The New Aquatic Layout Style: The Linear Layout


In our article on the different aquatic layout styles we detailed the three traditional aquatic layout styles.
When James was working on his aquascape, ‘Crimson Sky’, he experimented by breaking the traditional rules of composition, and in doing so, created an exciting, new and beautiful layout style which he entitled ‘The Linear Layout’. Read on to find out more about James’ new layout style…
Crimson Sky nature Aquarium by James Findley
Crimson Sky Aquascape by James Findley
The New Layout Style: The Linear Layout
This new layout style was developed by James Findley when he was creating ‘Crimson Sky’ – you can watch a full documentary of that aquascape being created on our You Tube Channel. This layout is a perfect example of the way in which breaking the rules can sometimes lead to the greatest artistic successes. The Linear Layout places the hardscape along a very graphic, linear line. It works particularly well in a shallow tank, with emersed hardscape and plant growth as this adds to the graphic impression of the layout. The Linear Layout allows for extremely bold planting and use of colours, since the strong linear form of the hardscape balances out the boldness of the other elements of the design.
This layout needs a lot of technical and artistic skill to create: if it is not done well, it will create a boring, two dimensional layout that is not pleasing to look at…but when done well – the results are stunning. The key is not to simply create a single, one dimensional line of hardscape, but to carefully place the hardscape in roughly a linear form, but in a way that still creates depth and complexity within the layout. This layout style works well because it emulates nature: linear forms can be seen throughout the natural world, in the form of a fallen tree, a mountain range, or the crest of an ocean wave.
The point is not to create a straight line of stones or wood, but to create a layout that has a graphic linear form, and there is a clear difference between these two aims. In order to help achieve this, make sure that all your hardscape is pointing roughly in the same direction to create a flowing, linear feeling. As you can see, the TGM Fossilised Wood works very well with this layout, by emphasising the linear lines created by the placement of the hardscape.
Crimson Sky Aquascape by James Findley
Crimson Sky Aquascape by James Findley

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