“Theoretically, there is no end to the trail of squares cut out of a continually resurrecting golden rectangle, seducing the squares forever onward.” — Michael S. Schneider
After Divison Principles of Basic Shapes, the eleventh tutorial of the Graphic Design Basic Element Series covers Division Principles of the Rectangle.
The rectangle is one of the most common shapes divisible by lines. Mystics, mathematicians, artists, scientists, and physicists recognize the visible bridge between science, nature, and art within the division principles of the rectangle.
How the Eye Perceives
By understanding and using the best practices of design, we can significantly enhance the appreciation of our artwork. The perception of the eye naturally follows the division flow found in the Golden Ratio, which contains the Golden Spiral.
The ratio formula within the Golden Rectangle is mathematical and follows the Fibonacci number series. It’s easy to search for famous modern, contemporary, and renaissance artworks where the division principle is highly recognizable.
You can also easily notice the Golden Spiral in nature, and the creator in both art and nature illustrate design harmony and balance.
Helpful Rectangle Division Resources
There are many handy online resources to broaden your educational and design experience using the division principles of the rectangle. Understanding how to work with the rectangular shape and the tools available on the topic will assist in consciously taking your art to the next level.
The link after the following list provides references that include descriptions of the following five helpful, creative tools. Each application will guide the use of the rectangle’s division principle in your artwork:
- Golden Ratio Calculator
- goldenRATIO app
- Golden Ratio Typography Calculator
- PhiMatrix: Golden Ratio design and analysis software
- Golden Ratio Sketch resource
Click here > Golden Ratio Design Support
A Landscape Example of the Golden Rectangle
Here is an example of one of my landscape paintings of a golden field in Sequim, WA. Notice the Golden Ratio overlays. Look for the two locations on the canvas of the birds. See how the eye flows with the bushes and the horizontal alignment of the tree line. This flow places the birds which are points of interest in the subject matter right in that flow.
Essentially, design along the subdivisions while utilizing the structure of each element when building your composition. This is true with division principles of all shapes.
Playful Division Exercises
Have fun going on an internet search of various art categories, like modern, contemporary, and renaissance, along with elements in nature to find examples applying the visual of the Golden Ratio. Then, note them in your art journal.
Next, look at some of your personal artwork and check out if you can identify where you unknowingly designed your composition using these principles because it “just” felt right!
Go back to your photo collections, too. Now create some quick line art pencil sketches while using the golden rectangle divisions as a guide. Make this time fun and rewarding! Playing with art is really a form of self-care.
Supportive Art Resources
Building a reference library or even checking out design books is quite a useful way to grow your art skills.
Here’s two books to help round out your understanding of composition in art and how to incorporate elements, including typography, art subjects, and even background components in a design.
The Power of Limits: Proportional Harmonies in Nature, Art, and Architecture
The Painter’s Secret Geometry: A Study of Composition in Art
Downloadable Tutorial Guide
Our next tutorial will describe Division Examples of the Triangle found in design and a downloadable tutorial image.
To follow along, click > Art & Design Tutorial Table of Contents