This week I have been playing with symmetry in my art journal.
One of the first lessons in Dina Wakley’s book Freedom is how use both symmetry and asymmetry for effect. Wakeley suggests that a symmetrical composition can be used if you want to convey a sense of calm while asymmetry can be used to create visual interest and complexity. So I launched into a couple of suggested activities:
Create a center-weighted composition
I wanted to put myself on the page so I started by drawing a simple figure with an oval shaped face.
I added the first layer of paint using a medium watercolour wash. As you can see, I didn’t stop myself from painting over the lines of the figure – I wanted to be a little messy!
Then I added some layers: I glued some random scraps of paper onto the page (one had a quote and one was from an old dictionary I had) and I used a sponge to apply the music pattern with a stencil. I wanted to create a sense of chaos around the figure.
I had applied a thin layer of gesso to some words to make them appear fainter to give the background more texture and interest.
I then added another layer of stencil yellow acrylic paint and wrote over the quote with a black ink pen. I the wrote on the background with a white gel pen to provide yet another layer to finish the page off.
I feel the end result manages to convey a sense of calm and stillness in a world full of noise and chaos and that is all down to the placement of the girl in the centre of the page. Simple but effective!
Create a grid composition
I wanted to keep this one as simple as possible as I’m finding that I have the tendency to overdo my art journal pages!
I started off in the same way – a medium watercolour wash around drawn rectangles which I defined with a black marker.
Then I just had fun creating the background with different stencils and colours. I just wanted to add one detail in each box in black to keep it simple and clean.
- Using symmetry in your art journal does not mean you have to create pages where both sides are exact mirror images of each other – I’m waaaayyy too impatient for that! Near-symmetry and using center-weighted images work just as well.
- Don’t be afraid to use different colours and patterns that may clash – you may be surprised how it turns out!
- A black permanent marker is amazing for creating solid outlines of shapes that you want to stand out – add one to your toolbox!
Happy art journaling!