Backgrounds, patterns and composition

 Since I've had three people ask me about a message I sent to another stamper, I thought I'd blog about it.  My post today is on using patterned papers,   I know for many of you this is redundant, but for those of you who are not comfortable working with pattern papers and would like to move out of the safe zone of solids, you might enjoy this!

  When using multicolor patterns the eye very quickly gets over tired, it actually needs to find a place (solid color) it can rest at  to produce visual stability.  What I am  describing is the same visual affect  that the background die cuts give us. Another example : If you think about the complexity of many quilts and the many colors with busy patterns in the fabrics you can "see" what I am saying.  quilters will often use black in the quilts or a dark solid color as a border with their blocks. A quilt may have hundreds of patterns and colors and still ends up pleasing, that is be cause there is significant amount of "rest space" for the eye.  On the small scale with our cards, we can successfully use patterns of many colors and hues often on the same card along as we do it in layers with a solid border.  Sometimes I will use a color wheel to help me put together pleasing combinations.  I started using a color wheel  after I took a color theory class for needle working.  It was very informative and I was able to carry over into card making.  There are times when I will use an image directly on a patterned paper, I fussy cut it and then place it on a black or white paper and then fussy cut the solid layer to fit the image, like a die system only hand cut.  The only other factor is good composition which is always a must.
another thing I use my print paper for is layering and backgrounds, so fun!!
I just did two OSA cards using busy prints, they are for the Kodomo and the Koi Mingles

Both of these are images stamped on vellum over prints.
First the Koi card: This is an example of using a image as a design element;
This card is made with digital images and hand stamping. The Koi are from a PNG file that I made and printed on vellum, the beautiful background paper is a Nicecrane texture pintables.
By combine the images over the patterned paper and adding a complimentary color (using a color wheel if you aren't familiar with color family/combinations).
The end result:
The glittery stuff is actually cheap nail polish with mica flecks.  The photo do not due it justice.

In my Kodomo  card, Similar technique, again using a Nicecrane texture , print on prints with color "rests:
There is enough solid color in this card to give it balance and your eyes a rest.  The coloring  on the rooster is again, cheap nail polish! 

This card I am not crazy about, I made it a couple years ago and was experimenting, but you can see what I mean about the "die cut look"

I hope you find this helpful, you can experiment with pattern paper on pattern paper very easily by using rectangles with a backing layer of black, pull out your color wheel and you may find you will make some smashing cards using  patterned papers!


Hope you are having a great day!!


Anne said…
Thanks for taking the time to fully explain about using patterns and colours....I am not confident in the use of patterns or colour! I LOVE those koi fish...stunning and your cards are just always! TFS! xx
Jan said…
Thanks again really helps! Snowing now so good time to give your techniques a try! Love the Koi by the way...AND, I have a cheap bottle of nail polish with the glitter in it...Woo Hoo!
Woww Ginny, I am falling in love with your Japanese Cards working with my Textures,,,,,,my friend and all over with this special technique,,,,very well done.

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