BellaOnline Literary Review

The Rule of Thirds in Artwork

Yes, sometimes your photograph has one clear item right in its center. That is fine! In cases where there is not a central focus, it's wise to aim for breaking your image into thirds. The human brain reacts most favorably to images which are broken out into thirds. Imagine that your image is broken into three vertical stripes or three horizontal stripes. Try to have a different part of the image in each of those thirds.

Here's an example of a lake in Ripley, Tennessee. Can you see the thirds? The bottom third is below the roots of the tree. The middle third goes from the roots to the sky. The top third is of the sky.



Thirds can be vertical as well. In this following image, the central doorway area contrasts with the areas on the left and right.



It's good to look for thirds when composing your artwork!

Visual Art Submission Guidelines
Focus in Artwork
Movement in Artwork
The Rule of Thirds (you're here)
Snapshots vs Art Photographs
Image Size in Artwork
Taking a Photo of Visual Art
Top Mistakes To Avoid

Visual Art Submission Form