Friday, July 29, 2011

Design Focus Friday - Radial Balance

 Another type of balance is radial balance. Radial balance is based on a circular shape with the elements radiating out from the center of the shape. Kaleidoscopes are perfect examples of radial balance.
 Many things in nature have radial balance such as a variety of flowers or even tree stumps. How often do you use radial balance in a piece you are creating?
I didn't find too many examples in my work. I did a series on tree stumps which I then added to a piece but the overall piece didn't have radial balance. Have you done anything with radial balance? Leave a note and leave a link to show us how you use radial balance.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Design Focus Friday - Asymmetrical Balance

 With asymmetrical balance, the design is typically off center and most likely the elements are not the same on each side of the central line. There is usually a feeling of greater tension when a piece is asymmetrical as opposed to a symmetrical piece.
Most of everything I do is asymmetrical. It seems that most people are either one way or the other and prefer working symmetrically or asymmetrically.
If the left side is not exactly equal to the right side, is it unbalanced? Or do certain elements, even if they are different, balance one another? Play with the balance and stretch your boundaries. If you like to work symmetrically, try an asymmetrical piece or vice versa. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Design Focus Friday - Symmetrical Balance

 Symmetrical balance really isn't my thing. This is the closest I could find to symmetrical in my work. I am much more of an asymmetrical kind of girl! I find that symmetrical balance feels confining.
Traditional quilts, like this one from the LaConner Quilt Museum, use symmetrical balance so that each side mirrors the other side. Do you use symmetrical balance in your work? Leave a comment and let me know.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Wooly Goodness

 Finally, something that I've been working on that I can show you. I dyed wool all day Thursday. This is from a merino fleece that I got locally. I washed it last weekend.
 Then today, I spent all day carding. I have borrowed a drum carder from my friend Bunny and boy is it fun. It makes beautiful batts and you can mix all kinds of fiber together. I want one of my own now.
This is the same batts without the gray and black ones. It just looks so colorful. Hope you all are having a great day and have a wonderful weekend.

Design Focus Friday - Balance

Balance is the visual distribution of weight in your composition. A sense of balance is innate in humans; lack of balance disturbs us and we feel more comfortable with a balanced pattern.
Pictorial balance usually refers to horizontal balance, the right and left sides of the image. Vertical balance is also a consideration with a horizontal mid line dividing top and bottom. Due to our sense of gravity, we are accustomed to seeing more weight toward the bottom, giving us a sense of stability and calm. The farther up in the format the weight is distributed, the more unstable and dynamic it seems.

Types of balance:


• Symmetrical – shapes are repeated in the same positions on either side of a vertical axis; this type of balance seems more formal.

• Asymmetrical – achieved with dissimilar objects that have equal visual weight or equal eye attraction; this is informal balance and appears casual and less planned.



• Radial – all elements radiate or circle out from a common central point; this type of balance is common in the natural world.

• Crystallographic – an equal emphasis over the whole format with an all over pattern; the constant repetition of the same quality everywhere on the surface.




 Ways to achieve asymmetrical balance:


• Value difference – black against white gives a stronger contrast than gray against white, therefore a smaller amount of black is needed to visually balance a larger amount of gray. Balance by value or color is a great tool, allowing a great difference of shapes on either side of the center axis and still achieving equal eye attraction.

• Shape and Texture – Differences in shape when value and color are the same, can achieve balance. A small irregular shape can balance a large even shape. Texture can achieve the same effect. A small textured shape can balance a larger plain shape.

• Position and Eye Direction – a large item placed closer to the center can be balanced by a smaller item placed out toward the edge. This effect appears casual and unplanned. Eye direction can assist in balancing a composition and should be carefully planned.

• These techniques are rarely used in isolation and many times all are used in a composition to achieve balance.


Questions to get you started:
What type of balance do you usually use in your compositions? Try one of the other types of balance and see how that affects your design style. Can you use all types of balance listed above and work in a theme? How does the type of balance used affect what you are trying to say in your theme?

Using your geometrical shapes, can you make a piece balanced by just using value differences alone? Shape and texture? Position and eye direction?

Sorry I missed posting last week. Things just seemed to get away from me. Been busy, busy, busy with my project. Hopefully, I'll be able to announce soon what I've been doing! Thanks for stopping by.