Whether you’re just learning how to draw and paint or are a pro composing a new piece, by following basic drawing and painting techniques and guidelines, such as the Golden Ratio, you’ll be able to improve your art and design.
The rule of thirds – used frequently by photographers – states that if you divide any composition into thirds, vertically and horizontally, then place the key elements of your image either along these lines or at the junctions of them, you’ll achieve a more pleasing arrangement and more interesting and dynamic compositions.
Painters and artists use the rule of thirds mostly for landscapes, but it also works for any subject matter, including still lifes’, figures and even portraits.
The rule of thirds gives you a guide for placing focal points. If you design your focal points according to the intersections of any of the nine rectangles, your picture will have the counterbalance needed to make the composition more interesting and more compelling.
You can also design other elements in the picture to lead the eye from one of the focal points to the other, and use the corners to bring the viewer into the picture or keep the eyes moving back into picture again. This kind of eyeflow adds movement and life to any composition.
On this page, we’ll look at how artists have used the rule of thirds to create dynamic compositions.
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