The Golden Rule — “The golden rule can and usually is applied to a paintings canvas proportions. As you read through the following text you’ll notice that most of the imagery presented utilizes similar dimensions and almost all of them fall into the golden rectangle. Today you can find the Golden Rectangle almost everywhere: from credit cards to phone cards to book covers, all are shaped with its proportions.
The imagery below represents the division of space when the “golden rule” is applied to a blank canvas. Basically it is the division of a line in two sections, where the ratio between the smallest section and the largest section is identical to the ratio between the largest section and the entire length of the line. In other words A/B = B/(A+B). The ratio is about 1/1.618. Honestly, I’m still not exactly sure what that all means? but, I do know that I used this grid layout a-lot when I first started painting and found it helpful. I still do.”
Rule of Thirds— “From the golden rule came the “rule of thirds” which is virtually the same concept but slightly altered to fit photographic proportions. I find it a bit easier to follow since it’s very simple in its origin.Here we have a look at the rule of thirds in action.
Notice that the main focal point sits right almost directly over one of the “golden means.” Additionally, other objects are placed near the other converging lines (the bird, for example) but, not directly on them, since that would create competition for the focal point.”
Implied Forms (Circular) — “The Circle is made up of a continuous ‘Curve’ and it’s circular movement keeps the eye in the picture frame. There are many circles in nature and man made objects. You can use the circle in a very obvious way in your composition or simply suggest it.”
Implied Forms (Radii) — “Is a connection of ‘Lines’ meeting in the Center and an expansion of ‘Lines’ leaving the Center. The Radii is usually found in Nature Subjects. The best example of the man made Radii is the spokes of a wheel.
The eye has two ways to go when it comes upon the Radii. It can either be drawn in to the picture area or it can be led out of the picture area. You must be careful how you used the Radii and try to have the eye led into the picture.”
Cross composition — “A showing of ‘Opposing Force’ that will give the picture a feeling of Cohesion and Relationship. The horizontal bar of the Cross will act as a “stopper’ while the vertical pole can act as a leading line. The windows in a large skyscraper will form crosses and will keep your interest in the building.”
L Composition — “This makes an attractive ‘frame’. It can be used to accentuate important subjects. Many times it is a ‘frame’ within a ‘frame’.
A tree with an overhanging branch at the ‘right’ side of the picture area will form a ‘Rectangle’ and help frame the Main Subject in the picture. By doing this you will make the Center of Interest stand out and be noticed clearly.”