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Old 09-21-2011, 05:01 PM
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Question Golden ratio and canvas sizes

Hi, Newbie here. I've been reading about composition and the golden ratio and have a stupid question. Why is it that none of the pre-stretched canvases, canvas pads and canvas boards come in sizes that are the ratio of 1: 1.618? Or did I miss something? Most seem to be about 1: 1.2
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:02 AM
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Re: Golden ratio and canvas sizes

Quote:
... Why is it that none of the pre-stretched canvases, canvas pads and canvas boards come in sizes that are the ratio of 1: 1.618?...
Even more pronounced: extremely few paintings have a w/h ratio approaching Phi. So it is clearly an artists', not a manufacturers' decision. Why? good question . My guess is that Phi is so appealing that the borders will draw too much attention.
Curious to hear other refections.
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Old 09-23-2011, 02:24 PM
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Re: Golden ratio and canvas sizes

I don't think the formula for the golden mean suggests that a painting surface should have a long side which is 61.8% longer than the short side.

The formula relates more to the harmony obtained when a straight line is divided into into two components, one being 62% greater than the other. This is thought to result in a pleasing balance.

Most painting surfaces have a ratio of short to long side which is less than the golden mean ratio of 1 to 1.62. The only reason I can think of is that the ratio 1 to 1.62 is not generally preferred by artists.

Last edited by Keith2 : 09-23-2011 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:14 PM
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Smile Re: Golden ratio and canvas sizes

To add to the oddness, the various "standard" sizes are not constructed in the same proportions either. 5x7, 8x10, 9x12, 6x4 these are each a unique proportion.

9x2 and 18x24 are in the same proportion.

Also the standard mat and frame sizes are not in proportion with the common fractions of a standard "full" sheet of watercolor paper.
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Old 09-24-2011, 03:54 AM
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Re: Golden ratio and canvas sizes

I've got a pocket Moleskine watercolour sketchbook and the dimensions of 9cm x 14 cm (1 to 1.55) are close to the golden ratio. I think you'd have to search around to get canvases and painting panels with the golden ratio proportions.
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Old 09-24-2011, 11:00 AM
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Re: Golden ratio and canvas sizes

I guess the next thing I have to learn how to do is how to use the golden ratio within a painting. Can anyone point me in the right direction on the web? I have a horrible time trying to search WetCanvas.
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:07 PM
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Re: Golden ratio and canvas sizes

Quote:
Originally Posted by dancingleafwoman
I guess the next thing I have to learn how to do is how to use the golden ratio within a painting. Can anyone point me in the right direction on the web?
Honestly, the Golden Cut is only one small aspect of composition. I'd advise you to take the class on composition in the Watercolor Forum. It covers all aspects briefly. But then you have a good overview to decide on what you want a deeper study .
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:07 AM
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Re: Golden ratio and canvas sizes

Using the golden mean is easy. Just draw a faint line down the page, about one third in from the left hand edge. Do a similar line a third in from the right hand.

When you paint your picture, paint one of the most interesting objects in the scene on one of these two lines.
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Old 09-28-2011, 12:18 AM
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Re: Golden ratio and canvas sizes

Another option would be to calculate some sizes you like and then custom stretch your own canvases for those sizes.

This topic intrigues me because lately I've seen some new formats such as "panoramic" and I've felt inspired by them because they have a new, fresh feel. This is a little off topic, I realize, but I like to try lots of different approaches.

That being said, I think you should experiment with the Golden Mean canvases in one way or another since you're drawn to that, and note how it feels and looks compared to the standard sizes. Good luck!
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:41 AM
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Re: Golden ratio and canvas sizes



I regularly use a panoramic format when painting outside. This can make the scene more dramatic.

I use a Moleskine watercolour pad (9cm x 15 cm) in landscape format. Paint across a double page and you get a picture ratio of 1 to 3.

The above watercolour was done in on a double page Moleskine page. It was painted the beach at St Jean Cap Ferrat, (near Nice), looking east to the Italian border.

Last edited by Keith2 : 09-28-2011 at 03:44 AM.
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:22 PM
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Re: Golden ratio and canvas sizes

Thanks, I just picked up a couple of "panoramic" canvas panels about a month ago just because I like the look.

Maybe I'll use that for my landscape that I have to do for my class. I thought I'd try to print out a couple of templates to use but not sure how to draw them. Anybody know of pre-made templates that can be used to help plan a canvas? Esp of spiral?

Everything is so exciting because it's so new. Thanks for all the help so far.
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:12 PM
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Re: Golden ratio and canvas sizes

Quote:
Originally Posted by dancingleafwoman
....Anybody know of pre-made templates that can be used to help plan a canvas? Esp of spiral?....
Well, google "golden spiral template", and select "Images" tab. Plenty of choice
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:20 PM
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Re: Golden ratio and canvas sizes

Have you looked at this rather old book

The Art of Composition.

http://ia700406.us.archive.org/23/it...00jacouoft.pdf

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Old 09-29-2011, 08:05 PM
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Re: Golden ratio and canvas sizes

I looked at the book - 1926 - you can tell it's written in an almost different language. I went up to about page 32 and decided I need to take this one slowly to digest it all.

Thanks for the link. I think it will be helpful if I can get past the academic speech form of the early 20th century!
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:06 PM
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Re: Golden ratio and canvas sizes

And Arnoud - duh moment! A Google-ling I go!
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