Bible Journaling with the iPad Pro & Procreate app

There are SO many ways to use hand lettering…you can create everything from wall signs to handmade cards, t-shirts, and much more. One of the reasons I wanted to learn it in the first place was so that I could do some Bible Journaling. In the past, I’ve shared how I journal with my Tombow markers on the pages of an ESV Journaling Bible, but as many of you know, I recently got an iPad Pro that I love using for my lettering projects. I wanted to figure out a way to do some Bible Journaling digitally, and here’s what I came up with!

I love so many things about this, like the ability to use layers, fade certain parts, add textures, and do other things that aren’t possible with pen and paper. The other thing that appeals to me is that since it’s not actually a physical Bible page, I can print it, frame it, or use it in any way I like without having to damage anything.

I want to share with you how I created this page so that you can give digital journaling a try too! If Bible Journaling isn’t your thing, you could still do something similar with the page of a favorite book or the lyrics of a song. If you don’t have the tools to work digitally, maybe the steps will at least help you with ideas for a pen and paper design. Whatever the case, I hope you find something in today’s post that inspires you!

iPad Pro
Apple Pencil
Procreate App

* I get tons of questions about other digital options, and as much as I wish that Procreate had an Android version for you or that another tablet would work, right now there’s just no substitute. Procreate is Apple compatible only, and the magical Apple Pencil only works with the iPad Pro, not earlier versions of the iPad. So, if you want to do this kind of digital lettering, yes, you need these specific tools. I know it’s an investment, but I haven’t regretted a penny of it! *

Step 1: Take a screenshot of the passage/page you want to use.
I got mine from It’s got just about every translation you can imagine and you can search for whatever passage you want. I searched for Psalm 139.

Step 2: Open the Procreate app. Create a new square image {or any size/shape you like}. Insert your screenshot.
To do this, click the toolbar icon that looks like a wrench and pick “Insert flat image” from the drop down menu. Select the screenshot you want, and it will appear on your square. I positioned mine to the far left so I had plenty of blank space for my journaling on the right. You could also do the opposite, or position it anywhere else you like.

Step 3: Create a new layer and add a texture.
To create this particular one, I went to the Brushes icon, chose Elements, and selected Water, setting the color to a light teal. I ran my Apple Pencil over the entire image, then adjusted the opacity of the layer so that I could still easily read the words beneath it.

Step 4: Create a new layer, then highlight the passage.
I changed the color to green and chose a new brush, the Watercolor brush under the Artistic heading. I ran the pencil over the areas I wanted to highlight, then played around with the opacity so I could still read the words through the color.

Step 5: Create a new layer. Plan and write your design.
I decided to use a mixture of capital print with a monoline brush, brush script with a light calligraphy brush, and a large colorful print with the monoline brush set to a greater thickness. I started with the words I knew I wanted to print.

Next, I traced the teal letters with a thin monoline brush and used the eraser tool to create highlights. To create the shadows, I created a new layer which I placed underneath the one I was just working on and drew the grey lines just to the right of the letters. Having this layer underneath the letters themselves helps keep things looking neat.

The final lettering step was to write the remaining words using brush script.

Step 6: Add embellishments.
I started by creating some teal loops and swirls on either side of my lettered design.

Next, I chose the Mad Splashes brush under the Water category in the Brushes section and made some blue splatters down the left edge and in the right corners. I created a new layer for this so that I could fade them to my liking.

Along the left edge, I wrote the words “Psalm 139” with a monoline brush, and I used the same shade of blue violet to create drop shaped embellishments next to the word “you.” With an eraser tool, I added highlights to the word and the droplets.

The final embellishments were a few taps of the Luminance brush Glimmer in green, purple, and light teal, a few purple accent lines on the swirls, and some polka dots. I also underlined a few more words in green. Here’s a look at the finished page!

The possibilities are endless for digital journaling! Here is another example I created that shows a different color palette and textures.

I am really excited about all the ways I can use these…they can be printed out and used on cards, framed and displayed, put into a book, and more! What do you think? Is this something you’d like to try? I’d love to see your work…join us in the One Artsy Mama & Friends Facebook group and show us what you’re creating. Happy lettering!

Digital Bible Journaling with the iPad Pro

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  1. Thanks so much for this tutorial. It looks like something I’d really enjoy doing. I’ll save it, in the event I upgrade my ipad. You have given me some ideas though for digital graphics. I never thought of taking a screen shot of a Bible page and adding digital art. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. I was reading your Bible journaling page. Great information and inspiration. Just wondering though which Tombow Fude Soft Tip marker you use that does not bleed through to the next page and I wand to be able to see the text through it.
    I saw comments on one set about bleeding through. They were referring to Tombow Dual Brush Pen Art Markers, Bright.
    So please share which set you use.
    Thank you so much

  3. I’m not sure if anyone has ever figured this out BUT there is another app that can be used for bible journaling. I’m not 100% sur if it can be downloaded on android but it is worth a shot to check into. It’s called Tayasui Sketches. I’ve used a few times for bible journaling and bullet journaling and I absolutely love it!

  4. I’m wanting to upgrade from the 9.7 inch iPad Air o the Pro. Do you have a recommendation for size for the iPad Pro? Would the 10.5 be large enough for lettering or will I regret it and want the 12? Also, would 256gb be enough storage or should I get 512gb?

    1. Personally, I got the 12…I like having all the surface area to work with. I don’t store a ton on mine, so 256 is enough, but if you don’t plan on exporting your work to an external hard drive or Google Drive, etc., you may want 512.

  5. Beautiful post, I just wanted to add a quick point for those that don’t want to use or can’t necessarily afford an ipad.

    You don’t need an iPad and procreate! You can use Autodesk Sketchbook and, say, a Surface Go for a similar experience. Still an investment, but a more affordable option for many folks!

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