Composition rule of the third easy and useful for artists and illustrators. There are numerous approaches or “compositional techniques” to achieving a sense of unity within an artwork, depending on the goals of the artist. For example, a work of art is said to be aesthetically pleasing to the eye if the elements within the work are arranged in a balanced compositional way. However, there are artists such as Salvador Dali whose sole aim is to disrupt traditional composition and challenge the viewer to rethink balance and design elements within art works.
Conventional composition can be achieved by utilizing a number of techniques:
Rule of thirds
The rule of thirds is a guideline commonly followed by visual artists. The objective is to stop the subject(s) and areas of interest (such as the horizon) from bisecting the image, by placing them near one of the lines that would divide the image into three equal columns and rows, ideally near the intersection of those lines.
The rule of thirds is a compositional rule of thumb in photography and other visual arts such as painting and design. The rule states that an image can be divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines. The four points formed by the intersections of these lines can be used to align features in the photograph. Proponents of this technique claim that aligning a photograph with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the photo than simply centering the feature would.
The image on top demonstrates the application of the rule of thirds. The horizon sits at the horizontal line dividing the lower third of the image from the upper two-thirds. The body sits at the intersection of two lines, sometimes called a power point. The body (power point) draw your attention along the torso up to the finally her face. Points of interest in the photo don’t have to actually touch one of these lines to take advantage of the rule of thirds. For example, the brightest part of the image near the horizon where her shoulder and face do not fall directly on one of the lines, but does fall near the intersection of two of the lines, close enough to take advantage of the rule.
The application of the rule of thirds to illustration is considered by many to make them more aesthetically pleasing and professional-looking. The rule of thirds can be applied by lining up subjects with the guiding lines, placing the horizon on the top or bottom line instead of the center, or allowing linear features in the photograph to flow from section to section. In addition, many photographers recommend treating any “rule” of composition as more of a guideline, since pleasing illustration can often be made while ignoring one or more such rules.