Henri Fantin-Latour preliminary sketch in a root 2 Dynamic Symmetry rectangle
Intuition in Composition (Master Artists)
Despite what contemporary artists are taught, master painters don't approach a canvas and produce a masterpiece (intuitively) on the spot. They take many steps prior in preparation. These steps include drawing, designing, and creating various sketches known as posters that include gestures, expressions, tones, and color composition.
Outside of the classically trained artist, in today's culture, this method of producing art is frowned upon because it's not considered spontaneous or original. In contrast, artist of the past approached a painting in the same fashion and with the same strategy as they would in designing a piece of architecture they would have design plans already drawn out long before any work began. This carefully planned process increased the chances of success in creating a beautiful and structurally sound piece of art.
There are several ways a modern master artist will create a composition. The first method involves drawing out the armature (grid) on a piece of paper or canvas first, then draw the subject, elements, and spaces within the preconceived framework. For example, in Juliette Aristides new video Secrets of Classical Painting, before she begins to paint the live model she has already mapped out the design armature on her canvas.
An alternative approach entails drawing out all your elements first, then place all the components in your design. To give an illustration, once the artist has decided on an idea for a work of art, they can set up their composition and then move their subjects (already drawn) around the armature (grid) of the rectangle until they decide on a final design that will give their work theme, variation, and harmony. Many artists today, like Daniel Gerhartz, use a computer for their designs to make this process more efficient.
In summary, there are far too many visual problems to resolve before creating a masterpiece without any prior planning and artists that depend solely on intuition to construct compositions are bound to fail. Master artists will always use design systems based on the golden section and rely heavily on compasses, rulers, tsquares, calipers, and computers to create their art. A great work of art will always require skills, plans, and knowledge of solid design principles.
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