What is the Law of Closure?
The Law of Closure is an excellent Gestalt psychology principle that artists can incorporate into their art to create unity. It works hand-in-hand with the Law of Continuity, and plays off of simple geometric shapes like the circle, square, or triangle. It also works with familiar symbols, and lighting techniques like chiaroscuro.
As we’ve learned from the other Gestalt theories, the mind will simplify visual stimuli in quickest way possible. It sees the whole, before the individual parts. That’s how the Law of Closure exists…the mind fills the gaps and makes sense out of something…even if it’s seeing something arbitrary.
Let me simplify this concept…
In the example below, we see the simple triangular shape on the left. To the right, we see the same triangular shape, but this time the mind is closing several gaps to make sense out of what we are seeing. This is the Law of Closure at work. Knowing how the mind automatically does this, allows us to create unique designs or illusions in our art when we want.
Knowing Gestalt psychology is like adding 10 years of experience to your art!
We can take things a step further and view these random shapes organized in a way to create another familiar shape. On the left, we see nothing that resembles familiarity, but when the shapes are reorganized to incorporate the Law of Closure, we get the familiar panda from the “Panda Express” logo. Cool right!?
What if we went even further?
Let’s apply the Law of Closure to a painting now, and see what we get.
In the Peter Paul Rubens painting below (see Day 124), we have tons of movement and unity. This master painter, from centuries ago, completely understood all of the Gestalt psychology principles and utilized them to control the visual perception of his masterpiece.
Want to know how Rubens did it? Want me to reveal his secret magic trick and show you his hidden design?
Here you go!
Rubens used ellipses, which adhere to the Law of Closure, to create unity and movement. See how the mind fills the gaps? This technique is hidden, but so powerful! The viewer can feel the impact of the added unity and movement, but they’ll never be able to identify what is causing it. Sneaky Rubens, reeeeeal sneaky!
The Law of Closure is such a powerful technique, and knowledge of how to incorporate it in art is what separates the mediocre artists from the elite.
Wanna learn more about how to control the way people see your photos or paintings? Consider grabbing the Gestalt Psychology video collection. You won’t find anything else like it in the world, and it will seriously make you see things differently…forever.
STATEMENTS ABOUT GESTALT PSYCHOLOGY PRINCIPLES
Here are some inspiring emails from artists wanting to advance to the master level!
Thank you so much, I can’t wait to get started! A couple of months ago I read an article by New York photographer Chris Knight (also boyfriend of fashion photographer and CreativeLive educator Lindsay Adler) which mentioned the Gestalt theory and triggered my curiosity. Through quite a lot of searching for more information I ended up on your site and to be honest, I’m probably more excited than on the day someone told me very kindly I needed to learn about lighting.
As a photographer I have always (until now) focused on technique, lighting, posing, expression, etc, etc, to improve my images, but always relied on “intuition” and the rule of thirds for composition. So I am very grateful for your information on the matter, especially as it seems to be overlooked by many of my colleagues.
Very best wishes,
Hi Tavis, I have been diving into your work religiously in my off time and I can already tell I’ve struck gold. What you have created is exactly what I was looking for which I couldn’t find elsewhere. I remember stumbling upon some gestalt info in the past but it was related to graphic design and I dismissed it because I couldn’t easily relate it to my own art, but you go through and show exactly how it relates to 2d art in a way that is easy to digest and apply, and the dynamic symmetry has been blowing my mind. It’s one of those moments where I can tell my art is going to take a quantum leap forward as long as I do everything I consciously can to master this methodology. I am truly thankful for your work and effort in creating this, my friend.
Thanks again Tavis!
I was able to download the rest of the Gestalt Video Collection! Watched them all already. Can’t wait to start applying them to my work!
Thank you once again, ?
What Does the Video Cover?
This sixth video covers the Law of Closure, a technique used for mastering composition. With plenty of examples and an on-location photo session (photo below) we will demonstrate how to effectively use techniques such as unifying objects with enclosures, and the chiaroscuro lighting technique to create a masterpiece.
In this Law of Closure video we will also touch on techniques such as dynamic symmetry, Law of Continuity, gazing direction, and our obsession with the triangle. These are all the same techniques used by master painters and they can be applied to your art, whether it’s photography, painting, or sculpting to clearly communicate to your viewer with power. The Law of Closure is just one of many techniques that will help you reach the master level!
*Pre-Requisite – since Gamut greatly relates to the dynamic symmetry of root rectangles (see Day 14) it would be beneficial if you familiarized yourself with it a bit. Not necessary, because the techniques in the video still apply, but it would heighten your level of comprehension. Alternatively, I have several videos on YouTube that explain dynamic symmetry.
Preview Gestalt Psychology Video Collection
This is a mind-blowing time-lapse video, which shows just a fraction of the rich content within the Gestalt psychology video collection.
The best photographers learn from master painters.
The videos are concise, so you will get nothing but super juicy value for a total of an hour and a half. Saving you time, and giving you exactly what you need!
7 HD videos– Law of Continuity, Figure-Ground Relationship, Law of Proximity, Law of Similarity, Law of Pregnanz, Law of Symmetry, Law of Closure
Total Running Time: 1h 32m
HD Quality: MP4
Download Size: 895.3 MB total
Quick Links to In-Depth Descriptions
All seven Gestalt psychology videos have their own page…loaded with details.
Click on the links below to be magically transported to the secret knowledge you’ve been missing out on.