Composition review

Composition is a placement or arrangement of visual elements like color, objects, things, in a way that is pleasing to the eye or, a work of art.
It is also the organization (Arrangement) of the Elements of Art according to the theories of the Principles of Design. Picture Plane is divided horizontally and vertically into 1/3s

the Rule of Thirds

Tension points are at intersections.
The center works because it is surrounded by the tension points. Any Lconfiguration aslo works because of the division by thirds
Look at the tree and the singer below.

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Examples using the Rule of Thirds. Notice how the focal point travels along and overlaps a tension point or points. Location, location. Location.

Rule of Odds

The Rule of ODDS has to do with numbers of things and or spaces. The idea is that odds arrange more easily than evens.
Seeing four Trees should yield how many negative spaces?
Where as An odd number of trees yield how many even negative spaces?

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Two Cones, Wayne Thiebaud, is it an even number of things or odd number of negative spaces?
What about the negative space? The picture does feel balanced but why?
Probably just gut feeling, Huh?

Rule of thirds Or rule of Odds or The Golden Triangle?

Rule of odds or thirds?

The Golden Triangle
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Rembrandt using the Golden Triangle as a way to balance the focal point and divide the subject into equal parts visually.The Golden Triangle tends to frame the focal point. Used with paintings have a religious content It would be who as focal point and usually who framed the focal point?
I believe the three points might symbolize the Trinty.
The Golden Triangle dates back pre Renaissancewhen the major patron of art was the Roman Catholic Church.

This is simplistic, but at the top would be Angels where the bottom right might be animals or earthly beings and the left side would be the wise man or something of that nature. All of these in turn are looking at the center or the focal point, Christ's feet which lead up to Christ's head and outstretched arms. Notice the nail in his feet. This is important as to the expression on Christ's face and being crucified.


Here we have another example of the Golden Triangle and over laid on Mona is the Golden Mean which simply put is a mathematical equation that works out similarities and perfections and balance of proportions.

The Golden Mean

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This is a mathematical equation of equals. It is a UNIVERSAL given and it works anywhere with anything, from the shell to the Photograph and even to furniture.


Overlapping makes your composition more interesting than merely touching what is next to it. Notice how the mountain is in front, overlaps the sun.

All Over Composition

This kind of composition has no direct focal point as the artist wants you to look at the who;e picture. Jackson Pollack has been noted as doing the first of this kind of painting. They are both abstract or non objective. More non objective than abstract. They are creations to be taken for what they are instead of what they represent or are a picture of. It does not matter that you may see something in them. They are about materials and beauty in short. Many have to do with the sublime.


Joan Synder
Morris Louis


Janet Fish