We spend a lot of time (at least I do) increasing our understanding and application of the rules of art. There are rules for values, colours, compositions, etc. We try to apply these rules to create "better" art or art the will be more pleasing.
Having said that, how many times have you looked at a painting and thought how wonderful it was but yet, it didn't respect conventional rules.
To successfully break the rules, it's important that you first know the rules. You need to know exactly what you’re doing. Millions of people break the rules of art every day but just don’t know it.
A good number of them do it and have very successful art careers. Adisorn Pornsirikarn is certainly one artist that doesn't follow traditional composition rules. One evening at an art association event, someone showed one his paintings on the cover of a French Watercolour magazine. I was shocked to hear people seriously criticize it. They had numerous reason, such as he doesn't have a centre of focus. What do you think of this painting? Personally, I'm a fan of his work and look forward to his new paintings that he shares on Facebook on a regular basis.
Of this painting, some might say the light spot at the top left draws the eyes out of the painting. Where's the centre of focus? The bottom left flower should face to the inside of the painting, etc. When I look at this, all I see is an amazing talent and an amazing ability to do some negative painting. I would be pleased if I could paint half as well as he does.
Breaking traditional rules have created some breakthrough works of art and opened new possibilities. Think of the Impressionists, Picasso - they certainly broke the art rules of their times. Initially, their art was not well received by the public who wasn’t yet used to such different ways, but eventually the public taste got accustomed to new ideas. What seemed chocking 150 years ago is consider as classic nowadays.
There’s no rule that can’t be broken, so long as it’s broken with purpose. Rules exist to guide us — a reasonable default when we don’t have a better idea — but they should not stop us from experimenting. In fact, the truly innovative, inspired ideas are frequently the result of breaking a rule that others many not dare to break or are too focused on trying to adopt.
Have a great week