Here is the definition and a discussion of the Rule of Three on Wikipedia.
So, the rule states that there are two parallel horizontal lines that divide the space into three equal parts and there are two parallel vertical lines that divide the space into three equal parts.
Let's look at some card examples to see how I have used this rule. I created a grid from clear plastic to put over the cards so that we could "see" the equal space more easily.
This card fits the Rule of Three quite well. The card is divided into three vertical spaces, although they are not quite equal. The card is also divided into three horizontal spaces, very close to equal. The other composition strong point is that the wreath follows the horizontal and vertical lines.
This card has three divisions of the vertical space.
This is another example of the space being divided into three vertical parts, with the addition of the sentiment at the "Sweet Spot" where two lines intersect.
This card has three divisions both horizontally and vertically. The vertical space is equal but the horizontal isn't. Also, If I had had this handy dandy clear plastic template, I might have dropped the poppies down a fraction so that the bottom of the frame aligned with the lower horizontal line. Then the sentiment would be right on the Sweet Spot too!
Three horizontal spaces that are not equal. The sentiment is behind a Sweet Spot, but not centered on it. That still works better than having the sentiment centered on top. It is more visually pleasing when it is close to centered over that spot.
This one has the boots right on the lines and the mantel right on the upper line. The boots help break up the space into three equal areas.
This card has three vertical spaces with the shell piece almost centered over the left line and the sentiment centered over the right line. Additionally the sentiment is in the Sweet Spot.
This is the final example for today. The space is divided into three horizontal areas. The sun stamp and the banners are in opposite sweet spots.
The Sweet Spot is where two lines intersect. Often important elements of design, such as the focal point or the sentiment, will be placed in this spot.
Try making your own clear plastic overlay to help you in your compositions. I know I'm going to use mine!
Have a blessed day,