The Fibonacci Sequence


  • Nice, but for art - golden mean calipers are as accurate as anything else and much more efficient.
  • In the article where this was published, in relation to math and creation of the world and the universe, everything in our universe and in nature originally come from this sequence. It is found everywhere and in everything.
  • The spiral is one of the really useful alternatives for design. I've used it twice now, but interestingly I didn't set out to use it. I never do, I capture what I like and figure out why later. On both occasions I liked the design visually and then analysed it and found both had multiple fibonacci spirals, overlaying each other. One of those paintings I deliberately used the golden ratio for my painting board proportions just to experiment - unrelated to the spiral. I'm familiar enough now to look through my camera lens when I'm trying to frame a shot (I'm not very instinctual at all) and sometimes recognise the rule of thirds or this or one of the others and it helps a bit to make decisions. Mostly still I take bigger shots and crop later. I know I like what I'm seeing but I often go home and the photo isn't right.
  • edited July 4
    That's interesting, @Abstraction. We think alike on this. I'll go out in the field and do some colour notes and take a bunch of photos. Then when I get home I'll sort through the photos and maybe 1 in 20 will speak to me if I'm lucky. Sometimes that only happens after I've played around with cropping them. Then I try to figure out what it is that speaks to me. Quite often it's something to do with the Golden Ratio or Dynamic Symmetry that underlies the composition - usually not perfectly but it's there. Sometimes I can see  possibilities of rearranging things to reinforce that underlying connection with the GR or DS  so I'll  move a rock here, nudge a mountain there. Composition is a really creative part of painting. But, for me,  it's the hardest part. If the composition doesn't work there's no point in even starting to paint.  And, unfortunately, we can't just shoehorn things into a golden spiral and expect a masterpiece every time. If only it were that easy, lol.  :)
  • I struggle with design. I think every design rule is like a chord sequence or rhythm or other component of music. In any music these components are either used or discarded according to need. Some music has no melody, for instance, or uses odd time signatures. Amateurs can play the same notes, but it's what you do with them and how you balance everything that matters.
  • @Suez
    If you want a deep dive into color in the vain go to my friend Judith Reeve's web site.  You'll find find all the is about Maraca and Ross here. Also a relatively new book called Color by Alexandra Loseke
    Links on the development of practical color back to Newton

    Ross's book is available on amazon
  • @KingstonFineArt, Thank you.

    I’ve been to your first link and have to agree it was in vain. Frankly, I don’t think she really gets it.
  • @Suez
    This is my digital version of Ross's idealized color value chart. It Is s good chart to make from 'your' base foundation palette.
    With this chart when you have a target value for say blue and the orange compliment. Orange is at value 3 or LL Blue (Cobalt) is value 5. To make a complaint neutral for value 3 you'd first lighten Blue to 3 with white and mix with the full intensity Orange (value 3). The resulting Value for the neutral color would be 3. This is an idealized example. Seems like a lot of work. It's not. It's learning. It's a very fast way to find color/value.

  • @KingstonFineArt, Thank you.  Yes, I had planned on painting out this fundamental basic color chart system from the start with the Geneva paints - before anything else. As a beginner to color I consider this step crucial and however long it takes it will be worth it for this, and every future personalized palette, I choose. I will tape them to the walls for how ever long it takes!

    The system Maratta rediscovered, of which the Slone book you recommended informs, is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow which the great masters of yore obviously utilized to the best of each of their own understandings. 

    I don’t know who all used the Maratta version but, to my newborn developing color eyesight, Sloan came much closer to understanding the benefits and application than did Henri and his modern follower.

    Your video example of your use of the method, though, was the Helen Keller “water” moment for me!

    Sad you removed the video showing your example using Geneva paints. 

  • @Forgiveness - thanks for posting that Fibonacci drawing. One can certainly get drawn into it. I think that there are many useful compositional tools, and the Fibonacci spiral is certainly one of them. 

    As @Abstraction and @tassieguy mentioned, I also discover compositional ratios and relationships after the fact. I can use a ratio tool to see where a design element needs to be added or moved, but I have never been able to use a ratio tool to design a composition from the very beginning. I think that if I did, it would result in a stilted, wooden composition. This may be just my limited ability.
  • @Desertsky
    Jay Hambridges's book The Elements of Dynamic Symmetry from Dover Books will help a great deal.

    I worked in the magazine and advertising business as a designer and illustrator for 20ish years. One thing in that had in common. Rectangles. The goal was and is to get the readers eye focused on the story. Be it a group of people enjoying some laundry soap or a pull from a story about "weasels eating flesh". A real story by the way. All presented in common rectangles.

    We paint in common rectangles. 3x4, 2x3, double squares, 1 to 1.618 (golden rectangle and so on. They are all derived from the square. The book lays it all out. It's simple geometry. Every rectangle has natural focal focal points. The math for this is mostly from a bunch of old Greeks and Persians. Up until the late 19th century most artists used these type of geometric 'rules' to structure their compositions.

    Think of the compositions they had to make. Complex having to fit in odd places. They didn't go out with their GoPros and video tape the beheading of some saint. The imagined their scenes. Made them up. They used accepted common geometric structure along with social prescribed norms. Boring?
    I don't think so. The subject matter of those 16th to19th century painters is not my cup of tea. But I do like my rectangles smothered in geometric sauce.
  • edited July 5
    Suez said:
    Very interesting, thanks for sharing that. Although my particular allusion to music was highly metaphorical - that really powerful aesthetics and beauty are not formulaic. We can arrange in a Fibonacci spiral and colour harmony or play in a melodic minor key, use all the rules and end up with very little. There is something in the best art that is more elusive, both within us and out there, somewhere; something more infinitely fragile like cradling a wild bird in your hands, that we feel but struggle to fully express. Look as I might, that living thing is not in my toolbox of art skills, helpful as they are. It has to ignite within me, within my spirit.
  • @Abstaction, I know what you mean. :(  Nothing can stop us from grasping for more of the seemingly impossible better armed with such a built in systematic harmonious color approach like this waiting to be explored. I look forward to giving it my best shot.  

    There is something about Marrata’s analogies that ring true for me. It may just go even further than his rediscoveries allude to. I suspect it does, and that each painter can learn to create a pallette of colors they were born for expressing to the tune of their own individual “songs”. Why not?

    For instance, I recently discovered the colors I most gravitate towards sync up with colors associated with particular colors of signs in the astrological zodiac where I have prominent planets in my chart. Areas in my chart with no action, or hard aspects, that are less appealing to tackle in other ways might be worked on less painfully in “color therapy”. Could it be so? I don’t know, but I will be paying attention to this as I learn and see what happens. I’ve got nothing to lose.

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