The solution of problems is approached by seven broad methods, often referred to as the design spectrum.
Ratio and proportion: simple comparisons of number, size and quality (Herbin, Rothko, Kline).
Induction: reasoning from the particular to the general (Van Gogh, Cézanne, de Staël).
Deduction: reasoning from the general to the particular (Miró, Moore, Pasmore).
Analogy: partial similarity. If things agree in one particular, they may agree in others (Klee, Mondrian, Matisse).
Metaphor: substitution of objects or actions that emphasises selected characteristics (Chagall, Gauguin, Magritte).
Heuristics: The exploration of chance; discovery by trial and error; nature's method (Klee, Pollock, de Kooning).
Algorithm: computation by prearranged steps intended to solve a specified problem (Seurat, Monet, Vasarley).
These processes are used by scientists and artists alike. The painters listed are examples of the dramatisation of the methods. Although they may not have used the above terminology, their written statements confirm the evidence in their work. In fact, therein is the key to their achievements, for a work of art is the solution to a problem. It has differed from science in that the solution has also been the problem. This is no longer the case: scientists today are facing a similar dilemma!
This is derived from a Fechner-Birkoff formula for assessing works of art. It has, today, been adapted to measure the effectiveness of operational research. Our journeys on the whiteboard suggest that it holds the key to our concepts of beauty. The formula attains a high mark when a diversity of variables is woven into a unified design.
The methods of the design spectrum can be subdivided into two groups, pivoting about ratio and proportion to form a cross:
Krome Barratt, Logic & Design (Great Britain: The Herbert Press, 1989), p. 287, 288. Artwork by Georges Seurat, Gray Weather, Grande Jatte, ca. 1886–88.
I wanted to share this excerpt for a number of reasons. The first being that it structured and named some historically important approaches to painting. This is important because it highlights the different approaches one can take in designing the foundation for works of art. Barratt argues that art is the solution to a problem. And that, I believe, is worth pondering.
Thanks for sharing. My design background is more from product/engineering so these lenses were mostly new. Here's the largest collection of design processes I've seen in one place. I've got other related sources if you are interested. https://www.dubberly.com/articles/how-do-you-design.html