Rule of Thirds – Composition

Skill Level : 1 Beginner

Medium : Acrylic Painting, All Mediums, Oil Painting, Pastel Painting, Pen and Ink Drawing, Pencil Drawing, Watercolour Painting

Subject : General

Tutor : Nolan Clark

Avg Rating :

Gold Level or Higher Class

Class Description

In this comprehensive composition class you will learn:
1. What makes a good painting
2. Telling a story in your paintings
3. Primary and Secondary Focal points
4. How to create the illusion of depth in your paintings
5. Different techniques used to compose a painting so that the painting will be pleasing to look at.
6. How to keep the viewers eye in your painting

Latest Reviews

A very comprehensive tutorial on Composition.

Loretta Hulley

Thank you for this tutorial. I am getting back into painting after a long time of not painting. Your tutorial reminded me of the early days and it was great to go back to basics again.

Julie Wolverson

A must lesson for all who aspire to become artist painter.


Class Tutorial

Part 1 - What to Paint

In this section, Nolan explains that such characteristics as personal preference, level of artistic ability, and level of complexity can help you decide what to paint. Keep it simple!

Part 2 - What makes a good Painting

A great painting tells a story, just like a book or a movie does. You will find how characters, setting, plot, etc. all have their place in your painting. Is your painting going to be a drama, a comedy, a romance?

Part 3 - Where to place your focal point

What makes the WOW in your painting? It's the focal point! You will learn how to position your focal point using the Rule of Thirds.  Nolan goes on to explain the important role that secondary focal points have in making a great painting.

Part 4 - Bright Highlights and Dark Shadows

You do not want to produce a painting that is flat and boring. Here Nolan shows how to make your painting POP by using dark shadowy areas and bright highlighted spots.

Part 5 – Lines and Flow

Lines in a painting are like roads leading you places. Nolan shows how to use lines to draw the eye to your secondary focal points.

Part 6 – How to Create the Illusion of Distance

The challenge of trying to create the illusion of depth and distance on a flat surface is really all about learning how to use the spotlight effect.  Once you learn to achieve the correct balance of tonal values, you can great the depth and distance you need to make your painting look alive.

Part 7 – Types of Composition

In this section, Nolan explains in detail several of the many different types of composition, most notably “Lazy S,” “3-spot,”  and “O type.”

Part 7 – Types of Composition

In this section, Nolan explains in detail several of the many different types of composition, most notably “Lazy S,” “3-spot,”  and “O type.”

Nolan Clark

About Nolan Clark

Nolan Clark has been painting and drawing since 1996. He enjoys working in many mediums and styles, but realism is his favourite. He teaches drawing, painting as well as scratch board classes on the site.
Read more about Nolan Clark

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