Proportion

DEFINITION

Size relationships between parts of a whole, or between two or more objects perceived as a unit.<br><br> The relation of one part to the whole, or to other parts (for example, of the human body). For example, the human body is approximately 7 to 7-1/2 times the height of the head; the vertical halfway point of the body is the groin; the legs are halved at the knees, etc. Proportion also refers to the relative sizes of the visual elements in a composition, and their optimum relationships for good design.<br><br>A principle of design, proportion refers to the comparative, proper, or harmonious relationship of one part to another or to the whole with respect to size, quantity, or degree; a ratio.Proportion came to English in the Latin word proportionem, meaning comparative relation.Often proportion is allied with another principle of art, emphasis. For example, if there is a greater number of intense hues than dull hues in a work, emphasis is suggested. For another example, if one figure is made to look larger compared to other figures in a composition, it is said to be out of proportion and is given greater importance.Quote: "The Greek painter Zeuxis is known to have taken pupils in the 5th century BCE, and another, Pamphilos, had a school of painting at Sikyon. It is likely that his pupils would have been instructed in drawing, geometry, symmetry and the golden section, as well as in a canon of proportion." G. Rubens: &#39;Art education&#39;, Grove Art Online, Oxford University Press, Accessed 21 March 2005. See drawing, geometry, golden section, and symmetry.Related link: Mary Erickson defines proportion, and discusses its implications for ceramics.Also see altered proportion, aspect ratio, distort, elongate, eurythmy, Fibonacci Sequence, golden mean, graph, grid, human scale, scale, and visual scale.

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