Using Proportion in Artwork

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Proportion in artwork refers to the natural relationship between different parts of a single object as well as the relationship between separate objects on a single ground. Use either accurate or distorted proportion when making art with information from an experienced artist in this free video on art.

Part of the Video Series: Art & Painting
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Koorosh Angali with angali.com. I'm going to give you some tips on what we mean by proportion in art. Generally speaking, proportion in art refers to two different things. One is the natural relationship of the different parts of an object and by that we are referring to the fact that the painter or the artist creates those proportions in such a way that when a spectator looks at a piece of art he or she can see it as real as possible. For instance in this painting you can see that the proportions of the head and the torso and the other body parts are natural and real. Therefore the spectator looks at this painting and sees a real figure standing in front of him or her. Whereas if we make distortions in different parts of the body we can manipulate the figure in such a way that it doesn't look natural but it gets closer to our idea and our subject matter and what, especially philosophically we want to put on the canvas or on the ground, the surface whatever it is. The second definition of proportion is the difference of the sizes of different objects on the surface of the canvas or the ground. That means the object which is closer to you is usually larger than the object which is further away from you. And for instance, in this painting you can see the same bird getting smaller and smaller as it gets away from us. Now, proportion in this manner can be played around with. For instance in this drawing I have manipulated the proportion to create a different and somewhat, quote unquote, unnatural approach to my subject matter. This figure of this body lying on top of the mountain, although the proportions of the figure itself are natural, the relationship between the head and the torso and the arms and legs are natural, but the size of this figure being on top of that mountain comparing to the ground in front of it and the areas which are closer to us is definitely unnatural. A body on top of that mountain that far away cannot look that large to us.

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