Drawing a Themed Grid in Your Art Journal

In No Excuses Art Journaling: Making Time for Creativity by Gina Rossi Armfield, you’ll use your day planner as an art journal, and eliminate all of your excuses for not having time to art journal. You’ll find monthly, weekly and daily prompts you can tailor to fit the amount of time you have. Below is a technique that you can spend 5 minutes on each day over the course of a few weeks and end up with a beautiful and fun documentation of your month.

(This demonstration was previously published in No Excuses Art Journaling by Gina Rossi Armfield, copyright 2013; it is republished here courtesy of North Light Books and CreateMixedMedia.com.)


Another speedy way to put pen to paper in a creative way when you only have a few minutes is to draw a grid of themed images.

Winter themed grid
Some calendars already have a monthly grid that you can use, or you can choose a blank page and add a grid of your own.

Materials list

  • journal
  • ruler
  • waterproof markers and pens
  • watercolor markers or
  • watercolor pencils
  • 1/8″ to 1/4″ (3mm to 6mm) washi tape (optional)


themed grid 11. Using a ruler and pen, draw vertical and horizontal lines to create enough squares for the month you are working in.

themed grid 22. Pick an image that is representative of the month. Draw or sketch that image in one of the squares.

themed grid 33. Using watercolor pencils, markers or other coloring tools, add color to your drawing. If you’re using watercolor pencils, activate the colors by brushing the tip lightly with a damp watercolor brush.

themed grid 44. On each day of the month, fill in a square with a variation of that original image to keep the theme. Remember, though, this is your journal, so you can be as creative with this theme as you’d like.

Heart themed grid

More Options
Instead of using pencil or pen to create your grid, you could use washi tape or markers.

(This tutorial was previously published in No Excuses Art Journaling: Making Time for Creativity copyright 2013 by Gina Rossi Armfield. It is reprinted here courtesy of North Light Books and CreateMixedMedia.com.)

U0183_CM_NoExcusesArtJournaling.inddTo learn more about No Excuses Art Journaling, click here.


You can find bonus content from No Excuses Art Journaling, including more idea-inspiring art journal pages, here.


Click here read Gina’s Artist Profile, where you’ll discover her guilty please and what’s on her workspace right now.

Check out Gina’s website, NoExcusesArt.com, where you’ll find a community art journalers seeking to eliminate those pesky excuses!


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2 Responses to Drawing a Themed Grid in Your Art Journal

  1. lulubadgley says:

    Why can’t I find the free pages promised by StencillGirl