This week we explore the number three as a compositional element.
Three is considered to be a perfect number for design or composition because when you group three of anything together, the result is consistency and visual balance.
Let's take a look at how this might work.
Three of the same or similar objects can be grouped together in two ways, linear or triangular.
A linear arrangement is quite formal and symmetrical, creating a sense of calm and order.
Classical architecture is based on this principle, often grouping doors or windows in sets of threes.
When subjects are arranged in a triangle, the effect is quite different. The three shapes form a circular path that encourages the viewer's eye to continually move around the image. A principle of good composition is to keep the eye engaged and this is easier to achieve in a circle rather than a straight line.
Positioning three objects in a linear or circular arrangement can create very different effects.
- Linear compositions or arranging your subjects in a line can create a peaceful effect.
- Circular compositions or arranging your subjects in a triangle or circle will often create relationships between the subjects and tell more of a story.
- Look at classical painters to see how relationships are created with groups of 'three's'.
- Try a few different compositional arrangements to see which tells your story best.