What is the Golden Mean?
The Golden Mean is the Ratio most pleasing to the eye and therefore by using it in your artworks you can create good compositions.
The Golden Mean is the divine proportion or golden section is a special number approximately equal to 1.618. It appears regularly in living things but also is used in art and architecture.
WATCH: Introducing the Golden Mean
PRACTICE ACTIVITY 1
1. Draw a line 8cm long
2. 2. Calculate how to separate this line using the golden ration and mark on the line.
Rectangles are shapes where the width is longer than the height or vice versa. A golden rectangle has a shape where one side is 1.6182 times longer than the other side.
PRACTICE ACTIVITY 2: Drawing a Golden Rectangle
1. Draw a horizontal line 10cm long.
2. In this case, we will make the vertical lines shorter than the horizontal lines. To calculate the length of the vertical line, divide the length of the line (10cm) by the golden number.
3. Use the vertical length calculated to complete the rectangle.
Shapes associated with the golden number are found in nature
Components within a painting or photograph may be broken up using the golden ratio.
The Golden Stairs (1880), by Edward Burne Jones.
PRACTICE ACTIVITY 4: Measure & Sketch
- Measure the lengths of the gowns from the sash below the breast, to the bottom hem The golden number point should be at the women’s knees. Measure to find out.
- Sketch the object in front of you. Show a feature broken up using the golden ratio.
PRACTICE ACTIVITY 5: Find the Golden Ratio
- Find two painting examples that are based on the Golden Mean.
- Find two advertising/man made object examples that uses the Golden Mean
- Find two examples in nature of the Golden Mean
Save the images, print and stick in your sketchbook. Draw over each image to demonstrate where the golden mean has been used. (BE CAREFUL NOT to change the proportions of your images as this may interfere with the divine proportions)