Assignment 6 Perspective lecture notes page 1

Art 101
Design &
Instructor: Deb Goodsell
Voice mail: 488-4701 ext. 2008
Email:[email protected]
"The world of reality has its limits;
the world of imagination is boundless."
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Assignment #6
Scale and proportion are related terms in that both refer basically to size. Scale is essentially another
name for size. Proportion refers to a relative size, size measured against other elements or against
some mental norm or standard.
Scale and proportion are closely tied to emphasis and focal point. Large scale and especially large
proportion to other elements make for an obvious visual emphasis or focal point.
Hieratic Scaling
In past centuries visual scale was often related to thematic importance. The size of figures was based on
their symbolic importance in the subject being presented. Images of gods, angels, saints, and rulers were
often shown in a large size to indicate their importance. Hieratic scaling has been used to clarify a focal
Scale Within Art/
Scale Confusion
The various scale elements within a design or work of art can make the artwork more visually interesting.
We often use the term proportion to describe the size relationship between various parts of a unit. To
say an element in a composition is "out of proportion" carries a negative feeling. And it is true that such a
visual effect can be startling or unsettling. However, it is possible that this reaction is precisely what some
artists desire.
Artist have used Scale Confusion to intentionally intrigue or mystify the viewer rather than to clarify a
focal point. Surrealism is an art form based on paradox, on images that cannot be explained in rational
terms. Artists who work in this manner present the irrational world of the dream or nightmare using
recognizable elements in impossible situations. The artists Rene Magritte and Salvador Dali are both
known for this style of composition. Surrealism uses real objects in an unreal setting or unreal objects in
a real setting or situation.
Rene Magritte - Personal Values
Does this painting show an
impossibly large comb, shaving
brush, bar of soap and other
items, or are these items normal
size but placed in a doll house
room? Neither explanation
makes rational sense.