assemblage: a gathering or collection of several things grouped together in one place or considered as a wholeYesterday I made time for some creative play. I recently purchase a couple of tutorials from Dawn and I wanted to try one of them out. Even though my project is not yet complete I thought I would give you a peek at it thus far. I also thought it would be fun to break down the design and show you how a few simple principals of design visually enhance your artwork.After printing out Dawn's clear easy to follow instructions, which include wonderful images for use in the project, and assembling supplies, I was set to go. I have had this small drawer for quite some time and I thought it would be perfect for creating the nest assemblage in. For a background I chose to use a scanned image from an old flower drawing book that featured Queen Anne's Lace. Here is the background I used, feel free to save it to your computer for use in your art work.TIP: You know how when you buy something fragile at Hobby Lobby and they wrap it in that off white thin protective paper? Don't throw it away. Cut it into 8 1/2 x 11 in. pieces. Using a low tack removable double sided tape, secure it to a piece of card stock. Print your background or image on it just as you would any paper you run through your printer. Allow the ink to dry and gently peel it away from the card stock. The outcome has the feel of a beautiful thin old delicate book page. If you want it to be more sturdy, you can use a spray glue and adhere it to another piece of paper or card stock before printing.I made one little alteration in Dawn's design when covering my box, choosing to leave the inside top and sides uncovered, instead, covering the outside of the box due to some unsightly scribbling on the exterior of the drawer. I intentionally left a border around the exterior paper because I rather liked seeing the nail heads which to me gave it a more rustic appearance.TIP: Don't throw away those fake plastic credit cards you get in the mail or save those old used plastic gift cards. These make a great tool for smoothing out your paper backgrounds. They get out any excess glue and air bubbles while adhering your paper to your project!I used parts of several of the images she provided to decorate the box inside and out. Little speckled eggs float around the outer sides and bottom of the box...Even the back is decorated with a sweet little wren, egg, and one of the quotes included in the tutorial.I didn't have a nest the right size to fit my assemblage so I made one from wire and various fibers using a basket making technique I learned years ago. The flower pods, twigs, and dried hydrangea blossoms were gathered from my grandmother's garden from a recent trip I made up there. I found the feathers in my yard.The persepctive of this artwork would be considered Nonlinear Perspective. This method uses techniques of position, overlapping, size variation, color, and value to show depth.If you notice, there is a triangle to the design, dark dried flower pods in the upper corner, mini pine cones in the lower corner, with the nest resting in the opposite lower corner. In the elements of design this would be called an implied line which means that the shape or line is not actually drawn but created by a group of objects. The colors in these elements used in an odd number are similar and balance each other out. The same design principal applies to the placement of the photo and feathers which are all similar in color family.Applying simple design principals to your artwork makes it visually pleasing so that your eye does not have to make the uncomfortable jump to link the groupings. The over lapping of these two triangles gives the artwork a symmetrical balance, which means equal weight on each side of the focal point object. The focal point, an object or area where you want the viewer to look first, of this design is the bird image. There are also three color sources to round out the design; the speckled eggs, the dried hydrangea blossoms, and the bird image. The color harmony, certain combinations of colors that create different looks or feelings, for this grouping are cool colors. They give the feeling of coolness for example blue and violet are the color of water and green is the color of cool grass. Color is the most expressive element of art. It reflects light, creates depth, and draws attention to your artwork.Value, the range of lightness and darkness used in your artwork, creates interest through highlights and shadows. This piece uses value contrast, where light values are placed next to dark values to create a strong contrast or difference, by placing pops of color next to the dark or neutral colored objects.Since I wanted my assemblage to be dimensional I added an odd number of layers to make the box interesting and to draw the eye forward. The background of Queen Anne's Lace layered with the little egg print serve as the first layer. A curled copy of an old photo at the back of the box serves as the second layer. The third layer that fills and balances the box are the little handmade nest and egg on one side and the wooden spool filled with dried naturals on the other. The bird image draws the eye to forefront in the forth layer. Lastly, the little trio of mini pine cones and moss serve as a stopping place for the eye. These layers serve as texture and are a very important element in artwork.This design has both physical and visual texture. Physical or Real texture is texture you can actually feel with your hand for example the smooth photo, the rough pine cones and pods, the soft moss and nest fibers. Visual or Implied texture is the illusion of physical texture created with the materials you use, in this case it is the staggering and layering of objects that gives visual texture.By playing with the composition, the organization and placement of the elements you are using, and creating a focal point surrounded by color and texture, you will be creating unity in your artwork. Unity refers to a sense that everything in the artwork belongs there and makes the piece whole even if the objects used are unrelated.While these principals can certainly be practical applications in your artwork, don't forget the most expressive and creative principal of designing by experimentation. Experiment with different shapes, objects, textures, materials, and methods to create a work of art that is uniquely you.