Good morning class. It is wonderful to see all your smiling faces. Take out your pencils and paper. And spit that nasty gum in the garbage. I don’t want to see it under your desk when class is dismissed. Yes, I’m talking to you.
It is time to talk about Accessorizing.
According to Webster’s Dictionary, an accessory is “extra; additional; helping in a secondary or subordinate way.” Accessories are something more than the basics. So anything more than your standard journaling, cardstock background, title block and picture block are considered accessories (also known as embellishments in the papercrafting industry.) Accessories are very important to the design of a well-balanced, harmonious, interesting and unified page.
Let’s take a look at how accessories can be used effectively in your art. Namely, how accessories can provide UNITY, HARMONY, BALANCE and TEXTURE.
We’ll begin with unity. UNITY is defined as the visual linking of the elements in the piece. Accessories can unify by providing flow from various areas in a layout. Day Dreamer is a good example of this.
You can see that there are two main areas in this layout: the three trees and the picture/title block. They are linked by the doodled circles. Without these circles, there would be no flow, the observer’s eye would not move effectively through the piece. The circles are crucial in this layout’s unity.
Accessories also provide harmony. HARMONY is the visually pleasing effect of combining similar elements. This can be achieved through various mediums including color and shape. Sassy, is an excellent example of using color to provide harmony.
You may notice that the embellishments in this layout are very different in nature. The blue monster lends a funky feel while the lace and embroidered flower are more feminine. Yet, this layout does not feel awkward because of the harmony provided by color.
There is a strong visual triangle in this layout. Can you find it?
Correct, it is the light blue elements. The little monster, the title and the flowers are all the same color. There is also harmony in the use of various shades of pink and even in the use of black.
Now, let’s discuss Balance. BALANCE is pleasing proportion. Be is an excellent example of balance in a layout.
If you divided the layout in half vertically, you would see that the size of the swoosh pattern paper and the picture block are approximately the same, thanks to the addition of all the goodies surrounding the picture. The weight of the layout feels equal and is visually pleasing. Yet, when you look at Be, where does your eye go first? Yes, the picture block. The addition of accessories like the flower and the buttons give the picture dominance. It is important when accessorizing to remember where you want your focus to be. You don’t want to confuse the observer by providing two competing centers of attention.
Finally, let’s look at a layout with texture. TEXTURE is the tactile surface of a work of art. In layman’s terms, it is the feel of various elements. It is the smooth wood, or the bumpy lace, the ripple in the ribbon, etc. One of the easiest ways to add texture is via distressing and sewing.
Let’s check out This Dude Cracks Me Up.
There are a lot of different textures in this layout. The stitched circle, the distressed paper, the smooth buttons, the rough grungeboard and the scratchy gaffer tape all provide different tactile experiences. Texture really adds interest and it makes the observer want to linger.
Is that the bell? I guess that ends our lecture today. If you have any questions, please see me after class. My office hours are posted on my door.