Aqua Ink Bible Journaling

Good Morning Creatives and Happy Easter!!

Today is Easter Sunday and in the spirit of new beginnings, today I wanted to share with you a new technique featuring Marabu Aqua Ink  and my Faith Impressions by Keri Sallee for Gel Press plates. 

Marabu Aqua Inks and Gel Press plates

Marabu Aqua Inks are some of my new favorite art supplies! These watercolor inks are highly-pigmented and water-soluble.

If you have ever used a water-soluble art product on your Gel Press plates before, you know that the products will inevitably bead up due to the composition of the plate. This makes it very difficult to produce solid images when you try to pull a print.

While I was at Creativation this year, I met a FABULOUS artist named Celia, who is the National Artist Educator for Marabu North America. I was telling her about this problem and she shared a technique that would allow you to have more control over your watercolors on Gel Press plates….all it takes is a little clear gesso!

Watercolor Prints

There are many options for clear gesso. My favorite is Liquitex Clear Gesso because I like the texture it gives a project.

Start by laying down a thin layer of clear gesso on your Faith Impressions border plate. Allow that to dry and add another 1-2 coats. The extra coats will fill in any gaps and will give you a workable surface.

While you are at it, go ahead and use the clear gesso to prep your journal or Bible page as well.

Liquitex Clear Gesso

Once your clear gesso layers are dry, it’s as easy as grabbing your favorite colors of Aqua Ink, a paintbrush and going to town!

Aqua Inks Bible Journaling

Since this is my first time playing with this technique I kept my design very simple. Starting with Vermillion Aqua Ink, I painted my hearts. I then used Petrol around them and then filled in the background with Reseda. I allowed the colors to overlap slightly to allow to blend just a bit.

Heart Aqua Ink Clear Gesso

As you can see, because of the layer of clear gesso, the Aqua Inks don’t move as freely over the plate as they would if you hadn’t pre-treated the plate.

To create your page, simply flip your plate over on to your prepped journal or Bible page and lightly press down.

Aqua Ink Bible Journaling

I love how the paints naturally blend, but also take on some of the texture of the clear gesso you applied.

All the is left is to add some letters (I used transparent words from Illustrated Faith and Simple Stories) and added some accents with a Painter’s Pen from Elmer’s.

Bible Journaling Keri Sallee

Here are some close-ups!! I LOVE all the texture the clear gesso gives this project!

Hearts Bible Journaling

My clear stickers and placement in the bottom corner allow my background to be the star.

Love the World

Here is the full project again:

Bible Journaling Keri Sallee

Bonus print!!

You’ll notice that there is still some yummy ink and design left embedded into the clear gesso on your plate. To release it, simply apply a layer of acrylic paint in a contrasting color (I used white) and brayer it across your plate.

Acrylic Paint bible journaling

Next, lay a sheet of copy paper on top and press down firmly. Allow the paper to rest on the plate for a few minutes. This will allow the dried gesso to “suction” to the new acrylic paint.

copy paper bible journaling

Before fully pulling back your print, pull back just a corner. If the clear gesso doesn’t come of with it, lay it back down and allow it to sit for another few minutes.

Once your corner comes off clean, remove the full image by pulling from the corner.

Aqua Ink Ghost Print

You can see that you now have a second print that is almost vibrant as your original!!

Final Thoughts

Today is Easter.

When I sat down to make this project, I originally was going to create something with an Easter theme with crosses and such.

But as I got to thinking more, I decided I wanted to focus on the “why?” more than the “how?”

I wanted to focus on love. About God loving the world. About us loving God. And about us loving each other.

So…it doesn’t matter if your Easter is about church and crosses or about eggs and jelly beans or if it’s a hodgepodge of the two sides.

First and foremost, I hope and pray your Easter is about love.

Until next time creatives.


Keri Sallee


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