Balance is an act of distributing weight evenly, enabling someone or something to be steady. In Art, too, there is a concept called Visual Balance. Visual Balance in art is when an Artist distributes the forms, color, line, and other elements of art to spread out in the space.
Balance is one of the Principles of Art and Design and an essential one. People who do not understand balance in arts will feel that something is not right in the artwork.
- 1 What is the Difference between Elements of Art and Principles of Art?
- 2 What is Balance in Art?
- 3 Why is Balance important to a work of Art?
- 4 Principles of Art Symmetrical Balance
- 5 Principles of Art Asymmetrical Balance
- 6 Principles of Art Radial Balance
- 7 How can one create Balance in Art using the Art Elements?
- 8 Conclusion:
- 9 Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Difference between Elements of Art and Principles of Art?
In simple terms, elements are like tools, and Principles are like how to use the tools. There are 7 Elements of Art: Lines, Shape, Form, Color, Space, Textures, and Value. These all have physical qualities of an artwork that you can either touch or see.
On the other hand, 8 Principles of Art are Balance, Rhythm, Harmony, Contrast, Movement, Emphasis, Proportion, and Variety. These are principles that artists decide how they need to present in their artwork, and an artist cannot use the Principles without the Elements of Art.
Composition of Art refers to the process of arranging Elements of Arts by an Artist using principles.
What is Balance in Art?
Taking a hypothetical example, let us assume all the art elements are different weights, and the paper or the canvas is the weight.
An artist places all these elements in such a way that they all balance each other. We can say that that the artwork does not look imbalanced.
There is no physical tool or software to measure the balance in an artwork, and you should look for yourself if the elements are not heavy on one side, and the overall artwork looks balanced.
Why is Balance important to a work of Art?
Balance of Art is essential to an Artwork as it gives comfort and a complete feel for a viewer.
A composition in artwork should be such that you should evenly distribute the art elements. If you see a picture or a painting and if it makes you uncomfortable or makes you feel incomplete, it will be primarily due to the imbalance in the artwork.
An imbalanced work appears to be not stable and makes the viewer dissatisfied.
Balance in art directs the viewer’s vision of where he has to see.
Classification of Balance in Artwork:
- Symmetrical Balance
- Asymmetrical Balance
- Radial Balance
Principles of Art Symmetrical Balance
Symmetrical balance is when the artwork is similar on both sides except they are mirror images, and they don’t need to be exact but simply identical or approximate. The symmetrical balance can be both vertical balance and horizontal balance or sometimes diagonal balance too.
Vertical balance in art is when the top and bottom of the art are identical. An example is when the top portion is an image, and the bottom reflects the water. Horizontal balance in art is when the left and right side of the artwork is identical and opposite.
You can see symmetrical balance everywhere, starting from the human face. The left side of a face is symmetrical to the right side. Vehicles, Animals, and many other things on earth can be an example of symmetrical balance. They can resemble but not necessarily an exact replication.
Symmetrical balance gives an image a sense of security, comfort, formality, completeness, and confidence.
The downside of Symmetrical balance is that it is boring and simply the repetition of the other side of the image, and it is predictable and sometimes uninteresting.
Symmetrical figures need to be seen as wholesome so that it is meaningful.
Why is symmetrical balance important?
Symmetrical balance creates an evenness to your artwork. You can draw a line in the center of the painting, either vertically or horizontally, and split the work into equal half, and you will be able to see the balance even clearly.
It creates order and evenness to the artwork.
This type of balance is extremely helpful in art and architecture.
Principles of Art Asymmetrical Balance
Asymmetrical Balance Definition:
Asymmetrical balance is when you have different visual art elements on either side of the central line, yet the images appear balanced.
Unlike Symmetrical Balance, Asymmetrical Balance is a bit difficult to achieve in your artwork. The main reason is all elements of art have different visual properties, and placing them at different positions and not symmetrical but also balancing the same is more complicated.
What is Asymmetrical Balance in Art?
Asymmetrical balance is when the artwork is not similar on two sides, left & right or top and bottom, but they are balanced and appear to have equal visual weight. Asymmetrical Balance does not have mirror-like images, unlike symmetrical balance.
Asymmetrical balance is informal, dynamic, and unorganized. It may appear to be random, but the composition will balance.
An artist gets flexibility and freedom of expression when his composition has asymmetric balance. Asymmetry is more interesting as there are different elements and are mostly not repeated.
Principles of Art Radial Balance
Radial symmetry or radial balance in art is when identical visual elements radiate from the center point.
Radial Balance images are majorly circular and are inside-out or outside-in to a center point. It is symmetrical in all directions, and the elements are repeated evenly in all directions.
Radial balance can also have other shapes likes stars, pentagon, hexagon, and so on.
The elements will keep mirroring in different directions and are equally placed along the central point like a spoke in a cycle or a ripple in the water.
Radial symmetry has a center and strong focal point, and it immediately absorbs the viewer’s eye seen in nature like flowers, sun, sunflower, jellyfish, starfish, etc., principles of art balance.
How can one create Balance in Art using the Art Elements?
What we call Balance in general terms is equal to Visual Balance in Art. In an Artwork, Elements of Art create Visual Balance. Let’s explore different elements and how they can influence the balance in art.
How can lines influence Balance in Art?
- Thin lines are lighter in visual weight than thicker lines.
- Straight Lines are lighter in weight than curved or scribbling using lines.
- Smooth lines are lighter in weight than sharp lines.
How can Shapes influence Balance in Art?
- Odd shapes tend to have more weight than known shapes.
- Smooth shapes like circles or oval are lighter than complex shapes like pentagon or hexagon which has sharp corners.
- Size of shapes creates imbalance; Large shapes are obviously visually heavier than small shapes.
How can Colors influence Balance in Art?
- The transparent color looks diluted and hance visually lighter in weight compared with the Opaque color.
- Dark color looks heavier than a lighter color. White is lighter in weight and Black is darker in weight.
- The temperature of color also contributes to weight in an Artwork. Warm colors which are Red Yellow and Blue have more weight than cool colors which are purple, green, and blue.
How can Textures influence Balance in Art?
- A form or shape without texture will be visually lighter in weight than one with textures.
- Texture generally mixes with other elements of art. A texture which is created with tighter lines or densely drawn line will be visually heavy than one with loose lines.
- Texture with dark colors or complex appearance will be heavy than texture with a simple appearance.
How can Spaces influence Balance in Art?
- Elements need to be placed left and right or top and bottom or even diagonally to have balance. If forms or shapes kept only on one side, it can disturb the balance.
- Shapes or forms which are closer create a heavier illusion than shapes at a distance mainly due to their size.
- Background space and foreground space also need to be visually even to have balance.
It would be best to remember that elements not alone balance themselves, but another element of art can also balance them. Let me explain.
Value in an Art can balance texture, and one side of the picture can have a heavy texture equated by mild value on the other side of the artwork. Color in Art can balance the line or forms balance.
You can test for yourself to understand how art elements can balance each other in an artwork.
Balance is one of the fundamental principles of art, which makes art meaningful and presentable. That does not mean all artwork needs to be balanced.
Suppose you have an objective of creating disturbing artwork. In that case, you can ignore the balance and focus on giving weightage for specific elements or elements that may be an explosion, war, pandemic, or such disturbing thing.
In the digital world, balance is used in web and graphic designs and is of paramount importance.
Balance communicates to the viewer the distribution of elements, how well it is composed, bringing overall life and meaning to the artwork. Let us make our artwork meaningful.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is balance necessary for successful artwork?
Balance is critical for successful artwork because it gives the viewer a sense of stability and order. It provides a foundation that the rest of the elements in the artwork can build. And when all of the elements work together in harmony, it creates a beautifully balanced composition that’s both aesthetically pleasing and emotionally satisfying.
What is the importance of balance in an art composition?
Balance is an essential principle in art composition as it helps to create a sense of stability and order within a work. When the elements of composition are balanced, it feels more harmonious and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Compositions that are unbalanced or chaotic often feel jarring or disorienting.
Can imbalance create an effect in art?
An imbalance can create an effect by drawing attention to some aspects of the work. For example, if one element is much larger or brighter than the others, it will stand out and draw attention to itself. This can be used to create the desired effect, such as making the viewer focus on a specific detail or adding a sense of movement to the composition.
What are some ways to create balance in an art composition?
There are many ways to create balance in art composition. Some common methods include using symmetry, using contrast, and using repetition. You can also achieve balance by placing the elements within the work, such as putting the heavier elements on the bottom and the lighter elements on top.
What is balance in contemporary art?
Balance in contemporary art is achieving a sense of equilibrium and order within a composition. This can be done through symmetry, asymmetry, or radial balance. It can also be achieved by using different elements (line, shape, texture, value, and color) in various proportions to create a focal point or point.