.


Stabilo Point 88 Fine Drawing Pens
Bleeding- Yes
Ghosting- Yes
Smearing- Minimal
Dent Into Page- No
Smooth Writing- Yes
*I love my Stabilos, but they are not great directly on Bible pages either.


Pentalic Illustration Pen (Various Sizes)
and Sharpie Pens
Bleeding- No
Ghosting- Yes
Smearing- Minimal
Dent Into Page- No
Smooth Writing- Yes
*These two have gotten a lot of use so far in my Bible.  Sharpie pens are a more affordable (and easier to find) option to some of the other drawing pens, and they perform well.  (Unlike their permanent marker siblings, which bleed and are not acid free.  Make sure you are using Sharpie pens and not fine line Sharpie permanent markers.)


PaperMate InkJoy Ballpoint Point
Bleeding- No
Ghosting- Minimal
Smearing- No
Dent Into Page- Yes
Smooth Writing- OK
*Ball point pens run the risk of bleeding over time- I've had this happen before in other Bibles.


There's my list so far!  I'm sure I'll find more pens to try.  Next up, I want to try stamping and watercolors.  What are your favorite art materials to use in your Bible?


You might like these other posts:
Color & Creativity in the Journaling Bible
Tips, Tools, and Ideas for Personal Bible Study
Adding Art to a Non-Journaling Bible
Sunday Readings Scripture Doodles 2015-2016
Sunday Readings Scripture Doodles 2016-2017


5 comments:

  1. Thank you for your detailed description of the tools you use for Bible Journaling. I'm guessing that the sample pages are from the new Catholic Journaling Bible. I've always wanted to begin journaling but, unfortunately, have that queazy feeling that one is not supposed to write in the Holy Bible. I can definitely see how journaling would definitely bring one closer to God, though. Hopefully, I can get passed this and enjoy meditating on God's Word by including my own thoughts and drawings. - Laura G.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Laura! Yes, the sample pages above are all from the new Blessed is She Journaling Bible. I totally understand about having a hard time writing in Scripture. As I wrote above, I believe that Scripture should be treated with reverence and respect, but I think that using a Bible to underline, highlight, and write in the margins can be a great way to pray and study. I personally am not a fan of art in Bibles that obscures reading all of the text. Using the margins, post its or taping in flaps has been my route.
      A couple of suggestions- maybe have one Bible that is nicer and kept in an honored place at home and is just for reading/praying, and then maybe use another (maybe smaller/less expensive) Bible to use for study. Then highlight, add post its, tape in holy cards or flaps with art or notes in the study Bible. Another option would be to leave your Bible as is, but have a special designated journal that is only for art and notes about Scripture. You could label each page with the passage you were meditating on and then do whatever you please, and your Bible will be free of marks. You could add a little post it tab to your Bible to let you know you have a matching journal page. :)

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  2. Hi Katie,
    I never could get the Prayer Card Collection is there anyway you can email it to me. Please advise....
    And just want you to know I enjoy all of the resources that you share with us.
    Blessings!!!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ana! Send me an email at looktohimandberadiant (at) gmail (dot) com and we'll get you set up!

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  3. Thank you for sharing these! I love journaling in my Catholic journaling Bible and I’m always looking for new resources!

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