The Artwork of Michael Divine

Blog: Artists Only



The Rule of Thirds and Composition

Rule of Thirds Image

One of the things we’ll be looking at and working with in the drawing workshop I’m teaching is composition. The Rule of Thirds is, I think, the best way to consider a composition. Using this little painting for an example – take a look at where the lines intersect the painting. It almost falls perfectly into it’s respective sections. The right edge of the left third intersects the cloud opening and also the center of one archway. The left edge of the right third cuts through the column – balancing out the openings on the left. In the smaller thirds even, the small person falls in the middle third of the bottom right corner thirds. The lowest line of clouds, too, starts at the top of the bottom third of the painting and slowly drifts upwards. Between these and other details, the painting ends up falling into a nice order and feeling like a really balanced composition and ends up being more engaging and pleasing to the eye.

I didn’t measure any of this out when I painted it. I just sort of place things where they feel comfortable and natural. I think the more one practices this kind of thing the more it is a naturally occurring phenomenon on our work.

Workshop Info

Sign up for my "Artists Only" Newsletter

Sign up for my "Artists Only" Newsletter filled with tips and thoughts on being an artist. The monthly email focuses on various topics from branding to business structure to some of the pitfalls and triumphs of the artistic life. If you'd like to get this special Artists Only monthly newsletter, sign up below.

First Name (required)
Last Name (required)
Email Address (required)
Your Website

Did you like this post?
Click Here to
Support the Arts


Contact Me

I'd love to hear from you. Send me a message here and
I'll do my best to get back to you as soon as I can.

Send an Email
  1. (required)
  2. (valid email required)


Your Shopping Cart

Trusted Site Seal

Please review your order below and click "Checkout Now" to continue.

Continue Shopping »

There are no items in your cart.


Love Art?


Inquire About This Piece

Thank you for your interest in my work.
Please send me a note here, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Send an Email
  1. (required)
  2. (valid email required)