Golden Mean Gauge - Measuring Proportion

Published: 22nd March 2010
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What is proportion? In the world of art, proportion will mean that the appearance of the painting or drawing will be balanced. The arrangement of objects or faces must be in proportion to the rest of the drawing for it to be pleasing to the eye.

For instance, when drawing or painting a face, if it is too short or too long, we say it is out of proportion. This is how we judge the beauty of the drawing or painting. The same is true with designs. For the design to be correctly proportioned, there must symmetry.

The Golden Proportion is the connection that has been used since ancient times to determine if the object being examined is proportional. To study proportion, a tool was developed - the Golden Mean Gauge. The basis for this tool is Phi. Okay, now what is Phi? When a line is divided in a certain way the ratio of each segment of line is Phi.

When using the Golden Mean Gauge to create designs, it allows a balance to be created that is more exact. Another example that can be measured by the Golden Mean Gauge is your teeth. If they are perfect, using one of the front two teeth and the one to the left or right of it will form a rectangle. One Phi ratio will be the width between the first tooth and the second tooth measured from the center.

Using your face as an example, if you measure the height from the bottom of your nose to the bottom of your chin which is divided again by the height between the bottom of the nose to the top of the lip, by using the smaller height (from nose to lip) compared to the larger height (from nose to chin) the end result is the Golden Proportion.

Although Leonardo Fibonacci is often said to have discovered the Golden Ratio, which is represented in mathematics by the Greek letter phi, it is said to have been in existence since the very beginning. Known by many names such as the Golden Cut, the Golden Ratio and Divine Proportion over the years, the end result is same. The Golden Mean is present when the ratio of the total of two quantities to the largest quantity is the same as the ratio of the largest quantity to the smallest quantity.

Why is such a big deal made about the Golden Ratio and the Golden Mean Gauge? Just that it is present everywhere. From art to nature, this is touted as the most predominant ratio in everything. Even the human body can be measured by using this method. Even our heads form a golden rectangle. The width and height are equal to Phi. The width of your eye to the width of the iris is Phi.

This is also found in nature. If you look at a butterfly, the Golden Ratio is followed by where the colors are placed on the wings and the proportions of these colors. Look around you - the Golden Ratio is present in practically everything. Fruit, fruit seeds, ants, cactus and virtually everything that exists will be examples of the existence of the Golden Ratio.

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