Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tutorial - Layout with every day photo and printed paper

I have a confession. I have always been a hugely patterned paper girl. But unless I am working with a very light, subtle, and neutral background piece, I have a tendency to either defer to the hugely dramatic single photo or the masses and masses of little photos. But sometimes, and especially when working with older (non-digital), I might only have a single photo to work with, one that has sentimental value, but is not otherwise photographically “easy” to scrap.

That’s precisely what happened the other day when, cleaning up, I came across this overexposed single photo of my daughter from our pre-digital days – it was creased and folded and showed much love from baby hands. That expression on her face – so un-posed, so HER back her super curious toddler years. I felt compelled to scrap it as is. I could have scanned it and enlarged it to black and white – but somehow, I felt that would lose some of the feel of the photo. And so, it was original all the way.

For my first choice, I reached for the obvious – the super cute “Camped Out” paper release from Bella Blvd. I mean, it had lots of cute fish in it!! I thought it looked ok – very warm – the browns in the photo pulled the earth tones from the paper nicely.

But somehow, the photo felt like it was disappearing into the paper and the energy did not feel right. So, looking at my photo, I found my eye drawn to the gorgeous blues in the Beta Fish – oh… that might work with the blues and oranges from Kaiser Craft’s Offshore. It was an unconventional choice – but why not?

Wow. The whole feel changed. This was no longer warm and fuzzy:

The brown stood out against the blue/oranges and conveyed a nice energy. The browns in the photo complimented the subtle oranges in the paper. Since this was a 4x6 photo, if the photo gets lost, size the layout down to a 8.5x11 landscape format (vs. 12x12) to keep the scale.

First, pick a background piece – something not too heavily printed. With this line, there was no completely “subtle” obvious back piece. But even with the flourish die cut down at the bottom right there, the picture was still getting lost in all those circular lines in the backpiece, and the edges just kind of floated.

A blue border around the edges, and a solid blue line in the middle anchored the layout.

Still, the photo was still disappearing…. Let’s try a white mat.

Better. But still a bit off. Pull in a little of the orange with a narrow orange mat

That looks good. Now its counteracting the orange curves. But it’s still too blue…. Find another orange element for another anchor. The orange tag works.

Now for the title. Coloring the plastic AC Thickers with Copics yields a pretty watery look. Since Copics are an alcohol ink – it works and is permanent.

Almost done...

It still feels unfinished. It needs some more visual anchors, and some texture for interest. Using the triangle design principle, add elements up top and to the left, for a visual triangle. Ahhh, I like it. :)

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