Bible Journaling Tutorial: Living Water with Inktense Pencils

Join me for this Bible journaling tutorial, which is all about the story of the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4, and Jesus’ statement that He offers us “living water”. Inktense Pencils are the perfect tool for creating a water effect, to bring this Scripture to life!

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve always looked at the story of the woman at the well in John chapter 4, as being pretty straightforward. Jesus says He offers us “living water”, which will ensure that we’re never thirsty again (contrary to physical water, which we need to keep going back for more of).

But, I had never thought any further about the comparison of physical water vs. spiritual “living water”. I thought Jesus was only talking about the physical water we drink, versus the spiritual water He offers.

That is, until recently! Just a few days ago, I was reading a devotional that featured this Scripture, and it occurred to me… maybe Jesus wasn’t just referring to the physical water we drink… but even more so, the other kinds of spiritual water we drink. Maybe what He was referring to is more like spiritual “death water”—the very opposite of His living water.

Living water Bible journaling tutorial with Inktense Pencils

Jesus is the Living Water: What It Really Means

Now, I’m not a PhD or a theologian or anything official like that, BUT this is my takeaway from this passage…

…with both physical water and spiritual (living) water, we still need to drink it regularly, to get the benefits. (That part has always confused me a bit… why did Jesus say that we would never thirst again, but obviously one drink of spiritual water is not enough for a lifetime? I mean, we still need to come back daily to the “well” of God’s Word and prayer, and His Holy Spirit, to keep getting that nourishment.)

So, I really do believe Jesus was alluding to much more than just physical water when He said “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again.” (John 4:13) I think He may have been referring to other sources of “spiritual” water, that don’t truly satisfy our spiritual thirst.

Bible journaling tutorial - living water - with Inktense pencils

For the purpose of this Bible journaling tutorial, I’m calling this “death water”—that is, the sin, worldly pursuits, and other distractions from God, which seem very enticing at first. They seem to taste great, and satisfy our thirst for a short time… but its kind of like drinking contaminated water… we just get thirstier and thirstier, and drink more and more “death water”, thinking it will satisfy our thirst, when in reality, we’re being poisoned by it.

In contrast, when we “drink” more and more of the living water that Jesus offers, we find that our spiritual thirst is satisfied. And, we begin to see the truth about the “death water” of sin—that no matter how much more of it we drink, it well never satisfy (or worse, it will leave us sick and yet still desperately thirsty).

Another thing that I noticed afresh about this story, is that the Samaritan woman was a prime example of thirsting after the wrong things (and/or searching for it in the wrong places). Those five husbands she’d had? Perhaps she had spent her whole life thirsting after a kind of love that only God could provide… she went from husband to husband, like going from well to well, drinking and yet never satisfied. And perhaps, that’s why she was so overjoyed to discover Jesus and share the good news! Here was a man who truly KNEW her, didn’t judge her for her past, and instead offered her living water. It was the kind of spiritual nourishment she didn’t even realize she needed, but when she found it, she couldn’t wait to share!

Bible Journaling Tutorial with Inktense Pencils & Metallic Watercolors

So, that’s my take on the meaning of Jesus’ LIVING WATER. And that’s what I attempted to convey, in this Bible journaling tutorial! Of course, I encourage you to study this passage for yourself, and discover your own observations. What is God teaching you about His living water? What stands out to you? Feel free to follow along in the video tutorial below, and add your own notes to your journaling page.


I tested out a few different Bible journaling supplies to use with this page, and the Inktense Pencils were definitely the winner for creating a cool water effect. But there were so many other star supplies that went into this page too! Like the metallic watercolors…SO PRETTY! Here is everything I used, in the order I used them…

Bible journaling supplies - stamps, watercolors, Inktense pencils


I always encourage you to get creative, and use whatever supplies you have on hand! That being said, if you’d like to follow the same steps I used in creating this living water Bible journaling page, here they are…

  1. FIRST things first, if you’re using a regular journaling Bible, do consider prepping your page with gesso first, to protect it from the paints. For this Bible journaling tutorial, I used my Illustrating Bible, so I didn’t need to prep the page at all.
Bible journaling with Inktense pencils - John 4 living water
  1. Lightly color over your Bible text with a blue Inktense pencil, leaving the margin blank (uncolored). Then use a water brush or a wet paintbrush, to blend the color and create the water effect. (You could use more than one shade of blue here, if you like).
  2. Stamp your desired stamps in the margin. You can leave a space in the middle for notes/observations, or put notes at the bottom. I chose to have “Jesus is the living water” (from the SnSS “I Am” stamp set) up top, with notes in the middle, and the fountain at the bottom. It’s also worth noting, that I used Archival Ink to stamp the fountain, so the ink wouldn’t run or bleed when I painted in the gold (see next step). But, I used Versacolor pigment inks (blue and cyan) for the words and the water splashing from the fountain. Pigment ink isn’t waterproof, but that didn’t matter since I was going to paint on or around those parts of the page.
living water Bible journaling page with metallic watercolors
  1. Use Finetec metallic watercolors (or any other paints you desire) to paint in the water fountain, and if desired, add some color to the word “LIVING” (in the “Living Water” stamp).
Bible journaling with Inktense pencils
  1. And finally, use the same blue Inktense pencil as before, to color in the water in your fountain (or well, or river, or whatever water feature you’re using to illustrate the “living water” concept.) Then use a water brush to blend the color, just as in step 2 above.

Overall, I am thrilled with how this Bible journaling with Inktense pencils turned out. I haven’t typically used my Inktense pencils very much, but they do lend a unique texture and vivid color to the page… and are so easy to use!

What’s your biggest takeaway from this story of the woman at the well, and the living water Jesus offered her? I do hope this has made you think about what it means to “drink” Jesus’ living water. And perhaps also, the difference between the dirty water you’ve drank in the past/may still be drinking of (sins, bad habits, and other such things that are NOT life-giving), versus the LIFE that comes from salvation through Christ, His sufficient grace for you, and living for God.

John 4 - Bible journaling notes

I’ll leave you with this one last thought, which I added as a little note at the bottom of my Bible page. Like learning to eat healthy food, we need to develop a taste and preference for Jesus’ living water—His Word, prayer, the Holy Spirit, obedience to God, and so forth. Worldly pursuits are a lot like candy bars… they seem tasty, but are full of empty calories, and zero nutrition. Food for thought!

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