Friday, January 22, 2010

Mastering Composition: Rules of Thirds

The tip below is one that I follow very closely: The Rule of Thirds. This will help you find a good view point in your composition, be it photography or painting. Notice that sometimes when you centralise your painting or photos too much, it kind of lose its lustre. The whole composition suddenly looks boring. Try the tip below for your future paintings or photography. I always prefer being off-centered for more interest.

The Rule of Thirds is the easiest compositional rule to follow in a painting.
The Rule of Thirds is a basic composition rule popular among photographers, but equally applicable to the composition of paintings. Applying the rule of thirds to a painting means you'll never have a painting that's split in half, either vertically or horizontally, nor one with the main focus right in the centre like a bull's-eye.

What is the Rule of Thirds?
Quite simply, divide a canvas in thirds both horizontally and vertically, and place the focus of the painting either one third across or one third up or down the picture, or where the lines intersect (the red circles on the diagram).

What Difference Does the Rule of Thirds Make?
Take a look at these two photos of a lion. On the one on the right, your eye is drawn straight into the centre of the image and you tend to ignore the rest of the picture. On the one on the left, where the lion's face is on one of the Rule of Thirds 'hotspots', your eye is drawn the the lion's face, then around the painting following the curve of the body.

How Do I Use the Rule of Thirds in a Painting?
Until you're confident mentally visualising the lines, draw them in lightly on your canvas or piece of paper with a pencil so you can easily check that the placement of the elements in your painting adheres to the Rule of Thirds. If you do thumbnail sketches first, draw the thirds grid on top to check the composition.


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