Grid Journaling Ideas #3

Grid Journaling Ideas #3
Grid Journaling Ideas #3 Insect Parts under a Microscope (white gouache over watercolor)

I’m continuing to explore grid journaling, and here are some more ideas I’ve tried that I recommend. The one above is a little more obscure, but all the ones below are very accessible.

Above, I watercolored willy nilly with leftover paint on a piece of watercolor paper, and let it dry. Then I turned the paper over and drew circles with a jar lid, without reference to the painted side, and cut them out. Then, referencing photos of insects under the microscope, I sketched their forms in opaque white gouache (or this would work well).  Then I arranged them and glued them in my grid journal, cutting the ones at the spine in half so they lie flat, and also at the edges so the page feels full. There are some fascinating compositions there to study, which I would have never thought of myself.

First below, is just a grid of magazine bits from Uppercase Magazine (which I enjoy, see here). The colors in that magazine are so great, I thought this was a great way to recycle them, and keep the bits that inspire me. This I did not put in my grid journal, but in my leather tome (where I mix journaling, wisdom bits, and art journaling), but next time I will. I think there are a lot of grid compositions to contemplate with magazine bits and will try this again, doing various types. You can see a smaller, tighter grid gives a cohesive feel overall. I cut these squares mostly on my paper cutter, but had to do smaller (good bits) by hand. The assembly was the meditative part, and I did that while on the phone with our daughter on her birthday. I show you two views of the same grid below, how it is in the bound book, and how it looks from above.

For the next two grids, I chose a limited palette for each, a red, a yellow, and a blue. These grids then became both a mixing and a compositional exploration, and there is automatic color harmony from the limited palette. You could do one of these pages for every combination of primary colors you have, label them, and then be able to see at a glance what limited palette you desire for any given project.

The last photo shows a limited palette of markers I chose to have on hand for lengthy phone conversations (mostly with my sisters or daughters– doing this makes me less impatient while receiving a long verbal download, while still giving them dedicated attention.) I floundered in this spread on a size that would fit my book, so now I’ll be sketching out boxes to fill in advance, and have them at the ready. I love what the bright yellow background did for pulling together this spread, even though only a couple of the compositions work , but it’s still great to try them out when the stakes are very low.

Have you started a grid journal yet? I’ve got all sorts of ideas for mine going forward and will occasionally blog them. It is a really fun, mindful exercise to work in one. I’d love to see your adaptations of these ideas, or any new ones you have.

Small same size magazine squares compositionally collaged in grid


Direct overhead view same of magazine collage grid


Limited palette acrylic mixing and compositional exercise


Limited palette acrylic mixing and compositional exercise


Limited palette marker doodles collaged on a colored background


I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Sue+Krevitt 1 year ago

    OK…you’ve Done It Again, Polly! Helping the world (well, part of it anyway!) conquer beliefs of time and other limitations!! Wonderful.
    Thanks, dear you!


  2. Dilys 1 year ago

    I love your multi tasking, Polly! doodling during phone calls, you don’t waste a second of your day! and what beautiful results x

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Send this to friend