Journal Page Composition

Just as you can create an interesting and dynamic composition within a single drawing, the entire page, with it’s mix of sketches and written notes, can also have a dynamic composition. Some people plan this out in advance. The calligrapher and nature journaler J. Panter draws page layout ideas into the back of her journal.

J. Panter draws these composition ideas and prompts into the back of her journal to inspire possible page layouts.
J. Panter draws these composition ideas and prompts into the back of her journal to inspire possible page layouts.

Each of these designs can provide inspiration and ideas for a page template. With a framework like this in the background (perhaps sketched in with non-photo blue pencil) you have a little structure that can also help you get over the fear of the blank page. Click the first image to enlarge.

4 thoughts on “Journal Page Composition

  1. CJ says:

    This is really helpful for a problem I seem to have….trying to figure out an interesting placement on the page. It just never seems to look “right” after I’m done with it and it never occured to me to it out before sketching. Thank you!!

  2. Thank you so much for this. It will help many, many people who want their journals to shine. I am a retired (ten years!) graphic designer, and I always tried to remember the design mantra of those wonderful heroes of mine back in the 60′,70s, 80s and 90s: “Type is part of the picture.” In our case, text is part of the composition. Your thumbnails are wonderful for anyone who wants to blend beautifully the drawing and the text on the page.

  3. Susan Gee Rumsey says:

    What a good idea! I used to do this back when I was designing publications, but it hadn’t occurred to me to apply the approach to my own artwork. Duh.

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