To Prep or Not to Prep?
I bet you are wondering why the heck you even need to prep your bible pages in the first place! (Or maybe you don’t even know what that means!) Well, I can assure you, there are many benefits to taking that extra 2 minutes and prepping your pages! Not only will I tell you about some of them, but I am going to show you as well!.
Before we start, what exactly IS “prepping a bible page?”
Prepping your bible pages means that before you start creating, you add a protective clear coat to the entire page (or area where you will be working). Common prepping products are, Gesso and gel matte medium. I personally like to use ART BASIC GESSO. Some people would rather skip this step because it takes a few extra minutes and you have to wait for it to dry, but there are ways to make the process a bit quicker and like I said, I am going to show you why it is worth it!
5 Reasons Why You should Prep Your Bible Pages BEFORE you being Creating
- Avoid Bleed Through
This one is obvious. I learned this one the hard way. In my early days, I made this mistake too. More than once. While studying a passage of scripture, even planned out my entry, I’d get all the way to the point where I was ready to get to work, open my bible only to find… BLEED THROUGH!
What is bleed through? Bleed through is when a medium like; pens, markers, and paints leak through the backside of your Bible page. This is a perfect example of why you should PREP YOUR PAGES!
Prepping your pages, creates a solid layer that protects your page. For each layer of gesso, you create a barrier between your art medium (pen, marker, paint, etc) and your delicate bible page. The medium will sit on top of the gesso and you won’t see any bleed through behind the page.
One thing to note, different mediums require a different number of layers of gesso. To find out more about gesso is and the best ways to use it, CLICK HERE.
- Minimize Shadowing
Shadowing is similar to bleed through, but instead of actually leaking through the page, Shadowing creates a shadow on the other side of your page. If you have a completed a journal page, look at the other side, you will more than likely see a silhouette of your creation. This, like the previous issue, can be avoided by prepping your page. You will then be free to create on the opposite side of your page as well. 🙂
3. Present A Suitable Surface For Your Art Supplies
Bible pages are very delicate, therefore, you want to be as gentle as possible with them. This means protecting them from your art supplies as well. By prepping your pages, you are creating a protective barrier that is essentially mimicking an artist’s canvas.
Prepping your pages not only keeps your “wet” mediums from leaking through your pages, and minimizes shadowing, but now you have a good surface that is ready for you to begin to unleash your creativity!
I should mention, you don’t always have to prep your pages. Mediums like colored pencils, that don’t leak through, don’t require any page prep.
- Prepping Will Strengthen Your Bible Pages
The more you prep your surface the stronger your page will be. The Bible page will become thicker, have more texture and will be able to with stand any art medium you use. You still want to be gentle as you produce your masterpiece, but you will certainly have more durability than if your page wasn’t prepped.
5. You will Relax and Be More Confident
The first time I had shadowing was an awful experience. I thought I have just ruined my Bible. The second time, after I braved up and gave it a try again, I had bleed through and wanted to cry. I didn’t pick up my Bible for a long time after that, in fear that I would continue to ruin it.
Learning how to prep my pages has calmed my anxieties and helped me enjoy my time with God much more. I feel more relaxed and have developed a stronger confidence while I’m creating.
Trust, me, I understand your hesitation to prep your pages. There used to be times when I would just get in a hurry or I would get an idea and just go with it. But, now I have learned to take the extra time and prep my page.
It’s so very important to remember WHY you are doing this. It’s all about spending time with God. Bible journaling is a means of worship to God. If it is a stressful process for you, then it isn’t worship. Prepping your pages helps you to create a peaceful environment for you to find rest in your time spent with God.
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I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13