If you like learning design tips for your handmade cards, you’ll love to see how I used the Rule of Thirds in this fall card using Lovely as a Tree Stamp Set. My Facebook followers have asked for samples of masculine cards, and we’ve been sharing how a color scheme can make the difference between guy cards and girlie cards.
The tree is stamped on a piece of Shimmery White Cardstock, and colored with a Blender Pen and inks: Cajun Craze, Pumpkin Pie, Crushed Curry, and Early Espresso. The dry yellow grass, blue sky, and the Crumb Cake background were all stamped with this image from Timeless Textures Stamp Set:
When you design a handmade card, here’s a design principle you’ll want to learn to use: The Rule of Thirds. I posted a video on it recently, which you can see in this post: Rule of Thirds. It’s a good starting point for understanding this design principle, and it shows how to make a grid of third lines on a piece of vellum.
Let’s look at this new card with the grid of thirds on top of it.
- The left vertical line goes through the center of the ribbons, and the tree trunk is close to that same line. I didn’t line it up exactly, because that would have put the entire focal point too close to the left edge of the card.
- The right edge of the focal point is almost exactly on the vertical line.
- The bottom horizontal line is at the bottom of the tree trunk, and the sentiment is close to being centered in the bottom right rectangle.
With the Rule of Thirds, a design usually won’t hit every thirds line. Sometimes part of an image fills a thirds rectangle, other times the “sweet spots” where two lines cross are at notable areas of an image. Here are a couple of other examples.
In this card,
- the bottom horizontal line is just above the top of the banner.
- The right hand vertical line goes through the center of the small flower, with the “sweet spot” almost on the center.
- The larger flower is almost centered in the middle rectangle.
By now you’re probably beginning to see how the lines and sweet spots don’t have to line up exactly. Even if aspects of the card are close to the lines and/or sweet spots, the eye sees the placement of the elements as harmonious.
Here’s another example.
- The left vertical third line goes through the flower bud, and along the left edge of the flower.
- While the flower isn’t completely in the center rectangle, it is close enough to be effective.
- The sentiment is just under the bottom horizontal third. The post I referred to discusses how you have to be flexible with using this principle. Be sure to take a look, it’s an example of where I let the “rule” interfere with my natural instinct for a harmonious design. Here’s the link again: Rule of Thirds.
Please leave a comment and let me know if this Rule of Thirds lesson was helpful. As we’ve been exploring this principle on my Facebook Page, I’m noticing how “seeing” the thirds in a design is easy for some cardmakers to grasp, and harder for others. Which category do you fit in?
I hope this exploration of the Rule of Thirds in my new fall card using Lovely as a Tree has inspired you to look at your cards with a new perspective.