What makes something visually appealing?
I’m sure most everyone has at least, in some form, seen or heard of the phrase “the golden ratio” or “the golden mean.” This ancient philosophical concept is rooted in everything from nature to mathematics and, of course, art is not excluded. It’s a common thought that this golden ratio is a determining factor in what makes a composition appealing, so naturally, it was introduced as part of an assignment for our Conceptual Design Thinking class with professor John Meza. The rule of thirds, combined with this geometry can be used to form an armature for a design that is helpful in generating aesthetically pleasing images. This week, I wanted to go through the process of creating an image based on this concept.
I started the assignment by coming up with two rough ideas and applying them to the principles discussed in the assignment. One was intended to be a realistic landscape depicting a lighthouse and a seaside and the other, admittedly, was a little less rigid and a bit more imaginative, so that’s the one that I decided to polish into a final. I’m not sure exactly where the idea came from… in fact it was actually pretty rushed, but it kind of looks like the rook piece of a chess set at the end of a winding cliff path?
After deciding on the fortress landscape, I decided to rework the idea to be something slightly different. Instead of a fortress in the distance, I wanted to have some kind of megalithic alien object, whether extraterrestrial or otherwise, in place of the fort… partly because I saw the movie Arrival recently and I found myself equally as enamored as I was discomforted with the sheer scale of the alien ships in that movie. Big objects are intriguing, plain and simple. I also wanted to add some sort of story or narrative to the piece so I included two figures on the bridge crossing towards the other side, not only to give the piece more character, but to establish a sense of scale in comparison to the object in the distance. Throw in some alien flora, and draw some fog and boom! Atmosphere! I adjusted some details to match the armature, and as a result of following it somewhat closely, I feel as though I was left with a successful piece! Definitely a good tool for building composition. I decided to make the piece in black and white to practice establishing a sense of scale and distance… I still find it hard with color. Thank you for viewing!