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How to use the rule of thirds in art

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 works for many art genres – we show you how to use it on the next page

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.

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