Scale and proportion are closely tied to emphasis and focal point. Large scale makes for an obvious emphasis especially in proportion to other elements of the composition.
The scale of art can be considered in several ways:
• Human scale – consider the scale of the work itself in relation to human size; Unusual or unexpected scale is attention getting. Sheer size does impress us.
• Context – consider the surroundings and the circumstances in which the art is displayed – does the scale of the work affect the meaning in that particular context?
• Internal proportions – scale and size are relative to the overall area of the format of the work; changes in scale within a design change the total effect of the design. The choice of scale and proportion should help to achieve the artist’s intentions.
• Scale confusion – deliberate change of natural scale to intrigue or mystify the viewer rather than to clarify the focal point – surrealism often uses this technique.
Questions to get you started:
Can you use contrast of scale or scale confusion in your composition? How does this exaggeration make you see your work differently? Do you use the “golden rectangle” in your proportions? What happens if you deliberately make a piece based on the “golden rectangle”?