Thursday, July 8, 2010

Rectilinear Volumes, part 2

The following notes are from a book called Elements of Design: Rowena Reed Kostellow and the Structure of Visual Relationships. I have copied some pages purely for educational purposes.

It is important to vary the proportions in your design. Make it interesting. the last thing you want is a predictable sequence of forms that look like " going going gone." The difference between beautiful and ordinary form is the sensitivity of these proportions. It is intangible but very real quality. Understanding it is one of the most valuable assets of a visual artist. Too much time cannot be spent in developing this sensitivity in oneself and becoming intuitively aware of beautiful relationships.

Carefully position the axes of the volumes.
the axis refers to an imaginary line through the center of the longest dimension of the form
s and indicates the strongest movement of the form. the axis fives a form its position in space.

In this exercise, keep the axes of volumes static (perpendicular to each other.)
The static axis is the simplest and will help you get away from flat compositions. Later, in more advanced exercise you will try to achieve a variety of movements of the axes. In fact, to make your designs more three-dimensional, you should u
se as many movements of the axes as possible. But for now, we start with a simpler challenge.

Always conceive a design from all positions. Work on a study turntable and continually rotate the sketch to make sure it "reads" from all directions.

Consider how the volumes are joined.
these are three ways to join the volumes piercing, wedging and cradling.

Ask yourself the following questions as you look at your design.
Is there contrast between the dominant and sub dominant forms ? Are they complementary ? Are they too similar in size and shape ? Students sometimes have a tendency to repeat the same dimensions. Is the sub dominant form in the most prominent position ? Students like to put the dominant forms on the bottom because that seems to hold things up, but its not necessarly the dominant position. Does the sub dominant form add something to the three-dimensional quality and unity of the whole ? Sometimes there's a tendency to treat the subordinate as an orphan. Does the design look good from all sides, at eye level, and from the top?

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