Fundamentals of Art and Design 3(1+2)


Balance is an equilibrium that results from looking at images and judging them as per ofdfur ideas of physical structure (such as mass, gravity). Goldstein. V. And Goldstein defined, Balance as rest or repose. This restful effect is obtained by grouping shapes and colors around a center in such a way that there are equal attractions on each side of that center. Equal weights will balance when they are at the same distance from the center. If unequal, the heavier weight must be moved towards the center and the lighter weight away from it, so that balance is obtained. Fig 3.8 depicts the different ways of achieving balance.

Balance in art can be explained, as simply as balance in weights. The only difference is sadasdthat, it is not a question of how much the object weighs but how much attention it attracts. Balance is the arrangement of the objects in a given design, as it relates to their visual weightsymmetrical, asymmetrical and radial. within a composition. Balance usually comes in three forms:

Symmetrical or Formal Balance:

Formal or symmetrical balance is quite, dignified and gives a sense of precision. Symmetrical balance occurs when thesdd weight of a composition is evenly distributed around a central, vertical or horizontal axis. Under normal circumstances we assume identical forms on both sides of the axis (Fig.3.10). When symmetry occurs with similar forms, it is called symmetrical balance also known as formal balance.

For ex: Identical lamps on either side of a bed. (Fig.3.9.)
Asymmetrical or Informal Balance:

Objects in a composition do not attract the same amount of attention and then they must be placed at different distances from the center. So, Asymmetrical balance occurs when the weight of a composition is not evenly distributed around a central axis. It involves the arranging of objects of differing sizes in a composition such that theysdsInformal or Occult
balance one another with their respective visual weights Fig. 3.11 is example for an Asymmetrical balance. Often there may be a dominant one that balances the many smaller forms. In general, asymmetrical compositions tend to have a greater sense of visual attention. Asymmetrical balance is also known as balance.

For ex: Grouping of a large size picture with several smaller size and shape of pictures.
Radial Balance:

It is possible to build a composition equally around a central point resulting in radial symmetry or radial balance.

For ex: Petals arranged in a flower Fig 3.12, the spokes in a wheel, group of chairs around a circular dinning table,xxs motifs arranged exorbitantly in a circular fashion.

Application of Balance in interiors of a house:

  1. If a line were to be drawn through the center of the house, then it would be found that everything on one side is repeated on the other side. This house is bisymmetrical or formally balanced. A large space left around an object will lend it so much more emphasis that it will be as important an attraction as a much larger one. By moving the articles forward and back, and to the right and left, one will soon discover just how much empty space a small unit needs between it and a larger one in order to secure balance.
  2. An object that is very striking or peculiar in shape or color will have the same power of attraction as a larger one that is simple and inconspicuous; two such objects would balance each other at equal distances from the center, even though there is a great difference in their appearance. In placing the furnishings of a room, the architectural openings must be taken into consideration.
  3. Balance is secured by having a large piece of furniture on one wall of a room and as a balance opening on an opposite wall.
  4. The large pieces of furniture should be placed first, with regard to balancing centers of interest in the room. The smaller movable objects would then be arranged, so that they will make convenient groups for conversation as well as balanced units.
  5. A well-balanced room will have approximately the same amount of attraction on opposite walls. Although the two side walls may be somewhat heavier than the end walls, there should be the feeling that the attractions are about equally distributed around the room
  6. Bisymmetrical arrangements convey a feeling of formality, but it can be formality with simplicity and the charm of colonial days.
  7. If formal balance is carried to an extreme, it may result in effects that are cold or stereotyped or monotonous.
  8. In arranging the room, the four walls with everything seen against them must balance. If one side seems too heavy, it is necessary to add a brighter color, a more striking shape, or simply more material to the weaker side, adjusting the attractions until the whole room looks restful in order to achieve a sense of balance.
  9. There is more intimacy in informal balance than in formal arrangements. Like a vase and a lamp on either side of the bed, attracts the same amount of interest.
  10. All the posts of a room or all the room in a house need not be strictly either formal or informal in arrangements. For instance in living room itself, the main conversation centre may be formed, where as the groupings at TV corner may be informal ultimately, the various arrangements/ centres should blend to achieve dignity and beauty.

Balance in exterior design
Whether one uses formal or informal balance, depends largely upon the following conditions.

  • The spirit of the age in which one lives.
  • The use to which the building is to be put.
  • The type of people for whom the building is planned.
  • One’s own personality and taste of the individual. To brief, one family may opt for contemporary style and another may be for modern style.
Last modified: Monday, 13 February 2012, 8:32 AM