Is maths beautiful?

Maths makes our portraits beautiful.

Recently, we had an input surrounding maths and art. This is something I really enjoyed, after this input I began to think about how much mathematics is actually involved in life, even art.

So, how does maths make us beautiful?

To explain, I think I should firstly show you some art I have done in a recent input. The left side of the picture is free hand drawing, of a person put up on the board. The right side of the picture is using maths, the difference that using maths made was amazing.

it is hard to believe that those two faces has been drawn from the same picture.

So how did I turn that awful drawing into that better drawing?


I followed some mathematical steps from this link. 

To break it down:

Step 1: Similarly draw a circle in the middle of the page. From the middle/top of that circle draw a vertical line to below the circle. From this join up the line and the circle with straight lines to make a jawline.

Step 2: Draw guidelines to the right of the circle. This is the mathematical part. Take a ruler and line it up to the right side and make a vertical line slightly longer then the entire face outline. Calculate the length of this line, e.g. 14 cm make 7 equal horizontal lines coming from the vertical one, e.g. every 2 cm make a horizontal line.  Label them beginning from line 4.

Line 4 – Centre Line

Line 5 – 1

Line 6 – 2

Line 7 – 3

Line 1 – A

Line 2 – B

Line 3 – C ( As seen in the picture above)

Step 3 -Draw the eyes on the centre line, this is half way down the face. Half of the eye above the line half under giving the ideal eye shape. Centre the eyes half way between the vertical line and the edge of the circle.

Step 4 – Draw the nose. From the middle of the eyes made a vertical line down to horizontal line 3. Add nose features between lines 1 and 2.

Step 5 – Add the eyebrows on line C. Use short lines to create the hair effect.

Step 6 – Draw the mouth. Draw a triangle from line 2 – 3 just below the nose. Draw a vertical line from below the eyes to line 3 and shape the mouth between the triangle and the vertical lines.

Step 7 – Add the ear of the centre line, on the same line as the eyes. And then add other personal feature e.g. hair, freckles or glasses.

So using mathematics, I was able to present a better proportioned face and a more life like drawing. So why does this matter? Maths is involved in every aspect of daily lives. Arts use maths in most of their drawings, above is just an example of how maths can be applied and how I used it personally but artists use mathematics to create perceptions, and dimensions.

A piece of art which is centralised around mathematics which many people don’t know is  the Mona Lisa. This painting is drawn according to the “golden ratio.”  This is 1:0.618 and it is named this as it is satisfying to the eye.  This pleasing proportion is simply a rectangle with dimensions that show the golden ratio, this painting has lots of rectangles to make the painting  The Mona Lisa has many golden rectangles throughout the painting to make it look better.   If the  rectangle is divided on her forehead with a line drawn across her eyes, we get another golden rectangle, this shows that the  proportion of her head length to her eyes is ‘golden’ .

(Natasha Glydon, undated)

Okay, so how can we apply math to modern life art? Instagram.

By using something called the rule of third you can make Instagram pictures more appealing. I tried it out. This is an original picture that I took. Its not very attractive right now:

By applying the rule of third I have made a third chairs and 2 thirds grass with the central person off centre. This can make the image much more interesting to the eye. This makes the picture a lot more creative and beautiful.

So what is the point of all of this?

Mathematics has the ability to make art beautiful, so does that mean maths is beautiful? By opening your mind to the application of mathematics it can show you much beauty and relevance it has in the real world. If you accept that maths is beauty then why not begin to see why you need it? This links back to Ma (2010, p.22) theory of profound understanding of fundamental mathematics that by applying the main principles including interconnectedness, by showing children the connections between maths and other aspects of live it has the abilty to find mathematics more relevant and applicable to their own individual lives. Some children might not believe they are good at maths but they might believe they are good at art, show them the connection.

Therefore, maths is beautiful.


Ma, L., (2010) Knowing and teaching elementary mathematics New York: Routledge.

Natasha Glydon (undated) The Mathematics of Art Regina: Pacific Institute for Mathematical Sciences

Darlene Nguyen (undated) Learn to draw a face in 8 easy steps: Beginners Available at:

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