Points of Interest in a Design Grid (First, Second, Third, and Fourth)
In the book The Art of Composition: A Simple Application of Dynamic Symmetry, Michel Jacobs describes the eyes of a Dynamic Symmetry grid as "points of interest." For example, within the basic armature of the rectangle, regardless of the size of the root, you would have four "points of interest"- one point for each two intersecting diagonal lines. However, which point (out of the four eyes) that becomes the principle, secondary, etc. is entirely up to the artist.
One important concept that all beginners should be aware of when discussing the "points of interest" in a Dynamic Symmetry design is that it's not always necessary to have your principal point of interest fall precisely on one of the four eyes. Because master artists subdivide their rectangles, often going down multiple levels, their principle point of interest might not land on any one of these intersecting points on the first level in a design scheme.
In the painting below, from the book Colour in Portrait Painting, notice how Michel Jacobs is only using one point of interest in the root 2 Dynamic Symmetry rectangle. However, when you continue to break down each root 2 within the mother rectangle, you can see how other elements of the portrait fall into place. For example, notice how the eyes of the man fall precisely center on one of the smaller root 2 rectangles. Additionally, if you were to break down the root 2 rectangles on the top left-hand side of the composition, you would see how the picture hanging on the wall also falls on divisions of the root 2 Dynamic Symmetry rectangle.
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What Others Are Saying About Dynamic Symmetry Art "James Cowman's user's guide on composition and Dynamic Symmetry, in particular, was one of the greatest milestones on my journey of becoming a better artist. Dynamicsymmetryart.com is undoubtedly the best resource on the subject out there, which I keep recommending to anyone interested in taking their compositions to a new level. It shocks me that even otherwise excellent artists today often know nothing about these old systems and rely mostly on their intuition to create their compositions. It's time that artists rediscover and revive the lost knowledge of the old masters and bring art back to its former glory. Jame's user's guide is a unique and invaluable resource in this effort." - Storm Engineer
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As I began reading about the old world masters, including da Vinci, Degas, Rembrandt, and Renoir, I learned that Dynamic Symmetry structurally changed paintings from being passive to active and dynamic. Furthermore, I didn’t realize that a small, yet renowned, group of photographers were well known for using Dynamic Symmetry in their photographs of city life and people.
My journey began by reading. The Dynamic Symmetry Art website has numerous resources that gave me a crash course in art and composition. I had to learn about the visual properties of different kinds of rectangles and how each can be divided into compositional elements. Then I began using the Dynamic Symmetry grid overlays in Lightroom to analyze and crop my photos.
I have found dynamicsymmetryart.com extremely beneficial, and it has contributed immensely with my efforts to improve as a photographer. Thank you for your commitment to art and art education." - Warren Wish
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I found myself repeatedly falling back on the Rule of Thirds, but this was becoming more of a hindrance rather than a help. Then one day I had the good fortune to stumble across the website Dynamicsymmetryart.com. There is no better teacher or resource on the internet regarding Dynamic Symmetry and best of all everything is free! I can assure you, once you begin to delve into the rich offerings on this site you won’t have any need to look elsewhere.
I, for one, can’t thank Jim enough for all the time and effort he has put into this and for taking my photography to the next level. His website and Youtube channel are both superb, and I'd like to thank him for sharing the knowledge on what is a very fascinating subject." - Tim B
"With the passing of Myron Barnstone, we lost a great resource on the application of the Rectangles of the Masters and the Golden Section in creating art. But the website dynamicsymmetryart.com is carrying on that work Myron so thoroughly believed in and taught. Dynamic Symmetry can be used in the simplest of ways as well as being infinitely complex if one desires. Great minds such as Leonardo da Vinci recognized the power that this compositional tool offers.
Dynamicsymmetryart.com is an amazing reference for artists who are open to exploring the benefits of using Dynamic Symmetry in their work. It applies to all the arts and resonates at a primal level of understanding harmony and beauty. Much thanks to James Cowman for his dedication to furthering this information to the public." - Master Artist and Teacher,Dot Bunn, Red Stone Farm Studio
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