Balance is one of the principles of art which describes how artists to create visual “weight”. By arranging different elements within a composition, the artist can “weigh down” an area so that the viewer’s eye remains in one part of the image, or they can balance it so that the viewer’s eye moves easily around the subject matter.

    Artists think about how to make their works balanced by using elements such as line, shape, or color. The oil painting on the right, entitled, “Cow's Skull: Red, White, and Blue” was painted in 1931 by Georgia O'Keeffe.  


    There are several ways to balance an artwork:

    Symmetrical Balance means both sides of an imaginary line are the same. We say that the artwork has “symmetry.”


    Asymmetrical Balance means each side of an imaginary line is different yet equal. We say that the artwork has “asymmetry.” 

    Ballet Dancers Degas

    Ballet Dancers, by Edgar Degas

     Radial Balance means that the lines or shapes grow from a center point and radiate out in a circular pattern.

     M.C. Escher

    Circle Limit III, by M. C. Escher