There are all kinds of ways to design your pages--often, we find that we don't even start out thinking in those terms, but just let them develop as we go along. That's how I work most often!
There are almost as many ideas on page design as there are journal keepers doing it--so we'll have a post here occasionally on what we like and what we do. Sometimes one simple image is enough; some people use borders or lettering, sometimes graphs work. Nina Johansson, one of our correspondents, fills a page as she goes along, on a busy week--a little bit each day. The result is amazingly pleasing!
I like to think in terms of the information I want down there, whether it's something I plan to share, an informational page, or just a need to DO it, for my own sake. I try to keep balance, harmony and a pleasing variety of sizes in mind, if I'm paying attention to design...
...and sometimes I don't! Just "get 'er done!"
So...here are a couple of recent pages and how they developed...
A SINGLE, SIMPLE IMAGE
|I decided to add color, so moved over to the desk and my watercolors!|
|This was mostly wet in wet--but I loved the gloss and reflected sky color on the bird's head...|
|He had a lovely iridescence to him, so I did a little underpainting of the blues and greens, and added part of his perch.|
|More notes and information--the notes were places to balance the composition a bit as well as to provide information.|
A MORE COMPLEX TWO PAGE SPREAD
This spread is much more complex--pretty busy, really! If you have a collection of images like this, you need to put a bit more thought into how to pull it together, to create a bit of flow and unity.
This one came about when I was doing very quick sketches at Eagle Days on Saturday--mostly ink gesture sketches, since I couldn't get very close to the big birds. I didn't worry about placement, size or anything else, just sketched as fast as I could!
After we left the hall where the live birds were, we went to the nearby woodhenge. I sat on a log in the winter sun and took my time sketching, on the opposite page. While there, I picked up the bone fragments you see in the circle--remains of an eagle's meal, I'm sure. All this was done with a technical pen, in black, and the images to across the gutter a bit, to tie them together. Fish bones go over onto the landscape, posts, shore and water cross over in the other direction...
Back home, I sketched the bones and started adding color and more notes; I made the two pages harmonize as much as possible, using the same washes on both sides of the spread.
The circle was added later, with a template, to contain the bones and unify the spread.
I'd done one REALLY bad sketch, in a hurry, so I collaged on the Missouri Department of Conservation logo over it--they'd been presenters, and the colors went well!
The left side seemed to need something, so I added the background blue--same color as the frozen lake...
A bit more calligraphy and a partial border of "feathers" at upper left, and I was happy with it!
(These are two very different papers, by the way. I bind my own books and don't really worry about facing pages. This is HP on the left and a quite textured watercolor paper on the right. The ink and the watercolor went on differently, but I didn't care. I find it instructional!)
So...these are just a couple of ideas; there will be a lot more, both in the book and here! (And in fact there are two PDFs on my CD at right on Design Ideas with lots of suggestions.)