Mark 2:17


Jesus is calling to us here and I kept it simple:  Just a talk bubble with Jesus’ words and the sun/the light of the world to represent His presence.

  1.  Start by drawing the talk bubble shape…just a big lumpy circle, but instead of closing it you bring it down to create the tail.
  2. I used the two edges of the tail to then draw a frame around the piece to contain the sky.
  3. Add a few shapes of clouds in the background.
  4. Draw the sun in the corner, starting with a circle, then the points, and last the spirals on the tips.
  5. Add the words of the verse in the talk bubble.
  6. And color.

Come to Me and Rest


I was in Atlanta visiting Leslie when I drew this one.  In Chicago it was still winter and snow–but large flocks of birds were starting to migrate back north.  In Atlanta, it was warm and sunny, all the dogwoods were in bloom.  The two images in my mind merged–I thought of all of those little birds needing to rest after their long trips–their very instinct is to trust God and do what He created them to do.

  1.  Start with the tree.  I draw the trunk shape first, a rectangle/cylinder shape and then start added branches from the bottom up.  Draw lightly so you can go back and make the sticks thicker.
  2. Add little leaves, bird shapes and circles for flowers.  The birds can be just a little oval shape with a beak.
  3. Draw a pointy line along the bottom for new grass poking up.
  4. In the top right corner I added a circle for the bright sunshine.
  5. Use curling, almost cursive letters to add in the Bible verse.
  6. Add color.

Mary Chose the Good Part


 I am going to be honest, I struggled illustrating this verse.  I tried drawing Jesus and Mary, but just couldn’t fit them in the space the way I wanted.  In the end I decided to draw spirals with some hidden meanings.  The orange one is Jesus.  The large blue one is Mary, and the others are us when we draw close to Him.  And then I added details of dots to add to the overall drawing.

  1.  Start with the biggest spiral on the left side of the paper.  It is a lot like a super scrolly question mark.
  2. Draw the circles at the bend of the spiral.  And under that start the blue scroll.
  3. From there add more scrolls that fill the bottom of the page.  Add little circles.
  4. Write in the Bible verse, using capital letters to emphasize key words.
  5. Add color.

Shake Yourself and Arise Art Tutorial Lesson

Shake Yourself and Arise

Leslie knew exactly what she wanted for this art piece.  I was leery—I don’t draw animals very often!  But I do draw motion!  And drawing this lion in action made the piece easy.  I have included step by step very detailed directions on how to draw the lion.   Painting is very straight forward, nothing exciting this time since the drawing itself takes center stage.  Here is the finished piece:

lion s

And following are my tracings and notes to walk you through the process.

No worries!  You will do great!

And here is how you draw him:





Go and Sin no More Art Directions

Go and Sin No More Tutorial


For me, the visual that stuck out in this story was of Jesus bending down to write in the sand with all the rocks piled around Him that no one could throw.  Not one of those people could throw a stone.  And then to be that woman—she had probably been hiding her eyes and looking down most of the time.  Her eyes would have been wide with fright, and then to see those words and the stones.  Wow.  So that is what I drew.


Really for such a powerful image, it is extremely simple to recreate.

  1. Draw the lumpy circle shapes starting in the bottom left corner and arcing up to the top right corner.  Add little pebbles in between.
  2. Along that art write the first part of the verse. Then in the center of the art you created write in bubble letters go and sin no more.
  3. Adding color: I used watercolors I started with the sand by adding browns and yellows.  You can do this one of two ways:  I just used a juicy brush on dry paper and let the two colors bleed together, but let the brush strokes stay. Or you can LIGHTLY wet the entire background and then add the browns and yellows with a juicy brush, let them mix more, and no brushstrokes.
  4. When it dried I went in and added darker brown and a more golden yellow in a few places to deepen the color.
  5. The rocks: I added blobs of greens—let that dry, added purple—let that dry—then blue, and finally the same with a very light grey.  Letting them dry keeps them from creating weird colors by mixing and kept them vibrant on the sand.
  6. Outline all the words and shapes with black marker or pen.
  7. I used colored pencil to go in and highlight with scribbles in a few places to make the colors stand out even more.

These are some hand-drawn notes to help:



New Beginnings Art directions

New Beginnings

When Leslie decided to name this study new beginnings, I was also in the middle of a plant unit with my homeschooled 7th grader.  So my brain spun to vines and leaves and new plants sprouting forth.  In my imagination I could see the new plant in the early morning dawn light pushing up through the garden dirt and turning toward the sun.

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  1. I created this with watercolor.  I wet the entire piece of paper (to the point of being shiny, but no puddles) and then pooled the different colors on the page letting them bleed together a bit in a few places.  Use mostly yellow, then a bit of orange, pink or very watered down red, and then just a bit of purple.
  2. When that was dry I penciled in the vines, leaves, and the words. You can write new beginnings or you may choose to put in a word for the year to direct you.
  3. You will see the directions on how to draw below:
  4. Scan-010

The vine is just simple curved lines that end in a circle.

The leaves are fairly simple shapes, some with pointed tips, some rounded.  I then filled them with a variety of lines, shell patterns, or circles.


  1. After they were drawn in I used a variety of green colors to fill them in.  Try mixing 3 different shades of green by adding blue or yellow or red.
  2. When that was dry I went over the entire design with black marker.
  3. Finally I used colored pencil to mae scribbles in the background-covering each area with a like color (pink on pink, yellows on yellow, etc.)

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How to Use Acrylics and Gesso in Bible Journaling

Here it is!  A video tutorial of how to use acrylics and gesso directly in your Bible!

(scroll to the bottom to find it)

It took me awhile to get over my nervousness–I can see why so many of you get jittery to paint in your Bibles!  I enjoyed it, I liked the look of it, and I think if I had a specific journaling Bible I would do it more.  But…I really love my sketchbook journals with LOTS of space.  That being said, I am SO glad that I tried this and stepped out of my comfort zone a little.

I used two amazing products that made a HUGE difference I think:


This fabulous set of acrylic paints available on Amazon.  (Available here:

They were super buttery, bright, vibrant colors with just the right mix of opaque/yet transparency.   And people!  They are on SALE right now!  At $2o bucks!  WHAT??!!  That is less than a dollar a tube!  Even at $35, the regular price, these are worth the money.

Heather Blair from our group is behind the Christian company that offers these paints, and she sent me a set to try out.  I have painted with a lot of different acrylics over the years and these really were that good.  I am going to need another set and I am recommending them to my classes.  She uses them herself and with her kids.

(I did not receive any other compensation for this recommendation and my opinions are my own.)


The other product is Art Basics Clear Gesso.

Prima Marketing Art Basics Gesso, 8.5-Ounce, Clear

I bought this on my own.  I did A LOT of research on other blogs and videos to come up with this brand, and it was WORTH it.  I would recommend using this under anything in your Bible to avoid bleed through.  I used acrylics, watercolors, colored pencils (Prismacolor), markers, and gelatos and I liked the way all of them turned out on this surface, and nothing bled through.  NOTHING.  Rebekah Jones was right!  (You can search her blog here for more tutorials and challenges. )

So with out further ado, here is our Bible Stories from the Heart video of how to use the above two products!  You can subscribe to our new channel too!   Happy painting for Christ!

Romans 8:28 Art Tutorial: Plus Tip-ins!


JOIN US ON FACEBOOK for weekly art tutorials, Christian devotions, and free coloring pages!!!

Downloadable PDF coloring page:  work together coloring

There is a lot of information in the videos today–and it explains a lot of the symbolism in this piece as well.  Click HERE (Part 1) and HERE (Part 2) to go to the You Tube videos.  And at the bottom of this post you will find a tutorial for creating tip-ins  with coloring pages and more in your Bible.

But for those of  you just reading:

  1.  It started with a drawing of a little kid’s paper weaving.  I often just sketch random ideas from Pinterest and then wait for the right verse to match up.  This verse reminded me of how individual pieces are not nearly as effective as when we work together as a whole.
  2. weaving outline  Start by drawing all of the horizontal lines (about 10).  Connect them on the ends with funny little lines that make arrows or slants that make them look like the strips.
  3. Add 4 rectangles to the top and the bottom of the horizontal rectangles to create the vertical strips.
  4. Now ****start on the strip on the farthest left.  Skip the first horiztontal strip and add vertical lines that line up with the rectangle you drew at the top to make it look like a continuation of that vertical piece.  Skip every other horizontal piece to continue making it look like it is woven.  Continue for each vertical rectangle.
  5. The colors:  The blue is God in the background and the vertical strips holding it all together.  And then there is a blue horizontal strip that represents Jesus coming to Earth as a man.
  6. Here are two photos of the beginning of the process:

weavving blue paint

4. After applying all of the blue, I painted in the horizontal strips.  I chose rainbow so the colors could melt into each other and make new colors and to represent the uniqueness of each person and the need for differences.

5.  When the painting was complete and dry, I filled in the outlines, and then wrote the verse.

I also wanted to show how to create a tip-in with coloring pages or whatever paper you like.  This is a super easy process!  And this verse ended up being a perfect example of why tip-ins can be a great addition to your Bible.  (See photos below the instructions.)

  1. Start with a 5×7 print of the coloring page version of the artwork.
  2. Use colored pencils to fill it in.  Always outline the shape and then fill in with strokes going the same direction when coloring in.
  3. Cut the paper down to size and use washi tape (just because it is fun) to tape it to the margin of your Bible where the verse is located.
  4. Turn the paper in so it is face flat on the text and you can see the back.  Add more tape to the other side to the edge of the page.  This will help secure it and creates a strong hinge so you can fold it back and forth.

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On this same page of my Bible is another favorite verse that I illustrated a few weeks ago that I wanted to include here as well.  So I added a second tip-in.

5.  I printed off this illustration and used another color washi tape to attach it to the bottom margin of my Bible page. You could also just create an artwork on a smaller piece of paper.

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Here you can see both tip ins added to my Bible:  picture 1:  each folded out, picture 2 the bottom folded in and side out and photo 3 is how you can see the text still.

I was able to illustrate two different verses on the same page, but still keep them in their context.  This is a great way to add other notes, photos, pictures, doodles, whatever to personalize your Bible, your relationship, and worship time with Christ even more!  This is also a great solution for those of you who can’t afford or find a journaling Bible right now, are concerned about covering text but want your art next to the verses, are concerned about mistakes, or don’t want to mess with a separate book.

I hope you try a tip-in this week!  I can’t wait to see your photos on the Facebook group!

***Shameless plug…I sell prints of many of my Bible verse artworks in my Etsy shop.  You can find the link to it on my blog, along with a lot more artwork, at  They are great for framing, greeting cards, memorizing scripture, or can be used as tip-ins and book marks.  You should check it out.  🙂  I will also be releasing information about my 2016 calendar soon.


Art Inspired Exodus Study Launching Monday, Oct. 5th!!!!

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Join us Monday, October 5th for our new FUN, art inspired Christian Bible Study on the book of Exodus!

Join our on-line Facebook Group TODAY:

This Bible study is like none you have ever done before!

We will not only study God’s Word each week, but we will also create beautiful art to accompany each lesson.

We will even show you how to create  FAITH JOURNALS

(which are kind of scrapbooks for FAITH)


YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE AN ARTIST TO ENJOY THIS STUDY. You will be given  the option to create using and art medium you choose, EVEN CRAYONS!!  We will post an art tutorial each week that involves watercolor paint, and we will also post a FREE coloring page for those who choose to color!!

Interacting with the Word of God through art enables your faith to grow so much deeper.

Slowing down to “CREATE” as you study  gives you time to both reflect and hear from God 🙂

We live in such a fast paced world, art can help us retrain our minds and bodies to slow down and SAVOR The wonderful Word of God.

Will you join us??

Our Exodus workbooks (with ALL art tutorials and lessons) are now available on etsy:

Order yours today!!!!  🙂

Art Tutorial: Matthew 19:26 All Things Are Possible for God

Join us for FREE art tutorials and coloring pages posted weekly 🙂

This  verse is so wonderful, so encouraging, just ….so.  I love that we can apply it in many ways, but when we look at it in direct context it has the most power of all–it shows just how connected we are to our God, it shows just how much He loves us.

I use the Oxford Annotated New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.  I got it 20 years ago as the required version for a history of the Bible course and intro to the Bible in college.  And I have used it ever since.  I do reference other versions often, but for me, this version is easily understood.  When I opened it up to this verse to do the devotion, my wording was slightly different.  I loved the way it distinguished us as mortal and God as immortal and all powerful, omnipotent, and I used that version.   This piece has a lot of symbolism that you can read about in the tutorial.

Matthew 19:26 All Things by Nicole Plymesser Nelson

This lesson I have lots of information for you!  And I made a couple videos as I went–lots of tips on watercolor this week and a peek at my tools, and I will talk you through most of the process.


Part One                    Part Two              Part Three

Let’s start:

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  1.  Draw the feather/string of hearts down the side.  This doodle reminded me of stretching to heaven, flying up but also a string of just how much God loves us.  Start by drawing the line from the top of the paper down curving it slightly.
  2. Then you can create the hearts two ways:  just draw the hearts (top half of photo), or make the bumps down one side and then go back on the other side and draw the connecting and corresponding side (bottom half of photo).
  3. Add the chain down the right side of the paper.  I also liked this doodle for how it illustrates our connectedness to God.  This is just overlapping circles.
  4. Add the top and bottom lines connecting the feather and chain–draw two parallel lines, but add hash marks going all different angles–these symbolize our brokenness and sin.
  5. Write in the verse.  This lesson’s artwork fonts are just simple printing.
  6. Add the color with your favorite media.  For me the feather went red and then I added blue skies of the heavens and the grass of the world.
  7. Add extra doodle/scribbles for emphasis, shadows, and highlights.