The Art of Proportion.... Dividing the Plane

There must be no decoration, only proportion.

Abbot of Clairvaux (1091 - 1153) Biography Here

The abbey of Cluny as it would have looked in Bernard's time.

One of the most important elements of design on the plane is an understanding and intuitive grasp of proportion. How each element relates to every other element as well as to the frame is the foundation and basis of all design. Tension, calm, action, rest as well as many more states of being find expression in the idea of proportion



These lines are perfectly centered and balanced... What is the symbolism? How does it make you feel?











What about this? See how the plane is divided? How would you describe this?



How to do this.... Begin a new document. Size it to be 8X8 inches at 72 dpi, RGB. Underneath the marquee selection tool in Photoshop is a vertical line selection tool and a horizontal one. Show your grid and stroke a 4 pixel black line both vertically and horizontally. Now set your crop tool to 4" X 4" at 72 dpi in the top options bar. click and drag around the lines to explore alternate proportions....Work intuitively... try to find 6 unique designs...


Next, use color fills on your design.


Piet Mondrian was known for his paintings using black lines in just the horizontal and vertical direction, sometimes filled with primary colors.









Balanced, using two colors and black and gray.....







Continue to experiment...




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