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Texture and the Monochromatic Layout


You might think that using just one main color on a layout would be boring. However, monochromatic color schemes can create a big visual impact. Paired with texture and pattern, one color can really push your photo to center stage.


Choosing the right color scheme and materials is important for any layout. On a monochromatic layout, the use of texture and pattern will play an even more prominent role. Texture and pattern often work together more subtly when used with multiple colors. When you use several shades of one color, the patterns and textures are more apparent.





Modeling Paste or Gesso



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Step One Choose a color that makes your photo pop. We often want to choose a color from the photo itself. However, with monochromatic color schemes, colors that contrast with the photo often work best. I chose yellow to help brighten and emphasize this bland looking photo of my son playing minecraft. My son was having a lively conversation with his friend which is not apparent in the photo. The yellow adds a little energy to what might otherwise seem boring.


Step Two Choose a pattern that has meaning to you or to the story. I chose a stencil with squares since that is a shape often seen in my son’s game.

Apply Gesso to your canvas using the stencil. While you can apply the gesso across the full pattern of the stencil, I find that random applications make for a more visually interesting piece. Keeping the desired place of your photo in mind will help you gauge where to place the random patterns.


Step Three Use a brayer to spread paint over your canvas. The gesso will act as a resist. You may also notice how some areas of the paint are darker than others. If you used a textured cardstock, you may see that texture appears in areas where less paint was applied. Uneven paint adds more depth and texture. If you don’t care for the look of uneven paint, simply apply more until you achieve the coverage you desire.


Step Four You can carry out the next step before the paint has dried. Tear small bits of paper and sprinkle them randomly over your design. Paint can act as an adhesive. If the section has dried, apply a small bit of paint with a brush before placing the paper. Gently paint over the top to seal the paper bits to the canvas. If sections curl, all the better for adding texture.

I chose the torn bits because this story is about objects in my son’s game being broken. You could also substitute small punched shapes, sequins, or other small bits that mean something to the story you want to tell.

Step Five Choose embellishments, patterned paper or letter stickers in your chosen color. When working with a monochromatic color scheme, it’s ok if the items are different shades of the same color.

Pay attention to the textures and/or patterns that you choose. Texture and pattern don’t always need to be symbolic, though that does add more meaning to your layout. Choose items that will add dimension or that stand out from your background canvas.

You might also wish to pay attention to finishes. Some embellishments or paints are glossier than others. Do you want a matte look or a glossy one? Mixing both together can be visually interesting, but may not always work for your story.

Create your layout according to your own preferred style. How much you embellish will depend upon what you are comfortable with. I find that I often need less embellishments on a monochromatic layout. The texture, title and journaling are often enough for me to feel my layout tells the story in a cohesive manner.


Step Six Add your finishing touches. Use small bits of white or black to help define areas of the layout. I chose to outline my title in black pen which makes it easier to read.

The most important thing you need to remember is that color creates mood. When choosing your color, try to pick one that adds meaning to your story while emphasizing your photo. Play with texture and pattern in varying shades of the chosen color. When possible, you want to create meaning while also creating visual interest.

Monochromatic color schemes can add a lot of impact to your story. You may also find they are a great way to mix and use your stash of supplies. Almost everything goes together if it’s the same color.

 Didi Anyone Grief our House by Christy Strickler for My Scrapbook Evolution- Texture and the MonoChromatic layout

Did Anyone Grief Our House? by Christy Strickler Supplies Cardstock: Colorbok; Letters: Basic Grey, Sassafrass; Gesso: Art Alternatives; Paint: Ranger; Other: Paint, stencil, wood border, jewel, metal washers


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Get it Scrapped has two color workshops to help you master color use in your designs.Both Color workshops are available as part of the Get It Scrapped membership or can be bought individually.

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