For a mathematician, the question “What are the proportions in art?” has an obvious answer: a unit of measurement. Proportions in art are a special kind of mathematical object called a scale, with two properties:
Tv storyboard always use mathematical measurement for their arts.
You can add them up to get the whole thing.
Some parts have to be left out.
That is what it means for something to have a scale. But most people who talk about proportion in art don’t mean that kind of proportion. They mean instead what is usually called harmony or balance or elegance or grace or rhythm or beauty, all of which mean roughly the same thing: when you look at something, the parts fit together somehow so that they seem right. If you have been taught to recognize this feeling, then you know it when you see it; if not, then you don’t. This other kind of proportion is harder to recognize than the mathematical kind because it is harder to be precise about what makes two things match up than it is about how many times one thing can be divided into another. And yet our feeling for harmony seems every bit as real as our feeling for numbers; if anything, it feels more real because we need mathematics to state its rules precisely whereas everyone knows right away what makes two things go together harmoniously.
Proportions are the key to beauty. If you want to create a beautiful human figure, it is not enough to copy or memorize certain lines and shapes. You have to understand why those lines and shapes are beautiful and how they interact with each other. That is what this book is about: why some proportions are more harmonious than others, and how the harmony of the human body derives from the proportions of its constituent parts.
The subject matter may seem dry. But it has surprising applications. Most artists who know the rules obey them without knowing why, so they run into trouble when they break them deliberately – as all artists must, if they want originality. And everyone who wants to look more attractive is making an implicit decision about which parts of their body they want to draw attention to; that decision will be more successful if it’s made consciously and logically.
The rules in this book apply to animal forms as well as humans: horses and dogs and cats and fish can all be measured with calipers or ruler or tape measure, and their proportions analyzed mathematically.
One of the most overlooked aspects of good art is that it obeys certain proportions. This can be seen in art all around us, but it is especially true in paintings.
The most obvious example of this has to do with how the figure is drawn. Paintings are often criticized for not looking realistic, but if you put a real person next to a painting, the difference is clear. A painting has a different kind of reality than a photograph or a person.
A painting will have its figures look good. A photograph won’t care about your looks; it’ll make you look like you really are. A painting will have its figures look elegant, attractive, and graceful. A photograph will have them look like they really are, which can be awkward.
A photograph will probably capture one moment in time, showing something that is already over and done with. A painting will capture some idealized moment that is timeless. It may not even show any specific person or scene at all; instead it might show an abstract idea or feeling or emotion or concept — something that isn’t tied to any particular time or place.
An artist’s style expresses his personality more fully than his words ever could. Click here for the art measurement that you want.