Golden Mean or Golden Ratio


The golden mean is based on an ideal shaped rectangle following the golden mean measurements. Artists need to lead the eye of the viewer towards areas of interest within a painting. To accomplish this the artist needs to find the strongest points withing the canvas area.

The Golden Ratio, also known as Golden Mean is a mathematically developed formula, observed often in nature and applied to architecture and in art.

To find the ideal size of a canvas take the width of the canvas and divide it by the 1.618. Then add the result to the original measurement to get the ideal length.

Let's say the short end of the canvas has a width of 30 inches.

30: 1.618=18.54 now 18.54+30 = 48.54" would be the ideal length of the canvas

I personally prefer this simple approach:

1.Make a square based on your shorter measurement

2. Then draw a line through the center to create two halves. You now should have two identical rectangles.

3. Draw a line going from corner to opposing corner of one of those halves.

. 4.The new diagonal line will create the ideal length of the golden rectangle.

golden rectangle make

Now in order to find the four strong points within any such canvas all you have to do is draw two lines from one corner to the other. Since the two lines now crossed in the center, use the central point and find the mid point from center to each opposing canvas corner.

rectangle eyes

These points—represented by the green dots in the diagram above—are called the “eyes of the rectangle.”

My artist friend Mr. Graham Hanks has a

Golden Section Finder

on his blog available for free download.

Special thanks to

The empty Easel

for the pictorial explanation.

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