Golden Ratio and Mona Lisa [Art Techniques]
Welcome back everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve done a golden ratio (phi caliper) analyzation, so here we go. If you have ever heard of them being used on the Mona Lisa painting by Leonard da Vinci, then you heard right. He used them all over the place. In fact, I’m sure there are several other areas in which I missed. The point is, you can use these phi calipers as a tool for creating harmonic proportions throughout your painting.
(If you are looking for a set of phi calipers, I found mine HERE. They are in great shape still and built very well. The carrying case is pretty cool too.)
The golden ratio can be found in many beautiful paintings, structures, the human body, and nature. It’s everywhere, and has mesmerized people for centuries! The Egyptians, Greeks, and famous mathematicians like Fibonacci new of the magical proportions of the golden ratio (1.618).
You may know the golden ratio as a different name because there quite a few…golden mean, golden section, goldener Schnitt, phi, phi ratio, etc. We could talk all day about this amazing ratio and how it relates to our dynamic symmetry grids, but let’s get into the meat and potatoes of the article.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways Da Vinci uses his phi calipers!
This is much different than using the rectangle of the whirling squares to analyze the Mona Lisa painting. We aren’t looking for a swirling arabesque like a Nautilus shell; we are looking for the proportions created between the three points.
In the example below, we can see the whirling squares inside the phi dynamic symmetry grid.
We can use the phi calipers to create the proportions of the golden ratio within our art. The masters used these tools extensively.
Notice how the calipers align to our phi dynamic symmetry grid perfectly.
We can see how the top of her head, her chin, and top of her blouse match the proportions of the phi calipers. Let’s take a look at the other images and see how Leonardo da Vinci incorporated the golden ratio into this well-known masterpiece.
After that long list, are you starting to get a feel for how these phi calipers can be used to incorporate the golden ratio into a painting? Seurat used his (see Day 67), just as Da Vinci did. Great for mapping out your sketch and even using while you are painting if you miss your block in marks.
Thanks again for all of the support everyone! Keep sharing the love! See you next time.