Where do I begin?

“I LOVE this!  So where do I begin?”

Well, you need scriptures and some art tools.  However, the page thickness in most scriptures makes it hard to create art that doesn’t bleed through.  And if you don’t want to write/color/paint over the words in your scriptures, you need space.

I started with a sketchbook & 2 “floppy copies” of the Book of Mormon.  (and a glue stick, waterproof pen, & watercolors).  Here are the items I chose and why.

Sketchbook:  I purchsed a Venzi Flexy Large sketchbook.  (technically 4 of them so all of my volumes will match).  Why?  Because of the size.  With a torn out page from my book of mormon in my back pocket, I settled on this size as the ‘most desirable’.  It is 7.5×9.5.  AND, it was the only sketchbook of that size in my local Hobby Lobby.

2015-03-16 15.04.06

In retrospect, I wish I’d been a little more patient and ordered this one instead:  Strathmore Series 500 Mixed Media 7.75×9.75.


Here is my comparison of the two.  + are advantages, – are disadvantages

Venzi Strathmore
+ Cost ~$10/volume – Cost ~ $25 (Michaels) $17.99 (here)/ volume
+ page count = 144 sides – page count =64 sides
+ appearance “scripture-like” – appearance: soft black
– Paper is too thin, bleeds 74lb + 90lb 100% cotton acid free archival

as you can see, the biggest reason I wish I’d gone with the Strathmore is the quality of the paper.  I have to be very careful about how/what I paint and even then, I do get some bleeding on previous pages:

2015-03-16 16.08.17

The paper itself is not very durable.  Even washi tape tears it up when I try to reposition it.  Fluid mask is definitely out of the question.  I have a hole in the pages where I tried that method.

Books of Mormon:  Because you will be attaching the pages to the sketchbook (meaning one side of each page will be hidden) you need TWO copies.  I prefer to use recycled copies.  Recycled copies are slightly used, minimally marked copies I’ve found.  You can have the spines removed by a copy center such as Staples, or you can cut out the pages a few at a time with a xacto knife.  I have done it both ways.  The $5 to have the spines cut off seems WELL worth it when you consider there are more than 260 pages in each book to remove with the xacto knife.

If you prefer new Books of Mormon, you can order them through LDS.org.

Pen:  You don’t HAVE to use a waterproof pen, but if you are going to be using watercolors, you’ll probably wish you had.  I started out with a Fudeball 1.5 pen.  I like the thickness and the fact it writes on a variety of surfaces.  However, it bleeds slightly.  After the first few pages I switched to the Pitt pen.  Occasionally now I go over a line or two after painting with the Fudeball, but otherwise everything is Pitt Pen.

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Colors:  You can use anything: colored pencils, markers, watercolors, acrylic paints…  I prefer some watercolors I was introduced to by another illustrated-faith artist: Artists Loft watercolor pan set 36 colors  They are inexpensive and super easy to use.  I’ve tried some acrylic paints for a more art-journal-ish look, but I didn’t like it as much as the colored doodles.

Paintbrush:  Again, any paintbrush would work, but I am a BIG fan of a water brush.  Water brushes have a reservoir of water in the handle, so painting is a matter of rubbing the wet brush in a color, then on your artwork.  When you want to change colors, you can just brush a paper towel until the color disappears and start with a new color.  Super easy, super portable, super fast.

I also use a glue stick, a xacto knife, a ruler, a pencil, and a roll of paper towels.

Some of the items were cheaper to find if I purchased them in bulk.  So I put together a few of the basic items in the shop.  It is not my intention to make money from the shop, just make it easier for you to find all of the items at a reasonably good price.  Please contact me if you have any questions.

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