Hardscape Aquarium Design Using The Rule Of Thirds
Placing The Elements
The rule of thirds, or placing the elements within a nature hardscape, is a rule or method used when creating element placement for a natural aquarium aquascape. It is utilized in the beginning stage of a hardscape design. This rule is used as a guide to ensure the elements, the bones, are placed in an aesthetically, pleasing manner. It is a rule in guiding placement of the bones of any nature aquascape, making it an important rule to consider before starting. The rule or guide is made to control where the viewers’ eyes will travel and focus on and what they will see. Photographers, landscape and aquascape artists use this rule when taking photos or designing landscaping and nature aquascaping pieces.
Breaking The Rules
You don’t have to follow the rule of thirds in your hardscape or natural aquarium. It may be easier to follow this rule when you are a beginner so you can get the feel of how to place elements aesthetically. You can still be successful and create a beautiful, stunning hardscape or natural aquarium when breaking the rules. I think of this type of art as “abstract scaping”.
Rule Of Thirds: Placing The Elements For Your Hardscape
Imagine that your natural aquarium is divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines. The elements (rocks,etc) that you are using to scape should be placed along these lines or their intersections. The rule of thirds is used to create a more desirable and interesting design resulting in the viewers’ eyes flowing through gracefully and enjoying the beauty within these intersections. The basic principle of the rule of thirds, is the division of a photo into 9 equal parts. Confusing? Absolutely. Eventually it will fall into place.
You will want to think about where you would like your viewers’ to be drawn first, a focal point. From there the eye will then explore the rest of your scape, your complimenting pieces. The rule of thirds is to determine where you are placing the focal point and the secondary points in your design.
Explaining it further, start by imagining that there are four lines. Two are horizontal. Two are vertical. These lines are running through a square of white paper and it is split into nine equal sections. Where the lines cross it is called the golden focus point or the sweet spot for what you will be arranging on it. Photographers and artists utilize the rule of thirds in their work. Here is an example of a sweet spot or focal point in a photo. The basic principle of the rule of thirds, is the division of a photo into 9 equal parts. A grid.
Rule Of Thirds In Your Nature/Natural Aquarium
Here is the rule of thirds for a standard aquarium seen from the front. The solid red sweet spot is where you would place your largest and highest hardscape element like rock or a main piece of driftwood. This will be dependent upon what you have chosen. The red spot which appears to be faded is where your secondary hardscape feature would be placed. It is a complimentary piece to your focal point.
When transferring the same grid lines to the top of the aquarium, the rule of thirds is still in place. It indicates that the main element which is bigger and higher, will be placed near the back of the aquarium. The secondary faded red sweet spot tells that the complimenting element should be place closer to the front of the aquarium.
You can add other accent pieces remembering to keep them complimentary and harmonious together in style. There are many different combinations that you can create to achieve a beautiful result. For instance, filling 1/3 of the aquarium spaces with your main features and 2/3 of your space will be negative space or swimming space.
The rule of thirds can be confusing at first. When you have figured out the concept of it, you will be able to see how it is used in other aquariums. Test your understanding of the rule of thirds by looking at the hardscape and natural aquarium. Try to see how they have incorporated this rule into their design in the pictures below.