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Create powerful artistic compositions: 21 pro tips

Create stronger artistic compositions using techniques ranging from the Golden Ratio to implied lines.

Strong artistic compositions are vital to the success of a piece of art. The composition of a piece is what captures a viewer's eye and holds their attention once they take a closer look.

Artistic composition can totally change the mood of a piece of art, changing it from vibrant energy to solemn contemplation. But how does this happen? Why do some seemingly beautifully rendered pictures fail to hold up whereas others captivate viewers?


Many rules dictate what makes a good composition, for example the Golden Ratio, the Golden Spiral and the Rule of Thirds. However, it is crucial we don't approach these theories as unbreakable rules but see them as suggestions, or optional templates. 

We'll discuss some of these techniques throughout this article, explain why they are successful and how you can use that knowledge to make a better image.

To begin, all you really need to know is this: a good composition is nothing more than a pleasing arrangement of shapes, colours and tones. That's simple enough really. Chances are, most of you can make a good composition with your eyes closed.