Example of rule of the thirds in fashion illustration

In my previous post, Rule of the thirds in fashion illustration I explained all there is to know about the 9 squares grid and I even gave you a grid to download and to use in your future fashion illustrations.

With this tool in hand, let’s take a look at some fashion illustrations and discuss upon them. Here is an example – a fashion illustration by Gary Tu – that I used together with a 9 squares grid that I superposed in my computer. Please do the same with all the following images you will see on my site.


I choose a black and white composition just to make sure this will be easier for you to see the importance of the grid. Observe the image through your half-opened eyes (look between your eyelashes). The image is off center, for sure. The stronger strokes are the upper right side of the image. This means you will need a contra-balance side: the lower left side – where the artist “felt” to sign. Usually the signature is on the right bottom part of the painting but this time, its place is changed. The right side being much stronger than the other parts of the image, we will need more details and a lot of information in other areas of the layout – see the nose, eye, smoke, and neck line.

See some contrasts:

– between bigger areas (hair) and small areas ( smoke, eyes, neck line, ear)

– between flat strokes – full black stroke of the hair and light gray areas

– between bi dimensional strokes of the hair and the volumetric, 3D eye.


– between the beautiful graphic lines of the signature and black areas of the hair.

Also, see the dynamic position of the women.

Hope this helped you understand the image. As an exercise, do this alone, at home, with any fashion illustration or fashion photography you will find.

Illustration: Gary Tu.

rule of the thirds

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