New Dynamics: Creating Diptychs to Explore Relationships

Hi everyone, it’s Sarah! Today were going to be exploring diptychs and how they are used to bring the connections between two seemingly unrelated subjects. Since the word ubuntu translates to multiple words and concepts, diptychs can be used to bring work out these concepts and create a better understanding of the word. We will be creating diptychs inspired by ubuntu and its definitions of community, kindness and solidarity.

While traditionally diptychs were created on two wooden panels, hinged together, today we’ll be using a double page spread. Diptychs are most commonly used to show subjects that were closely related to one another, but they can also portray different perspectives on the same subject or focus on contrasting concepts.


New Dynamics: Creating Diptychs to Explore Relationships



  • Paint
  • Brushes
  • Water
  • Collage ephemera
  • Scissors
  • Adhesives
  • Drawing materials



This is a fairly open tutorial. Using two separate pages to create ones-read that will be seen as one work. It may help to ask yourself these questions while creating: How are the images similar? How are they different? Do they mean something together that is different than their meaning individually? How can they become connected? What is their new relationship?

You want to be able to look at each page individually but also then as a whole that creates new context and meaning for the images. In my first example, I was exploring the idea of ubuntu where we are individuals but also a part of the whole. For my second example I wanted to the process of combing two separate images to really end up working together and making the viewer think about the new relationship that is  formed. Taking images, that you may not even know what they are in reference too and making connections between them.


New Dynamics: Creating Diptychs to Explore Relationships


Action Steps

  1. Choose a concept of ubuntu that you want to explore
  2. Find two images that are seemly unrelated and give them new meaning by putting them together in a diptych
  3. Add a background and doodles to help connect the images
  4. Add a background and doodles to help connect the images


Sara lives in Rockland County, New York. The best part of art journaling for Sarah is that it’s just for her. She can be as free as she wants in the pages and there’s no right or wrong. Her art journals have become more than just a way to try new supplies and techniques, but a way for her to document the phases of her life.


  1. Kimberly Jones

    Great lesson Sarah! This is an interesting concept to explore. Love your tiny journal by the way!

  2. karen davis

    I loved this 🙂

    and also seeing the pages of your journals!

  3. Julia Bethmann

    great lesson and the flip through of your journals was a real treat Sarah! Thanks!

  4. Dawn Perkins

    Thank you Sarah! Love your journaling! 🙂

  5. Maura Flood

    I enjoyed this tutorial so much, Sarah. I have always thought of diptychs and triptychs as relating to saints or religious stories. Now I have an entirely new way of seeing them, and it’s exciting!

  6. CIndy Jacobs

    I love this tutorial!!!! Thank you Sarah!!

  7. Sasha Zinevych

    I love this tutorial, Sarah! Thank you!