One of the greatest challenges when creating an engaging layout is to connect the emotions of the original image to your visual presentation. The viewer’s eye must be guided around the composition that expresses the memories and feelings of those precious pictures. Shape repetition – duplicating elements, textures, themes, or colors in a digital scrap layout – is an easy way to give your layout a compelling flow.
A shape constitutes anything from the simplest form, such as a circle, to more complex ideas found in curving lines. Shapes can also enhance the theme of your layout. By using a series of similar shapes, the subject is more clearly portrayed. Shapes can be repeated throughout clusters, along borders and as backdrops. You will find an excellent source of inspiration in the SG Design Shop by typing Shapes in the Search box or browsing through the Brush Sets section. An excellent selection of custom shapes may also be found in your Photoshop toolbox.
The layout below demonstrates rhythm and motion by repeating curving, wave shapes across the page.
The beach theme is enhanced by the suggestion of the movement of waves. Melissa Renfro’s ScrapSimple Tools – Shapes: Calligraphy Swirls 5001 Biggie were woven with the custom shape “waves” found in the Photoshop toolbox. Here is how you can make the curving shapes:
- On a new document, with the foreground color black, draw out the custom shape from the toolbox called “waves.”
- Rasterize the shape (Layer> Rasterize> Shape) and then erase two of the three lines.
- Using the Transform Tool, with the arrows placed on the end center square, push to create deeper curves.
- Duplicate the layer and join the two layers by overlapping at the center and merge.
- Again, with the Transform Tool, pull upward on the top center square to make even deeper curves. (The original layer has been duplicated several times for this example.)
- By adding a stroke to the shape (Edit> Stroke), the size may be increased dramatically. Push and pull until you are happy with your shape. Now you have templates to transfer to your layout.
When you envision a roly poly bug (sometimes called a pill bug or potato bug), what comes to mind? Little round balls, lots and lots of little round balls! To demonstrate how to develop a theme using shapes, here is a second layout around those strange Armadillidiidaes.
Note the repetition of round shapes in the background to the circular frame and curving text next to the photo.
Tutorial written by Joyce Schardt