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Composition and Gestalt Theory

by: Caroline Rudloff

Composition and Gestalt Theory Art 103

Caroline Rudloff
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About this Document

Covers Gestalt Psychology, composition basics, key principles of the Gestalt system and Gestalt laws of grouping.
2D design
Class Notes
Design, 2D, Gestalt, Psychology, composition




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Caroline Rudloff on Monday August 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Art 103 at Point Loma Nazarene University taught by Gordon in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 8 views. For similar materials see 2D design in Arts and Humanities at Point Loma Nazarene University.

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Date Created: 08/22/16
Week 1 2D design Gestalt Psychology: The whole image/design is more important than the sum of its parts. The  perception of the mind adds to what it sees to form a new image. Composition Basics Grid Is used in design to create stability and although it provides rhythm and consistency through  repetition it doesn’t have a focal point.  Rule of thirds Creates balance in composition also called divine proportion. Uses a grid to divide the piece into thirds which draws the eye to the focal point. (see fibonacci sequence) 3’s & thirds Balance using the concept of repetition.  Radial balance Circular design where the focal point is the center and draws the eye inward.  Fibonacci sequence (spiral) An algorithm found in nature that explains the rule of thirds by showing the curve where the eye  follows. It gives the piece portional, balance and unity.  Negative space Use of empty space to emphasize size and alter the mood of a piece.  Key Principles of the Gestalt System Emergence An object forms out of different shapes. Reification Week 1 2D design Shapes based on an empty space or missing pieces. The eye fills in the space. Multistability The views plane of vision shifts back and forth between two planes (duckrabbit optical illusion).  It is visually interesting and causes the viewer to spend more time looking at the piece.  Invariance The idea that even when things are distorted, flipped or turned the eye still recognizes it.  Gestalt Laws of Grouping Law of Similarity When the objects grouped are similar so that the eye recognizes the repetition.  Law of Proximity  The mind groups things when they are close together. Law of Closure When the lines of a design don’t close and the eye sees where the line would be in the negative space. Law of Common Fate Objects go in the same direct so that the eye follows the line. Law of Continuity  When the eye has options of which group forming a line to follow. Usually the eye follows the  “most logical” route. Law of Symmetry Groups/design is symmetrical and formed around a focal point. Law of Good gestalt  Week 1 2D design When the elements of a design are grouped in a pattern that is balanced simple and makes  sense to the eye.


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