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Layering in Adobe Photoshop for Digital Scrapbookers

Lesson 10 of 36

Embellishments with the Visual Triangle

Traci Reed

Layering in Adobe Photoshop for Digital Scrapbookers

Traci Reed

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Lesson Info

10. Embellishments with the Visual Triangle

Lesson Info

Embellishments with the Visual Triangle

Let's talk about some design rules we covered a little bit of how the cluster so let's talk about design rules. There is a design rule called the visual triangle, so who's heard of the visual triangle. Ok, so basically, what the visual triangle says is that you want tio create, um, a triangle of something it could be a lot of different things. We're going to talk about a lot of different things, and what that does is it. Move your eye around the campus and I usually use it to frame things like I'll frame the cluster with a visual triangle. Or you can even create a visual triangle with your photos. Anything that you want, tio just use to move your eye around the page. So let's, look at a different a few different things that we can dio to create a visual triangle. The first way that we can create a visual triangle is with, um, color. I use color a lot to create a visual triangle. This layout is very cute, it's all well and good, but there's not a lot to focus on there's, not there's the...

normal picture of my son, but other than that it's kind of flat, and you don't really know where to focus your eyes so let's, grab some embellishments, I'm gonna use red red is a great tool for the visual triangle it isn't a color that your eyes drawn to it is super bright and it will definitely leave the eye so I have three red embellishments to create a triangle with and I'm going to use the red to frame my actual cluster, so we're going tio draw this little our move this little red heart down because we want to put a heart by the boy because I hurt him and I'm gonna move this down in the stacking order so that it's underneath the card so we have to move it up a little bit and then I'm going to use this big this is has the most visual weight and the reason that I'm going to put it here and we're gonna put it underneath stuff is that there's a lot of blank space above this layout there's a lot of blank space of all this layout and there are things I can do with this blank space and because I'm creating a triangle and the most visual wait is in this big red arrow. I'm going to put a title here and journaling here, so the first thing that you're going to see is you're going to see the boy and then the visual triangle is going to move your eye around so that you go from here to here to the most visual way out of the photo and into where your journaling and your title would be that is a great way to use a visual triangle to not only frame what you want people to see but also to move out of what you want people to focus on and to look at ok, I've seen the picture it's cute and now let's read the story of it there are other ways to use the visual triangle this is a great way to use a visual triangle we have embellishments and if you notice they are the same embellishments here, here and here and now this is what I'm talking about when I'm talking about not reinventing the wheel so let's build this cluster and then we're gonna learn how tio pull it all together, so I'm gonna pull this one not this one told this to the side so we can see it as we're building the cluster and you notice that I use the leaves while building cluster to kind of a mme towards this center cluster you're always wanting to use things that are pointy leaves that kind of stuff to sort of a man the direction you want people to look so let's put it about right here and move stuff around, and now this is a really flower filled kit by kristen kristen cronin barrel loves to put lots of flowers in her kids, so if you're a flower person um the's air the perfect hits for you I love using flowers with pictures of me and my voice and so we're gonna build this up flat embellishments underneath flowers we don't want them on top unless we're actually centering a flower like we're going to do with this button and we're just creating a lot of visual weight with this cluster and we're going to look this one up because it's a it's a really floaty looking flower so it's going to be above the heavier flowers and zoom in a little bit so I can see a little better and we're going to move this one again again with the leaves I'm going toe point him in the same direction as the other leave to kind of create continuity and then this blue one as well, but now you can see the difference there's a lot of big size difference between these now if I point these leaves in the same direction it's kind of a little bit too repetitive it looks the exact same is this one? So I'm going to anchor this set of leaves pointing away from the cluster to give your eye that way out of the cluster as well and also when I start replicating the cluster, you'll see that it points down towards the other stuff as well, so I'm gonna move this in and adjust it a little bit the beautiful thing about digital scrapbooking is that you can resize things as you want. So all of these flowers are much too big for what I'm trying to accomplish here, so we're gonna make them a lot smaller. Move the stacking order down, put it above the lead there for the second order down, make it smaller, hide it, because if we have all of these flowers, just if you can see them all so much, it's totally distracting and it's not accomplishing what we're trying to accomplish, which is just a way to anchor what we really want to see, which is this picture. So I'm gonna make things a lot smaller and really tuck them in together. So there's not so distracting, so let's, move it down, don't be afraid to resize things smaller now, do not reese icings larger, and the problem with three sizing things larger is that if something was created at one size and you make it larger than it was originally, you're going to start getting blur around the edges and distortion because, um, photoshopped really wasn't meant to make things bigger, but making things smaller, it can re populate the pixels and make them smaller very easily, so if something is too small for you and you needed to bigger there are other options if you are an eight by eight scrapper scrapbook er you can start with an eight by eight cameras instead of a twelve by twelve canvas and if somebody's embellishments or too small for you and you can deal with it that way um you can uh you can upside in increments of five percent at a time sometimes if you if it needs to be a lot bigger that's not gonna work it's going to be blurry anyway but if you just need it slightly bigger if you make it just a little bit larger five percent at a time a couple times it's going to be okay ok, I think this is a good cluster to start with let's move our butterfly now these butterflies have two purposes. What do you think that the purpose of these butterflies are looking at the layout over here? Can anyone tell the triangle? Yeah, they create a visual triangle. Let me show you something let's do it some let's change the way that I've done these butterflies let's angle it this way an angle this one this way. Yeah, if you can tell in this one that what is happening is your eye enters down here and the butterfly leads you up to this cluster and then this butterfly leads you over to this cluster so it's creating a way for your eye to travel yeah so let's rotate them correctly and now let's talk about not reinventing the wheel do we really really, really want tio create beautiful clusters over and over and over again on one lay out do we need do they need to be different do they need to be more varied do they need to have a different flowers and different buttons no because what happens with clustering on what makes it really awesome to do this trick is that oh by using the same cluster we're creating continuity within our layout we are making it so that yes they are different places to look and different way for your eye to travel however they're not distracting they're not pulling away from the center cluster because they're not different they're the same thing it adds continuity instead of detraction so we want to make sure that we have all of these layers selected that we're going to duplicate ok so now the way that we use the same cluster and make it different enough to be interesting first we're going toe duplicate this whole set of layers so make sure that they're all selected than hold on command and option or control and halt and click and drag so that does all of them together and then what we're going to do is we're going to rotate and by rotating this um leaf back towards the cluster or back towards where you want your idol look the photo it creates the lines that you want to lead your eye again. So there's quite a few ways that we're leaving I around this page by using this cluster where we're using the butterflies to move up, and then we're also making sure that we emphasize by using the leaves to point towards the cluster. So there's one and then we can do one more down here because we're talking about the visual triangle after all, so there needs to be three points, and we will. David, we're going do this on this. Okay? So duplicate this. Here we go. So now we have two visual triangles going on. We have the visual triangle of all three of the same cluster, but they're different enough. They've been rotated. You can actually also resize if you want the clusters to be a little bit smaller. Um, and then we also have this visual triangle, which leads your eye around the page, who has a lot of visual triangles? Would you turn off an element or two and one of them to make him less busy? Or would you just leave in the same exact, um, I probably wouldn't even leave them the same, it depends on how what the rest of your layout looks like now the rest of this layout is pretty there's a lot of white space there's a little bit going on in the center but there's a lot of white space even on the finnish layout, we just have this this title that finishes it off so we had a lot going on. If there were a lot of layered papers, then yeah, this much. This is a lot of flowers that would get pretty distracting so I would definitely you could take just these three flowers and replicate them up into the corner and have the same effect if you have a lot of other stuff going on but because the main focus of this lay out is the flowers I wanted it to be really flora lee we could I have boys and I wanted to use flowers a lot, so I was like a flowers. Um, no, I wouldn't delete anything from this one. Yeah, but that is this is probably my number. One trick for clustering is to duplicate the same cluster all over the page even if you pull it down off of the page it it really creates a quick and easy clustering and quick and easy way to finish a layout like you saw how easy it was for me to replicate it. This is like a half an hour layout and now it's done and it's beautiful. And I'm ready to move on to the next one.

Class Description

Learn how to make your layers lovely in Layering in Adobe® Photoshop® for Digital Scrapbookers! Traci Reed will teach you how to assemble papers, photos, and embellishments so your scrapbook pages look professional and polished, not cluttered.

There are so many fun elements to work within digital scrapbooking, but making pages that are pleasing to the eye can be a surprisingly difficult task. In this class, Traci will teach you how to use basic Adobe Photoshop tools to improve the overall look of your layout. 

You’ll learn:

  • How to create realistic depth
  • Enhancing using the dodge and burn tool
  • Designing with lighting effects

In Layering in Adobe Photoshop for Digital Scrapbookers you’ll learn how to layer from the ground up. Traci will show you how to lay the perfect foundation and how to finish it off with advanced final touches like painting and stitching.

For even more advanced scrapbooking tips check out Shadowing in Photoshop for Digital Scrapbookers & Design Layouts in Photoshop.

Class Materials

bonus material

Shadow Styles

Stitching Brushes

Stitching Styles

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



I have recently discovered digital scrapbooking and have been using a great scrapbooking software that I downloaded on-line. There are limitations with the software that prompted me to look deeper for ideas. Traci's course was fantastic! I learned so much from her not only in scrapbooking layouts and using different elements in a page but my level of understanding of photoshop has improved dramatically. The presentation was easy to follow and broken into perfect chunks to go back and review the techniques. Thank you so much Traci for presenting this awesome course. I will look for more of your courses. Your scrapbooking is beautiful and inspiring!


I'm a photographer. I do a lot of graphic design for my business. I feel like I'm fairly knowledgeable. I saw this class being shown for free on Creative Live one day and it wasn't my first choice to watch, but was the best out of the list... I was wrong. This is a great class. I didn't expect to learn that much and I've been learning a lot! Great info!


This course was amazing. I learn some things I didn't know how to do. Traci is simple and straight forward in her teaching. Very easy to understand.