Design Basics

resource material:
Design Basics
by David A. Lauer and Stephen Pentak (pages 56 through 92)
Launching the Imagination:Two Dimensional Design by Mary Stewart
(3-9 through 3-13)

Balance - some equal distribution of visual weight - aim of composition that visual elements work cooperatively within design.
However, purposeful imbalance has a place in design. Unlike physical balance, visual balance can be created through absence as well as presence.

The Dewing painting is interesting and attracts attention for this unexpected quality.

In visual balance, we are accustomed to horizontal balance - left and right sides.
Consider vertical balance also - horizontal axis dividing top and bottom.
With our sense of gravity, we are accustomed to seeing more weight toward the bottom.
When the main distribution of weight is higher, the image becomes more unstable and dynamic.

In the whimsical work of Paul Klee, Tightrope Walker, the linear patterns build up vertically with
the teetering figure near the top.

The Chagall painting as emphasis at the top. The dark buildings and the floating figure in the sky give
emphasis to the upper half of the composition.

Do some research on you own:

What is SYMMETRICAL BALANCE? - find examples
What is ASYMMETRICAL BALANCE? - find examples
What is RADIAL BALANCE? - find examples
What is CRYSTALLOGRAPHIC BALANCE? - find examples

(link to get you started and don't forget to use links on Resource Page - Visual Arts Design Basics

* great link for - Radial Symmetry - explore Judy Chicago's work in addition to this drawing
Judy Chicago, Rejection Quintet: Rejection Drawing, 1974

History of artists organizing layout in mathmatical equations:

The Golden Mean - The golden rectangle