Balance in art refers to the sense of
distribution of perceived visual weights
that offset one another. We feel more
comfortable--and therefore find it more
pleasing--when the parts of an artwork
seem to balance each other. Imbalance
gives us an unsettled feeling, and that is
something that for most artists is not the
desired effect. Some artists, however,
deliberately disturb our sense of balance.
Balance is defined as “rest or
response.” the restful effect can be
obtained by arranging the objects
with different colors and shapes that
have equal attraction on each side of
the center. Balance is equalizing visual
forces, or elements, in a work of art.
If a work has visual balance, the
viewer feels that the elements have
been arranged in a satisfying way.
Balance can occur with all elements of design:
Other terms for
balance are formal
is when elements on both sides of a
central line appear to be about equal.
The objects of the two sides have the
same attraction. This kind of balance
gives sense of dignity and precision.
The Last Supper (Leonardo da Vinci (1495)
Diego Rivera, Flower Day,
United States Capitol Washington D.C.
begun 1792, completed 1830
Asymmetrical balance is when art
elements appear to be different on both
sides of a central line. The objects do not
attract same attention. This kind of
balance affords a greater opportunity for
variety in arrangement.
balance has sides
that are different,
but are still in visual
A large flower shape is
balanced by smaller leaves.
A large shape
placed near the
middle of a work
of art can be
the outer edge.
diamond is more
entire work of art.
Frida Kahlo, Frida and Diego
Rivera, 1931 Bernini, David, 1623
Hiroshige View of Mount Fuji from Harajuku, part of the Fifty-three Stations of the
happens when all
radiate out a central
radiate out a
The kind of balance used in any arrangement of
furniture and decorative objects help an
individual quality to a group.
Formal arrangements give a feeling of formality
where there is more intimacy in an formal in an
In working for balance arrangement, one should
test both sides of the arrangement to see that one
side from the center does not present greater
attraction to the eye than the other side.
What kind of balance is illustrated in this
painting Oriental Poppies, by Georgia O’Keefe?
If you said symmetrical balance, you are correct!
If you could visually divide the paper in half. There would be a poppy on both
sides. No one side dominates the pictures.
Neither poppy appears to be more important than the other.
What type of balance is shown in this painting, Arrangement in
Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother (commonly
known as Whistler’s Mother), by James Whistler?
If you said, asymmetrical balance, you were right! The
large form of the woman is "visually equal" to the black
curtain and white painting on the wall. This makes the
painting appear balanced.
What type of balance is shown in this stained
glass artwork, Rose Window?
Radial Balance! Look at the spiral or spinning effect of
the pattern. The axis is the center point and the design
or pattern appears to "radiate" from that point.