5 Things you will find in both Art and Maths

Sep 03, 2018

You might be surprised to find that art and maths actually have a lot in common. For instance, angles and patterns are found in both art and maths. Measurements are necessary in both art and maths too, but maybe they are a little bit obvious. The following list of five things you’ll find in both art and maths is sure to surprise you...

Before you read on, ask yourself this: "Do I like maths?" Many people will answer "no", while some will answer "yes". Then ask yourself: "Do I like art?" Well, you’re probably here on Artventure because you at least have an interest in art. If you don’t like maths, that’s okay. We hope to help open your mind to the more fun side of maths. Don’t worry - we won’t be talking about multiplication tables or algebra here!

Read on for five things you’ll find in both art and maths. 

1. The Golden Ratio 

Proportions and scale are important in art, whether drawing the human body or painting a nature portrait. While proportions and scale might not be all that impressive, there is one particular ratio that appears in both maths and art that might shock you.

The Golden Ratio was named by the ancient Greeks and is relative to the ratio for length and width of rectangles. The ratio itself is 1:1.618, and it’s thought to be significant for aesthetic beauty.

For instance, when Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa, he used the Golden Ratio. The painting includes many “golden triangles”. He used the Golden Ratio in many of his other paintings, including The Last Supper.

Interestingly enough, the Golden Ratio is found outside of maths and art. It’s found in nature, in the human body, and even in the Bible. The Ark of the Covenant and Noah’s Ark are said to be created based on the Golden Ratio.

Today, artists, architects, and designers alike use the Golden Ratio to create aesthetically pleasing diagrams, paintings, schematics, and even buildings.

2. Axes 

Axes, which is the plural for axis, are used quite often in artwork. Although you might not consciously recognize an axis, your brain does notice the uniformity given by an axis.

Axes are used to align objects in design and art. When objects are aligned in accordance with one another on an axis, we see visually pleasing and uniform art.

In art, an axis can also be a central dividing line. Although it might not be visible, the axis is still there when it provides a line that serves as a point of balance. This gives the art a sense of balance on both sides of the axis.

3. Lines

Lines are simple, yes, but they are important. In fact, line art is in a league all of its own. In line art, an image is created with straight or curved lines that use shading for depth and dimension.

Lines are basic elements of shape and serve as a foundation in art. Lines can be straight, angled, or curved, and they can be used for outlines or to define shapes.

While lines might seem simple, they are simply an art staple.

4. Fractals

If you saw the movie Frozen, or have a child in your life who did, then you probably know about a certain song in which “frozen fractals” are mentioned. Fractals are found in maths, nature, and art. They are essentially geometric patterns that create the same image upon being zoomed in on.

Digital art uses fractals quite commonly, and they’ve been used increasingly since the mid-80s. Essentially, fractals give us a picture of a maths equation.

Fractals have something in common with the Golden Ratio - they’re thought to be related to aesthetically appealing appearances.

5. Tessellation

You might not have heard the term before, but you’ve likely seen tessellation in both maths and art. Tessellation is essentially when you take a single shape and repeatedly fit it together. You could tessellate triangles and polygons, for instance. The pattern repeats over and over in perfect unison, with no overlapping or spaces. In maths, tessellation occurs on a plane, and it’s sometimes known as tiling.

Whether you never liked maths or just didn’t think it could have much to do with art, we certainly hope this article has helped broaden your horizons for the ways maths and art go hand in hand!