Condo Blues: Why You Should Never Center a Design on a DIY Project

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Why You Should Never Center a Design on a DIY Project

t is amazing how a few brushstrokes of paint can totally transform a piece of old furniture. By merely changing the color, you can make what started as junk in the trash into a whimsical piece people fight over in an artist’s shop. Even more so if you are talented enough to add decorative paint elements to the piece.

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That’s why I want to share with you Artist’s Va Va’s Blooming Table. She repainted a friend’s patio table for as a birthday gift. She could have left the table with just a new background color to make a cute addition to her friend’s patio but she did one better and added a sunny orange flower to completely change the mood of the piece.

What I like best is where she placed the flower. Instead of painting the flower in the dead center of the table as expected, she offset the flower and took advantage of the proximity to one of the table legs to paint it as the flower’s stem. The green leg draws the eye to the shape of the table legs so you notice the curve in a new light.

Offsetting the flower gives it more design weight and emphasis. This feels counterintuitive and wrong since we have been taught from childhood to always draw in the center of a blank piece of paper and covered every inch of our school notebooks and folders with stickers.

I didn’t learn to appreciate and use blank and negative space in my design and DIY projects until I had a drawing teacher complement me on creating negative space in a class drawing. At the time I though I made a mistake because I was just drawing the parts I knew I could draw and planned to do the hard center part last. After that I started playing with layouts and taking pictures from different angles.

Take a risk and try it on your next picture or project. If you don’t like the look, you can always repaint!

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1 comment :

Unknown said...

Who knew? This is so cool; I love it! Maybe I can swap a glass-topped table to my granddaughter for a metal-topped one so I can try this. I'm not an artist -- I can't even draw a cat from the backside -- but they say you're never too old to learn so I'm going to try it -- at 78.

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