The Visual Dynamics of Related and Unrelated Shapes (Rectangles)
Each shape has its own dynamics: each shape has its own energies and arrangement of those energies; the rectangle is the classic shape in the visual arts. Two classical divisions of the rectangle are handed down to the artist; but to the modern artist, these are for the most part curiosities: interesting but no necessary in composing – or rather, spewing forth a painting – at best, they are recipes on how to lay in a picture: where to conveniently hang objects. The reality is that these systems are maps of the rectangle’s dynamics.
The eye will naturally divide a line in half: the mid-point; in a rectangle, this leads to the bipartite system. The eye also naturally divides a line into thirds leading us to the tripartite system. Interestingly the bipartite system includes the tripartite: the latter is a subset of the former.
Yet, what about the shape area in terms of its nature divide into sub areas? Does the area easily divide into fourths and thirds?
- Is there a perceived relationship?
- Is this too subtle to consciously register?
- Does the eye grasp the relationships? Can the eye recognize a shape as based an original
- Create a rectangle with each side easily divided by three
- Enter the tripartite guidelines
- Create rectangular shapes based on those divisions
- Create an wholly unrelated rectangle having no proportional relationship with any of the rectangles or the master rectangle.
- The eye does perceive the relationships: there is an harmony between shapes based on the initial rectangle;
- The harmony and disharmony are immediately perceived. The red rectangle is perceived as out of harmony with the other rectangles.
- Can compositions be created that play off the relatedness of different proportioned rectangles (or simply objects); for the eye is attracted to and tends to group by likeness.
[Edited 3/10/2017. This experiment was initially done as to understand why the eye quickly recognizes the misshapeness of a drawn human figure; but I have since come to understand that the mind has an internal sense of proportion. Yet, this is a possible way for the artist to create pleasing proportions of the human figure.]