I’m developing my bible journaling techniques – this time, I’ve worked in my NIV Journaling Bible. This has cream pages, with wide unruled margins. The paper is as thin, and has a little more bleed-through that the NLT bible I reviewed at the beginning of the week. That aside, the performance is just as good in all other aspects. I chose the same passage as before to illustrate, but this time have read around the main verse to add to the drawing. Initially it was just black and white, and I hemmed and hawed about adding colour before taking the plunge.
Today, I went on retreat to Launde Abbey – a space to reflect, be out of contact with the outside world and to re-establish communication with God. The theme for the days reflection centred around Martha preparing the meal for Jesus, and the story of Brother Lawrence finding ways to worship God as he washed dishes for his entire monastic life. I took my iPad, so I could respond in creative worship, and as I reflected on things happening in my life at the moment, I drew on this quote from Brother Lawrence:
Lift your heart to Him during your meals and in company, the least little remembrance will always be most pleasing to Him.
And from this quote from Edmund Morgan, a Welsh Anglican bishop:
… to overcome the temptation to love the praise of men more than the glory of God, your life must be a continual sursum corda; you must ever be groping, fighting, leaping Godwards…
‘Lift up your hearts’ – Latin: sursum corda – is the opening dialogue to the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer. Rarely featured in Baptist tradition, it was a perfect illustration of what I took away with me from the retreat.
[created in Procreate and Inkpad Pro apps on iPad Pro with Apple Pencil]
I’ve not posted my sermon sketchnotes for a little while, so here’s a compendium of some more. These are all completed ‘live’ as the sermon progresses, and I don’t see anything but the title before I start. If you’d like to listen to the accompanying sermons, they are available on the Whetstone Baptist Church blog.
[Completed in a pocket Moleskine sketchbook, with Lamy Safari pen with EF nib, and Noodler’s Bulletproof Black Ink.]
Here are some more sketchnotes that I have done during sermons at Whetstone Baptist Church. It’s a great way to take notice of what’s being said, as well as potentially emphasising different points that develop as the visual language of the sketchnote does its own thing. Working in real time is an interesting challenge, and with nothing more than the title at the start, the rest of the page is unplanned. And if you’ve noted the themes are all similar, that’s because these services were in the lead up to a fundraising weekend when we were all challenged to give sacrificially toward the construction of a new church building designed to meet the needs of a growing congregation and a changing community. We are now so close to our goal of just over £3 million – it’s so exciting. If you’d like to help out, a donation button can be found along with details of our building plans on the church website here.
[completed in Moleskine pocket sketchbook with Lamy Safari fine nib pen with Noodler’s Bulletproof black ink] Continue reading
I recently got hold of a copy of Mike Rohde’s ‘The Sketchnote Handbook: the illustrated guide to visual notetaking’. It reminded me that notes can be fun, and that linear format notes tend not to be that exciting – either in the writing or indeed the review. I’m always looking for ways to stay awake in church (it’s the sleep disorder and meds I’m on, not a side effect of the service!) and thought I’d give the principles a go. Here are four examples, in date order, from my first go at the process to yesterday’s sermon notes. I say ‘first go’ – I’ve been used to note taking, and doodling in the margins, as well as adding illustrations to mind maps over the years… this is the first time I’ve combined all of them into one method of notetaking.
[Completed during the sermon, in a Moleskine Pocket Plain Notebook with Lamy Safari fountain pen, fine nib with Noodler’s Bulletproof black ink]
I was asked by a friend to help illustrate his message for the evening service at Whetstone Baptist Church last Sunday evening. He used passages from Psalms to describe David’s fall from kingship through despair in a dungeon, to feigned madness and then freedom and release. We were then invited to visualise and recall a walk in the sun, how it felt, and then we were told facts about The Sun itself. Alex then compared the darkness to his faith a couple of years ago to walking in the light now – and moved onto passages from John describing how it is to walk in the light of God.
My illustration used PanPastels as they blend and overlay so well, working onto A3 white card and filmed using an overhead webcam shared to the church projectors via laptop. Unfortunately, I didn’t work out the technology enough to record as I went, so I only have the final still to share. I started by adding a grey swirl around the outside as the walls closed in round David, adding yellow in the centre as the glimmer of escape came. As the description of the sun played out, I added the blue skies, built up the centre and erased the circular lines and the rays. We used a play on words to initially ‘walk in the sun’ as we were visualising that, and then as we moved on, I erased the figure bit by bit, adding the head and hands just before the climax of the illustration changing the ‘u’ to an ‘o’:
Feedback from this first time attempt at live illustration was very positive, and from my point of view, it all worked well! Some top tips: work with the preacher to hone the order of things, especially if the image develops from a previous layer; definitely rehearse timings with something so tied to the sermon material; know your technology and check it’s doing what you expect; and be prepared to go for it 🙂
I treated myself to the Paper 53 Pencil (in walnut) to use with the Paper 53 app on my iPad mini. It takes a bit of getting used to, but I think it has helped my digital art on the move no end. Here’s the result: three drawings inspired by the sermons I was listening to at the time… and I’m going to be having a go at live on-screen illustration in mid-November! Each drawing was completed within two sermon lengths (approx. 40 mins) as the church I go to has two morning services (9am and 10:45am) and when I’m playing in the worship group, we’re rostered for both.