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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Rafael Araujo Draws Perfect Illustrations by Hand Using Math's Golden Ratio | Inverse

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"Artist Uses Math Equation to Hand-Draw Perfect Illustrations. No computer programs necessary." reports Lauren J. Young, science and technology journalist based in New York City. 

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When artist and architect Rafael Araujo needs inspiration to create a new illustration, all he has to do is look out the window of his studio in Caracas, Venezuela. He can instantly spot what he describes as intelligent patterns — spirals and gentle curves in rocks, flower petals, leaves, shells, insect formations, and other objects in nature.

“In a similar way a geologist sees patterns in rocks, I see them in nature as a whole,” Araujo tells Inverse.

His fascination with these patterns has led to a 40 year career of drawing super precise 3D illustrations that he creates by hand, without any assistance from computers. And the illustrations in his “Calculation” series are incredibly detailed and gorgeous — they’ve even been compared to Da Vinci’s sketches. To get such accurate, photo-perfect renderings of nature, he uses the mathematical proportion known as the golden ratio — a proportion that comes up in many natural objects and is responsible for the “intelligent patterns” Araujo comes across. “We tend to call it ‘intelligent,’ but perhaps this is just the way life is, with no need of any adjective at all,” says Araujo, who studied architecture at the Simon Bolivar University in Venezuela.

The golden ratio — a pi-like irrational number around 1.6180 — was first given its “golden” title by German mathematician Martin Ohm in 1835. Many believe that the golden ratio exists everywhere. The ratio played a crucial role in Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code, with the fiction finding it in the human body, the pyramids of Giza, and the Parthenon in Athens.


But to Araujo, the real-life, natural objects that follow the golden ratio are beautiful: “The way a living organism is built, for instance, its symmetry, elegance, beauty,” seems to follow the pattern, he says. He first noticed patterns in his small garden he had when he was 15 years old. He was following the growth sequences of a plant’s leaf and saw that they formed spirals.

“This secret of nature’s beautiful designs unfolded before my very eyes,” Araujo said in a video about his work...

The illustrations in the “Calculation” series have a very distinct style. Araujo chooses to leave in the construction lines to show his process and the mathematical framework of the object. He also uses ink as his medium to draw the entire illustration “out of daring spirit,” he says, and he loves the character it adds as a result.
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Additional resources 

Golden Ratio Coloring Book front cover
The book is finally ready to go to press.

Source: Inverse