Practical Geometry as it May Relate to Wall Painting

Filed under: — admin @ 1:05 pm

Practical Geometry is a set of very simple measuring techniques which predate arithmetic. These methods are meant for construction of real objects and environments, and are still used today by carpenters and masons.

My interest in Practical Geometry is how it may be adapted to draft and organize wall paintings. As a painter, it seems interesting to address architecture with the borrowed language of buildings. Making measurements reveals things about the place. The economy of means is attractive. Designs scale up easily from sketchbook to facade. And the results are self evident, they draw themselves and make plain their process.

These exercises demonstrate wall-size drafting that I find interesting with just strings, nails, and a spray paint bracket.

Ellipse From 2 Points

Three Vertex Ellipse

Combination of Semicircles

Shrinking Ellipses Perimeters / 2 Fixed Points

Crescent from 2 Points

Parallel Non-Straight Lines

Moire Pattern from 2 Sets of Concentric Arcs


Combination of Arcs from 3 Points

Combination of Concentric Semi-Circles

4 Tangent Half-Circles from 3 Points

3 Tangent Half-Ellipses

Combination of Tangent Half Ellipses and Semi-Circles from 2 Points



*For further reading, try these beautiful books: The Library of Practical Geometry, By Hand & Eye, and How Round is your Circle (cc) by nc nd 2017 MOMO