• Symmetrical balance – both sides of a composition are
• Asymmetrical balance – both sides are not equal or
• Radial balance – circular design with overall symmetrical
A large shape close to the center can be
balanced by a small shape close to the
edge. A large light toned shape will be
balanced by a small dark toned shape (the
darker the shape the heavier it appears to
• When components are balanced left and right of a
central axis they are balanced horizontally.
• When they are balanced above and below they are said
to be balanced vertically.
• And when components are distributed around the center
point, or spring out from a central line, this is referred to
as radial balance.
Symmetrical balance involves
elements mirroring each other.
Symmetrical designs– both sides of a composition are matching.
Formal, stable, rigid, and permanence are suggested
Usually the image can be folded
in half and be the same of both
•The sense of wholeness which results from the successful combination
of the elements of art.
•A principle of design that relates to the sense of oneness or wholeness
in a work of art.
When you repeat an
element like color,
direction, value, shape,
or texture, or establish a
style, like a linear style,
you establish a visual
Poster Design firm:
Concrete Design Communications
The painting on the left
creates a sense of unity by
the effective use of repetition.
See how the artist has
repeated similar forms (ducks)
and color (brown) throughout
On the right grouping of similar
objects (proximity) was used to
create unity within this painting.
When all the elements
and principles work
together to create a
Similar shapes, colors,
value, textures and lines
Contrast in art and design occurs when two related elements are different.
The greater the difference the greater the contrast. Contrast adds variety to the total
design and creates unity.
The most common ways of creating contrast are by creating differences in:
The contrast in the illustration to the left
is quite obvious. Notice the contrast of
the light background (wall) with dark
foreground (table cloth) and the contrast
of the dark shadows on the tea pot and
cup against the wall and with the lights
of the same objects against a dark
There is also a contrast of thin and thick
lines in the napkin, straight and curved
lines, and don't miss the dark steam as
contrasted with the light clouds off in the
In the painting on the left is
another example of contrast
between light and darkness.
On the right a contrast exists between the
lights and darks. Also notice the contrast of
the roundness of the objects in the
foreground against the flatness of the
When the principle of proportion is applied to a work of art it is usually in the
• size, height, width and depth of one element to that of another
•size of one area to the size of another area
•size of one element to the size of another element amount of space between
two or more elements
Proportion in art is the comparative harmonious relationship between
two or more elements in a composition with respect to size, color, quantity,
degree, setting, etc.; i.e. ratio.
Rhythm is a type of
movement seen in
repeating of shapes and
colors. Alternating lights
and darks also give a
sense of rhythm.
Rhythm: the way elements combine to produce the
appearance of movement in an artwork.
It is all about repeating shapes, lines, and textures.
Remember, implied lines direct the viewer’s eye.
Pattern: the repetition of the elements of art in an artwork.
The difference is
pattern does not
focus on repeating
elements to make
Visually, the focal point of an image is the place
where your eyes are drawn to first. Usually the
focal point will be highlighted or the most striking
color in the work. The focal point can also be
reinforced by the implied lines guiding the
The arrangement of parts in
an artwork to create a
feeling of dominance and
importance on a particular
Similar to dynamics and
movement, implied or
actual lines can point to
the area of emphasis.
The Conversion of St. Paul, Caravaggio
•There are arguably several focal points
within this image.
• The focal point can also be the place
where the action is happening – the dark
space between the horse and the man in the
foreground. One can also call this place a
•This image is particularly entertaining
because it has layers of focal points and
• The artist highlights places all over the
entire space of the canvas which
automatically takes the viewer’s eyes all
over the image.
• After the immediate two or three first
attractions, my eyes are then led to the
horse’s rump, down the leg to the hand and
kneecap of the soldier to the red cloth and
then up the arm on the right to the other
man in the image landing where I started
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