Monday Morning Art School: a Hail Mary with Dynamic Symmetry

Monday Morning Art School: a Hail Mary with Dynamic Symmetry

Apple Blossom Time, oil on archival canvasboard, $869 framed incorporates shipping and handling in continental US.

I initially figured out about Jay Hambidge‘s idea of Dynamic Symmetry in a workshop taught by Steven Assael numerous decades in the past. I was looking for the Holy Grail of composition and fiddled with Dynamic Symmetry for numerous years right before putting it in my Folder of Fundamentally Flawed Design Thoughts, alongside with the Golden Ratio, Silver Ratio, Fibonacci Sequence, Rule of Thirds, and a lot of other stuff I have mercifully forgotten.

You can go search it up and test to offer with the arcana of root rectangles if you want the bottom line is that it sets up a static method of place division that from time to time appears like this:

The facts rely on who you question, and someway the star-grid by no means seems to operate out the exact same, depending on who’s interpreting it. I’m just displaying you it as I wrote it down in that classroom at the Art College students League. I’m not suggesting you use it if you glimpse at Jay Hambidge’s paintings, you will observe that they tend to be static. I substantially choose the uncomplicated instruction Don’t Be Unexciting.

Just begin portray?

I’m functioning on a fee to paint from a photograph taken in deep woods, but I cannot appear to make any respectable division of the wall of eco-friendly. I could effortlessly above-egg the diagonals, but the woods in my reference is flat, and I want to regard that. That labored pretty properly for Gustav Klimt’s beech grove paintings, which I adore, but I have distinctive plans in intellect.

I have looked at painters of the woods whom I admire, I’ve drawn repeated iterations, and I have rendered it in watercolor. I continue to was not liking the place division. On Thursday I started to dedicate a cardinal error of portray: “I simply cannot assume of any other way to draw this, so I’ll just begin portray and see if a thing takes place to me.”

I know that’s completely wrong I have explained to my learners not to do that at minimum a gazillion moments. If it does not get the job done as a drawing, it is never ever heading to get the job done as a portray. Value is the initial thing the eye sees, and if it will make no feeling in greyscale, it is unlikely to be riveting in coloration.

Spring Greens, 8X10, oil on archival canvasboard, $652 framed includes shipping and managing in continental US.

Saved by the bell

I was about to begin transferring my drawing to my canvas when I assumed, “what the heck, I’ll just grid this with Hambridge’s Dynamic Symmetry grid instead of a easy sq. transfer grid. It’ll at minimum be a lot more of a problem when I’m transferring the drawing to the canvas.”

That was an eye-opener. I moved things and checked their positioning in conditions of the dynamic symmetry grid, and abruptly uncovered that with a several tweaks, it will examine just good.

Fog above Whiteface Mountain, 11X14, $1087 framed consists of transport and dealing with in continental US.

When you’re caught you want to combine it up

I am unlikely to use the Dynamic Symmetry grid at any time again, and undoubtedly not at the layout section. Even so, I’m happy I had it tucked in the back again of my head when I desired to veer out of the groove that had come to be a rut.

There is no design plan that is universally relevant, and no concept, which include Dynamic Symmetry, that is totally worthless. It’s practical to comprehend how other artists answer style and design issues against the time you, far too, are caught.

When a composition is off-harmony, off-placing, or just excruciatingly uninteresting, try to set it against some kind of framework and see what’s likely correct or improper. That’s why I talk to my students to do composition exercise routines, and why my to start with question in critique is often, “what form of compositional framework is this? What are the focal factors?”

My 2024 workshops:

  • Portray in Paradise: Rockport, ME, July 8-12, 2024.
  • Sea & Sky at Schoodic, August 4-9, 2024.
  • Come across your reliable voice in plein air: Berkshires, August 12-16, 2024.
  • Artwork and Experience at Sea: Paint Aboard Schooner American Eagle, September 15-19, 2024.
  • Immersive In-Human being Workshop: Rockport, ME, October 7-11, 2024.