In painting, graphic design, photography, and sculpture—composition is the placement or arrangement of visual elements or ingredients in a work of art, as distinct from the subject of a work. It can also be thought of as the organization of the elements of art according to the principles of art. The term composition means ‘putting together,’ and can apply to any work of art.
What is the Rule of Thirds? The rule of thirds is very commonplace in photography. It instantly helps to add tension, balance and interest to your photograph but applies equally to composition in painting.
The golden ratio is also called the golden section. Many artists and architects have proportioned their works to approximate the golden ratio—especially in the form of the golden rectangle, in which the ratio of the longer side to the shorter is the golden ratio—believing this proportion to be aesthetically pleasing. The Golden Section was used extensively by Leonardo Da Vinci. Note how all the key dimensions of the room and the table in Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” were based on the Golden Ratio, which was known in the Renaissance period as The Divine Proportion.
Step by step to apply Rule of Thirds.
1. Divide your page horizontally into 3.
2. Decide whether to have your horizon on the top third or the bottom third (the bottom third is always easier to balance, it helps to make the sky look vast and imposing).
3. Split the vertical into thirds.
4. Align areas of focus at the intersection between the lines.
5. Start painting.

Here are examples of painting with Rule of Thirds.

rule of thirds composition

rule of thirds composition verticle

rule of thirds composition

rule of thirds composition horizontal

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Composition for Artists, Rule of Thirds and Golden Ratio

About The Author
- Xia Taptara (黃曉聲 Huang XiaoShēng), currently a freelance concept artist for games and films, formerly a character concept artist for ArenaNet/NCsoft (GuildWars & Guildwars 2). I also work on various projects for Game of Thrones, Square-Enix, Paizo Publishing, Fantasy Fight Games, Disney Interactive, and many publishers & clients. I use Wacom Tablet Intuos and Photoshop CS2,3,4,5 to do most of my professional art work. I use pencil, pen, and traditional medium in my free time. I founded ( in 2007 to motivate myself to create more and better art. Also I get to draw and paint whatever the hell I want to. Hopefully I can inspired some young soul and old soul alike. *QUESTIONS & COMMENT: PLEASE POST THEM ON THE BLOG. Business Inquiry please e-mail me.