Artistic Composition Part 1- Understanding Plato’s Rule

green and white leafed plantsJuly 1st, 2010

Not many people realize that Plato presented philosophies on everything, including art. Although Plato, himself, was not a visual artist, we stand to learn a bit from him when it comes to composition. Composition in visual art, to many people, is the hardest part of crafting a successful work of art. Many artists, especially new ones, tend to view composition as a “trial and error” endeavor. This is the wrong way to approach composition. Creating good composition is almost a scientific process, complete with “rules” that will help you be successful. The first “rule” that we are exploring comes from an unexpected source- Plato. One of Plato’s students asked of him, “What makes a good composition?” Plato’s answer was quite interesting. Plato responded by saying, ” Find the variety within the unity”. This statement is quite enlightening. What Plato is saying is that we must have both variety and unity in our artworks, but they must work together. Too much variety leads to a lack of unity. Too much unity leads to a lack of variety. So where’s the balance. That’s where the artist comes in. To learn more about Plato’s Rule in composition and to see the video demonstration click here-> Composition in Art Part 1- Plato’s Rule

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