The wonderful thing about art is that it is a creative endeavor. There is no right or wrong way to create art because beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When you’re learning how to be an artist, however, there are certain skills you need to develop and there are specific rules and techniques that can help you do it. The rule of thirds is one of these rules.
Though the name does have the word “rule” in it, it is not something you definitely need to follow every time you put pen or brush to paper. Keep reading to learn more about the rule of thirds and when (and how) you can break it.
What is the Rule of Thirds?
The rule of thirds is most frequently applied to photography, but can also be used in videography, graphic design, and other mediums. It is simply a compositional rule that suggests dividing an image into three parts and placing the subject of the work in one of those three parts instead of right in the center. Like many artistic rules, it is intended to be a guideline rather than an actual rule, but it helps to create a stronger, more interesting image because it guides the viewer’s eye to where the artist or photographer wants it to go.
How Do You Use the Rule of Thirds?
To use the rule of thirds, imagine your photograph or canvas as a grid made up of nine parts – it is divided into thirds both horizontally and vertically. Another way to picture it is like a tic-tac-toe board. The idea is to place the subject of your photo (or at least various points of interest) along the lines where they intersect to create a balanced image. Studies have shown that a viewer’s eye goes more often to one of these intersection points than to the center of the image, so it is an easy way to guide the viewer’s eye where you want it to go.
When using the rule of thirds, you need to consider all of the elements in the shot as well as the background and foreground. Try to align the subject with some of the intersection points, moving it around in your mind to find the best location. Remember, you do not necessarily need to follow the rule but it will help you create a more dynamic image. Once you get the hang of using the rule, you can start to experiment with different ways to break it or push the limits. Remember, the only limit with creating art is the limit of your own imagination.
Remember, there is no right way or wrong way to create art – it’s all about what you feel and how you see the world around you. The rule of thirds is a valuable thing to keep in mind when composing your works, but don’t feel like you have to follow it each and every time. Be creative and enjoy your work!