Tag Archives: proportion

A Lesson on Composition and the Golden Mean

Click to Mix and SolveI hadn’t meant to stop when I checked a link on JigZone. Something caught my eye and I clicked on it.  I am not sure who create this jigsaw.  Please let me know this image is yours and I will credit!

I was attracted to this image called Kayaks on the Beach because it was so well composed. To understand what I mean view this video.

Image with Golden Mean

Image with Golden Mean 

The Golden Mean is a mathematical formulae artists (and many others) use to divide up a canvas so that the composition is appealing.

I have divided the scene into the proportions for you to the right so that you can see that the artist has

  • created a main focal point of interest
  • seemed to divide the painting into 2 equal halves of contrasting colour (sand and blue)
  • augmented this division with a strip of dark green mountain that divides the canvas working the colour composition into an analogous trilogy
  • has disturbed the simplicity of the tranquil scene by arranging a analogous triangle superimposed (literally) on to te serene and still scene
  • the triangle seems to have been deliberately laid out to lead the eye toward the peak of the triangle

The formality of the composition enticed me to think this was a painting and not a photograph.

Critique Question:

  • Can we paint with a camera?

Blogging Exercise:

  1. Go out into nature and take a photo that you can work with.
  2. Try your best to compose it according to the Golden Mean in the camera viewer.
  3. Take it back to you studio and further work on the composition in Photoshop or another editor.
  4. When you are very happy with the composition draw it onto a canvas and paint the painting.