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Old 02-18-2014, 10:19 AM   #16
Solcielo lawrencia
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They had to award 1st to someone. :P

Anyway, I'm a classical artist so I can see problems very quickly while it takes others weeks to months to notice. You'll know if it's wrong/problematic if you suddenly feel compelled to tear the tank down and do another scape. An excellent arrangement will last years, kind of like Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, though this one has lasted centuries.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:51 AM   #17
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I accidentally poured 500x of hydrogen peroxide that I was suppose to and ended up killing most of my tank which was why I started a new tank. Also aquascaping is a hobby. I only have 1 tank to with work with so I don't plan on buying a new set up just to keep a tank with excellent arrangement for years. The nutrients in the soil itself doesn't even last a year. I would still like to see a picture of what you're trying to tell me about focal points. I want to know what a classical artist see that others like me can't see.
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:25 AM   #18
Solcielo lawrencia
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Try not to be too defensive about my criticisms. I'm just trying to help. Take your time and follow along carefully as I'm going to start someplace unexpected.

I


Here's an example of a painting that has a single focal point that is very welcoming to the eye. There's no need to tell you what it is - your eye is immediately drawn to it. Then notice that your eye follows her suggestion to gaze down. You probably overshot the second overt subject but quickly corrected it. Why did you overshoot it? There's nothing there really, and yet there is. It's a subtle suggestion of the overall theme of this work which has a liberating undertone, especially considering the time and place it was created, 19th century France. But the second prominent subject, the dove, corrects your gaze so that you aren't caught looking at what you'd like to look at. This is masterful misdirection. But notice that your eye still returns to her unmet gaze.

This composition is a complex play of focal points. There are three of them and they form a triangle:
1. her face
2. the dove
3. her voluptuous, almost bare, breast

Notice that this triangle is very acute. It strongly points back to her face and your eye obeys. But, you feel compelled to follow her direction to look back down again. And yet, you are let down. Again. Your only consolation is the dove that is baring its breast, with wings spread open, embraced close to her chest. It's a very sexual work. You wish you were that bird.

But back to aquascaping...

What do good aquascapes have in common with classical paintings?
1. central focal point - her face
2. secondary focal point - the dove
3. supporting focal point(s) - her voluptuous, almost bare, breast

II


In this aquascape, there are:
1. central focal point - the left side trees
2. secondary focal point - the right side trees
3. supporting focal points - the path and the flying fish

Notice that the forest on the left of the bank is massive while on the right, it is slightly smaller so that it does not directly compete for attention. The path, while situated in the center, does not attract as much attention but is an important element that provides support for the two sides.
(That reflection of the tree on the water surface is obtrusive, don't you think?)

III
Here's another aquascape with similar elements. Is it as successful? Take your time to really look at it before reading on.


What makes this one less successful? It's the shape of the path, isn't it?
Why do you keep looking at the path? Because it's almost a straight line with a bulge that leads nowhere. The path is supposed to be a supporting element but due to its shape, it draws excessive attention to itself. Here's an example of what that path is doing:

The PhotoBomb


When you see it, it's hard to look at anything else. He's clearly not the main subject and yet you can't help but not look at him no matter how much you want to. This is sort of what that path is doing, drawing unnecessary and distracting attention.


IV


What are the focal points?
1. central (edit: I mean primary): the tip of that rock, but not the rock itself
2. secondary: ???
3. supporting: ???

It's difficult to answer these questions. You can answer it using rationality, but that doesn't follow the eye. If you see what I mean, then what can you do to remedy these problems?

Last edited by Solcielo lawrencia; 02-19-2014 at 09:45 AM.. Reason: Reduce ambiguity of wording
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:30 AM   #19
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I'm not being defensive about your criticism, I just wasn't sure what you mean earlier. The example you gave me were good and I understand what you're trying to point out. But in a iwagumi layout, the plants and rocks isn't as complex as the pictures you showed. Iwagumi is simple with just rocks with different sizes and a few types of plants that carpet the ground. What I attempted to do was pictures 2&3 in your example but in a much smaller tank (5.5g).
Back to my tank, The biggest rock on the right and the smaller rock on the left created a "V" shape which I think could be the focal point since my eye is drawn to there because of the empty space. The rocks could be the secondary since the points of the rocks takes your eye away from the midpoint. While the supporting focal point could be the path that leads up to the empty space where the "V" is created. What I think I could improve on is creating more sense of depth in my tank but in such a small tank it's really hard to do. I think once the plants grow in and with fish swimming in the empty space it could work.

Also thanks for taking your time posting that, seemed like a lot of work. Im still learning about iwagumi/aquascaping and have been looking at tons of pictures and reading anything about iwagumi. I actually read someone critique the tank you showed in example 3 here
http://fish-etc.com/aquascaping-main...anted-aquarium

I forgot to add this but I was using this as a guideline to carefully place my rocks
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:37 AM   #20
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Even though the elements of an iwagumi are not complex, the arrangement is just as complex. The most difficult thing to do is to arrange it just right.

Quote:
... created a "V" shape which I think could be the focal point...
The V is negative space. As a rule, negative space is never a focal point since by definition, there is no subject in negative spaces.

Quote:
The rocks could be the secondary...
The midpoint is a geographical location. It is not a focal point. A focal point is something that draws your eye, and is not necessarily the subject, such as in the photobomb picture.

Quote:
I think once the plants grow in...
Imagine the substrate that will be covered in HC. What complex shape will it produce? Does this complex shape look good?

Quote:
I actually read someone critique the tank you showed in example 3 here
http://fish-etc.com/aquascaping-main...anted-aquarium
The aquascape was used as an example of how depth was created.

Also, the biggest problem of the entire page was the use and explanation of the "Rule of Thirds". Rule of Thirds is NOT an artistic principle but a geometric one. Aquascapes that place focal points according to R3 are poorly balanced and lopsided. All the examples it used were lopsided because it slavishly adhered to R3. A good eye would have rectified the poor balance. When you place subjects, never place according to R3.

Rant...
Allow me to go ballistic on this point because too many people, including well-known aquascapers and aquascape judges, use and abuse certain principles without knowing why they were created/occurred. Then they talk/write about it as if it's dogma but they make themselves look like fools. I won't name these people, but they really need to educate themselves as artists before they promote their ignorance to the masses.

Here's an example of the Rule of Thirds being called the Golden Ratio, which is something else entirely. You'll notice that the main rock is placed according to R3. Doesn't it look a little lopsided? Because it slavishly followed R3.
http://www.thegreenmachineonline.com...ing-perspectiv

Edit: I see you got that photo from the GM website. So now you know what I'm talking about.
Edit 2: The arrangement of the rocks in that drawing is terrible.
Edit 3: If you read the entire GM article, and know what I mean about rationalizing anything, you'll understand why I say not to use rationality to justify art. The entire article is bull[censored][censored][censored][censored].
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:32 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solcielo lawrencia View Post
Even though the elements of an iwagumi are not complex, the arrangement is just as complex. The most difficult thing to do is to arrange it just right.


The V is negative space. As a rule, negative space is never a focal point since by definition, there is no subject in negative spaces.


The midpoint is a geographical location. It is not a focal point. A focal point is something that draws your eye, and is not necessarily the subject, such as in the photobomb picture.


Imagine the substrate that will be covered in HC. What complex shape will it produce? Does this complex shape look good?


The aquascape was used as an example of how depth was created.

Also, the biggest problem of the entire page was the use and explanation of the "Rule of Thirds". Rule of Thirds is NOT an artistic principle but a geometric one. Aquascapes that place focal points according to R3 are poorly balanced and lopsided. All the examples it used were lopsided because it slavishly adhered to R3. A good eye would have rectified the poor balance. When you place subjects, never place according to R3.

Rant...
Allow me to go ballistic on this point because too many people, including well-known aquascapers and aquascape judges, use and abuse certain principles without knowing why they were created/occurred. Then they talk/write about it as if it's dogma but they make themselves look like fools. I won't name these people, but they really need to educate themselves as artists before they promote their ignorance to the masses.

Here's an example of the Rule of Thirds being called the Golden Ratio, which is something else entirely. You'll notice that the main rock is placed according to R3. Doesn't it look a little lopsided? Because it slavishly followed R3.
http://www.thegreenmachineonline.com...ing-perspectiv

Edit: I see you got that photo from the GM website. So now you know what I'm talking about.
Edit 2: The arrangement of the rocks in that drawing is terrible.
Edit 3: If you read the entire GM article, and know what I mean about rationalizing anything, you'll understand why I say not to use rationality to justify art. The entire article is bull[censored][censored][censored][censored].
Sounds like you are describing yourself.

To the OP, if you are cool with your scape, that is all that matters.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:44 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beedee View Post
sounds like you are describing yourself.

To the op, if you are cool with your scape, that is all that matters.
++++++++1!
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:21 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solcielo lawrencia View Post
Even though the elements of an iwagumi are not complex, the arrangement is just as complex. The most difficult thing to do is to arrange it just right.


The V is negative space. As a rule, negative space is never a focal point since by definition, there is no subject in negative spaces.


The midpoint is a geographical location. It is not a focal point. A focal point is something that draws your eye, and is not necessarily the subject, such as in the photobomb picture.


Imagine the substrate that will be covered in HC. What complex shape will it produce? Does this complex shape look good?


The aquascape was used as an example of how depth was created.

Also, the biggest problem of the entire page was the use and explanation of the "Rule of Thirds". Rule of Thirds is NOT an artistic principle but a geometric one. Aquascapes that place focal points according to R3 are poorly balanced and lopsided. All the examples it used were lopsided because it slavishly adhered to R3. A good eye would have rectified the poor balance. When you place subjects, never place according to R3.

Rant...
Allow me to go ballistic on this point because too many people, including well-known aquascapers and aquascape judges, use and abuse certain principles without knowing why they were created/occurred. Then they talk/write about it as if it's dogma but they make themselves look like fools. I won't name these people, but they really need to educate themselves as artists before they promote their ignorance to the masses.

Here's an example of the Rule of Thirds being called the Golden Ratio, which is something else entirely. You'll notice that the main rock is placed according to R3. Doesn't it look a little lopsided? Because it slavishly followed R3.
http://www.thegreenmachineonline.com...ing-perspectiv

Edit: I see you got that photo from the GM website. So now you know what I'm talking about.
Edit 2: The arrangement of the rocks in that drawing is terrible.
Edit 3: If you read the entire GM article, and know what I mean about rationalizing anything, you'll understand why I say not to use rationality to justify art. The entire article is bull[censored][censored][censored][censored].
Dude, you stumbled into a Bar and are asking for champagne but also trying to convince everyone inside that they should be too. Step back bud, you are not helping critique his scape. You are lecturing.

OP, I like your arrangement as it implies greater scale than reality and direction. It would have been nice to have a higher background elevation, but I know that is tricky. Focal points be damned...
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:57 PM   #24
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I've always been of the opinion that an artist should be like a dictator. You're not there to please anyone except yourself. OP if you like the tank, it's good.

Personally I like the tank. :3
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:03 PM   #25
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cool love what you doing looks great!!
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:41 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Philosoraptor View Post
I've always been of the opinion that an artist should be like a dictator. You're not there to please anyone except yourself. OP if you like the tank, it's good.
I agree with this statement up until this point: Keep it to yourself and don't show it to anyone else. Why do you think aquascaping competitions have judges?

And obviously, the owner of this car thought this was too beautiful to keep to himself.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:10 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solcielo lawrencia View Post
Try not to be too defensive about my criticisms. I'm just trying to help. Take your time and follow along carefully as I'm going to start someplace unexpected....

The PhotoBomb
Nothing gets the point across about focal points than a group photo of underage girls in bikini's at the beach.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:45 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beedee View Post
Nothing gets the point across about focal points than a group photo of underage girls in bikini's at the beach.
I'm cracking up here dude
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Old 02-20-2014, 01:45 AM   #29
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Thanks everybody! I was just asking for critics on my rock arrangement and I got more than I asked for and the discussion got a little more heat than I thought it would lol. I'm still going with what I got and can't wait to see how the tank would grow. To me it looks great was just seeking some tips from people
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Old 02-20-2014, 01:47 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beedee View Post
Nothing gets the point across about focal points than a group photo of underage girls in bikini's at the beach.
What girls, all the see is the guy waving in the back.

Focal points and underage girls in bikinis in the same sentence. This thread will be closed in a few minutes.
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