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Old 01-02-2010, 07:18 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Elements of Aquascaping

I'm afraid that I cannot access the article I wrote (and the list of references) which I'll bring tomorrow but here is a start.

Rules of Aquascaping
1. Design must have healthy plants and fish.
2. Design must be original.
3. Design must be engaging.
4. Design should follow basic layout techniques.

These rules are based on reviewing contest guidelines and actual critiques of layouts that were entered. Only the last rule can be sometimes avoided but in every case I could find were a principle was omitted points were deducted. However, this didn't always lead to a failed design.

Principles of Aquascaping Design

1. Focalization - The design should pull the viewer in.
2. Flow - The viewer should be led through all parts of the design without interruption.
3. Balance - The design should not appear to have anything missing.
4. Feel - The design should provoke an emotional response from the viewer.

These principles are based on reviewing dozens of design principles, compiling them, and using the ones that applied the most. Other principles exist, but after much research and thought I believe that they all can be traced back to these key ideas.

Elements of Aquascaping Design

1. Color
2. Line
3. Form
4. Texture

The variations in these elements are used to influence the principles of design. Like the principles, these elements are compilations based on reviews of dozens of design elements. Other elements exist but these apply the most to our design.

These rules, principles, and elements of aquascaping design are what I consider to be the most applicable to our hobby. They are my own ideas based on over a hundred books and articles about the principles of design and hundreds of contest entry critiques. There are other concepts out there. This post is meant to help those hobbyists looking to better understand aquascaping and if you are happy with your layouts then enjoy them!

Applying these Principles: layout technique
I will write another post on exactly how to use these principles to create a layout. I will include graphics and examples. Please be patient as this will take longer and I feel the need to solidify my choices of principles and elements before attempting it.
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