View Full Version : Composition-AGAIN!~ Tutorial

07-19-2009, 02:11 PM
We all learned about having good composition (http://forums.gingerscraps.net/showthread.php?7564-Making-a-Page-from-Beginning-to-End-Tutorial)in your LO's. Then we learned about blending (http://forums.gingerscraps.net/showthread.php?7557-Blending) and extracting (http://forums.gingerscraps.net/showthread.php?7526-Cut-it-Out%21). Now I want to teach you about still maintaining good composition with them!
It's always a big sense of accomplishment to get your extraction or blend completed the way you like it, but then to put it into a LO suddenly can become a bit confusing.
Well you'll be happy to know the basics still apply. Remember back to the different kinds of composition that Ginger told you about (http://forums.gingerscraps.net/showthread.php?7546-Clustering-Tutorial)? The Z, the triangle, rule of thirds, etc. Here are a few more tips for having great composition in a layout...
(quoted from scrapjazz.com)
1. Arrange your photographs so that the eyes of people in the pictures look inward towards the center of the page and/or lead the viewer to the next item on your page.
2. Create a visual triangle with photos and embellishments. Triangles pull all of the items together, while pairs or groups of 4 will separate them into sections.
3. Try to use the same element in odd numbers. 1, 3, or 5 of the same item will typically have a more finished look.
4. Remember the "Rule of Thirds". If you divide your layout into thirds vertically and horizontally, where those lines meet is generally a good place to put the main focus of your layout.
5. Create contrast in your pages. Avoid elements on the page that are merely similar. If the elements (font, color, size, line thickness, shape, space, etc.) are not the same, then make them VERY different to create a visual contrast.
6. Repeat visual elements of the design throughout the layout. You can repeat color, shape, texture, spatial relationships, sizes, etc.
7. Be aware of the alignment of all of the items on your page. Nothing should be placed on a page arbitrarily. Every element should have a visual connection with another element on the page.
8. Items relating to each other should be grouped close together. When several items are in close proximity to each other, they become one visual unit rather than several separate units.

So I am going to walk you through a layout I am doing with an extraction, and how I achieve my composition. And then I will show you some blending layouts.

First I will do the extraction. Some of this is purely my opinion, so keep that in mind. This is my thought process here. The first thing you have is your photo that you want to extract from. After that, you need a kit. Not just any old kit will do. I think that extractions require a certain style of kits, ones that have natural elements, or elements that you can use to create an "environment" for your subject.
Here I am using a kit called Behind the Reed, a digital-crea collab by Manue, Tinnette, and Gwen. I got this kit quite some time ago and it has always been one of my favs. It has all the goods for creating a magical environment for Maddox.

So you can see, I already did my basic edits to my photo and extracted it. These kind of layouts I think work best with one paper. And this kit happens to come with this lovely paper that has trees blended into it. I think I'm happy with this choice. I think I am going to end up with a triangle composition.
You can see, for more realism, and because of the way Maddox is standing, I placed him on top of some river rocks and gave him a dramatic shadow overcast, as if the light would be behind him. Charmaine gave us a lesson in shadows, but in case you forgot, I added a shadow in layer styles and put the shadow on it's own layer. I flipped it upside down and used the skew tool to make it look real. I blurred it and decreased the opacity.

Then it's time to get to work creating the perfect scene for my little man. There's lots of trial and error here to get that perfect look you are going for. You can see I added a few more elements. I start with the bigger items, they will be the things that "weigh down" and pull it all together in the end. I usually start with the bigger items and add the smaller details later. So I have the weeping willow border and the bridge. I did similar things to the shadow with the bridge like what I did with Maddox's shadow. But it's still missing some things.

The paper I chose looked like it had water with the reflection of the trees, but I wanted to take that look a step further and because my LO was still looking a bit empty to me. This kit came with some great water overlays that I added under the bridge and behind it. Now it really looks more like you need to cross that bridge to get over the water. Then, there was a vertical element missing in my composition, so I brought the willow tree in, which happened to fit perfectly.

I now have the major basis for my scene, and I don't think it takes away from my subject. All that's left is to add some small details to make it one of a kind. So I put some lilly pads and flowers in the water, making sure that the closer the object is to the bottom of the page, the bigger it is. That creates depth. I also added some more of those rocks, only smaller. Then the grass, which had some hard edges on it, because it was meant to go along the bottom of the page as a border. I used a soft eraser on those hard edges so it would look like it belongs in the water where I put it. You can always alter the elements that come in a kit to fit your needs, whether it be recoloring, skewing, etc. Lastly, I thought some sparkles in the trees would fit nicely.

The last step with this LO is to title and date it. Keeping with my composition, I decided the title would fit best in the upper left corner. I usually try to find a small inconspicuous place to add my date, so it's there for a point of reference when we look back on this, but it doesn't distract from the LO. It fits well in the opposite corner of my title. Voila! Here is my finished LO, I mapped out my composition so you can see. Even though I have some big stuff in there, Maddox still pops out as the main focus of my LO. The composition draws your eye to him.

Now here are some other LO's that have good composition with an extraction....

This one is by me. It has a triangle composition because the height of the layout begins with the tree, and then the extracted photo of Samara. With the fence, the bee and the title, it brings your eyes over to that side of the page...in a triangle!

This is another one by me. I have used the rule of thirds here. You can use the rule of thirds to either center your subject, or use the intersections of the lines to place your subject and/or elements.

I have to apologize for the gallery images here being thumbnail size! My internet connection right now is about the equivalent of dial up..or less? I used my blackberry to download images from the gallery and transferred them to my computer, so they came out small. I linked them all though, so you can go see them full size.
This is by Beckag99. I have mapped out the composition here. She even used an extraction WITH a blend!
http://i26.tinypic.com/2u6dzjb.jpg (http://gingerscraps.net/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=4428&ppuser=7&sl=b)

This one is by raggedyrenae. As you can see, you don't HAVE to do tedious fantasy type layouts with an extraction. Although this is simple, sometimes less is more. The subject of the layout is almost perfectly at one intersection of the composition, and so is the wordart. It all ties in together very well.
http://i25.tinypic.com/34is32v.jpg (http://gingerscraps.net/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=4126&ppuser=1091)

This is by Harmonystar. It's so sweet! It draws your eye to the subject first, and the other elements are not overpowering, but enough to create drama on the page and make you see the whole picture.
http://i28.tinypic.com/oh5ysl.jpg (http://gingerscraps.net/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=1669&ppuser=8&sl=h)

Now on to blending. There's really a million and 1 ways to do it, so I am going to be quick with showing you how I made my LO here, so I can get on to showing more LO's with good composition using a blend.

When blending, it's probably best to pick what photo you want to blend, and the paper you are using to blend it into first. It's going to be the basis for your LO. Here, I have done that. My blend is hard light at 66% opacity. I also used a big soft eraser around the edges.

Next, I decided to add a couple more photos that are from that same day. They will be the basis for where I start my clustering. I am planning for the eye to be drawn to this corner. I used that green buttoned flower 3 times in the cluster.

I still needed something to balance out my cluster and lead to the other side of the page. So the dotty swirls got added.

It still doesn't seem finished to me. I think it needs something to weigh it down to the bottom of the page. I added more flowers and repeated them for a cohesive look. It's finished with a title that fits in with the cluster, and the date of course. And look, I did a triangle again ha ha! I guess I'm a triangle girl at heart lol!

Some more layouts with blends....
This is another one by me. I had taken a photo of the scenery of the park we were at that day. Little did I know it would blend great into a paper, making an awesome background for my layout! It's a Z composition...my eyes are first drawn to the photos on the bottom, then up to the journaling, and then over to the date and cluster.

This is by fourluvbugs, and I LOVE it! It has so much drama in it! You can see that you can make your blend very subtle and not a huge factor in the composition here. The major pieces of this LO are weighed down in one corner and it looks great!
http://i25.tinypic.com/288a5ip.jpg (http://gingerscraps.net/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=4800&ppuser=1517&sl=f)

This is by Lela Siregar, and soooo pretty! Here we have the rule of thirds. The framed photo sits right at an intersection in the lines.
http://i26.tinypic.com/v2wd9e.jpg (http://gingerscraps.net/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=6364&ppuser=736&sl=l)

Here is another great one from Beckag99. And another rule of thirds. Here, the blend is not so subtle, but a major part of the layout. It's up to you if you want the blend to be the major focus, or a slight part of the background. Besides the title being smack dab on one of the lines in the composition, but also the blend spans the entire middle of the page, going across three of the squares. I really think the title is what pulls it all together though.
http://i32.tinypic.com/r1zmg6.jpg (http://gingerscraps.net/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=6183&ppuser=7&sl=b)

So that's that! Like I said before, a lot of this is based on opinion. Everyone has their own style.
Happy scrapping! I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!