Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Balanced and Eclectic: Achieving the Look for your Scrapbook Pages

*written by our Guest Lovely Dana Kemp*

Have you ever wondered how scrapbook artists can mix and meld patterns, colors embellishments and text styles with such ease and visual appeal? I have. And although I have always had the courage to combine elements on a scrapbook canvas, it was only recently that I actually thought about the process behind this style of paper crafting.

There are a number of ways this random, oddball eclectic look may be achieved, but I’ll discuss three simple methods that seem to have worked their way into my designer’s mental notebook. If you’re like me, you learn by example, rather than direct instruction. Read the three layout scenarios and see how I’d choose to end the tale of the scrapbook page “gone my way.”

Color Experimentation

I tend to like colors that coordinate with at least one of the colors in the photograph. I focus on the color that stands out most, and then choose its opposite on the color wheel.

Here is your scrapbook page: A picture of a child in a pink dress with a light blue background. Patterned paper selection is shades of pink with a floral pattern and a neutral cardstock choice.

Here is your scrapbook page on “oddball”: Same picture; same child, Patterned paper? Maybe not. I think I want to focus on the child in the dress. If I do decide to use patterned paper, I use it in small amounts. My cardstock choice might be pink’s darker cousin red’s opposite—green. And why be so girly with the green. Army green sounds like a goofy and rebellious choice.

Embellishment Variation

Here is your scrapbook page: A contemporary photograph brought to life with coordinating product line.

Here is your scrapbook page on “eclecticism”: A contemporary photograph with vintage-inspired embellishments. How about that picture spruced up with everyday office supplies for a futuristic look? Another popular option is to pick a period in time—60’s Mod, 80’s Punk, or even 20’s Flapper, and pick an item or two that remind you of that time. They key here is “mix it up.” Just because you have a current photo doesn’t mean you have to stick to current trends.

Shape Variation

My eyes usually gravitate toward a wide range of shapes. And while I like to see repetition of shape, something clicks in my brain and tells me to do the opposite of what would be considered normal.

Here is your scrapbook page: A square photograph with shapes reminiscent of triangles in the foreground.

Here is your scrapbook page on “random”: Let’s mix it up, shall we? How about rounded corners? Perhaps patterned paper where circles predominate? I like to see the variety that basic shapes offer. If your photograph features circles, try using paper and embellishments with triangle-like outlines, like stars and hearts. If you see lots of straight lines, add come curves using paint strokes, buttons, or flowers. It’s your world.

These are just a few ways to achieve visual balance and still have scrapbook page elements that are all over the place. With an a few fundamental concepts coupled with an open mind, the possibilities are endless.

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