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Visual Balance

Size, shape, color, texture, and value are design elements which are the fundamental units of a visual image. Design elements and principles are the basic ideas regarding practice of quality visual design that form the basis of all visual design strategies that are intentional. The elements make up the 'vocabulary' of a design while the principles make up the broader aspect of a composition of a design. The first step in coming up with a successful visual composition is to Understand the elements and the principles in design. These are employed in all fields of visual design, including industrial design, graphic design, fine art and architecture. Design is the arrangement of one or more principles and elements for a certain purpose (for instance color or texture). They are as varied as attitudes towards modern design. They differ both between individual practicing designers and between schools of thought that influences design.

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Generally, Visual balance is the visual weight in a work of art. Visual balance can be formed through the design elements which include size, shape, color, texture, and value. Formal (symmetrical balance) as well as informal balance (A symmetrical balance) are the forms of visual balance. The last category of balance is radial which originates from the center of a composition. Symmetrical balance is balancing equivalent forces around a central point. On the other hand, a symmetrical balance describes when the weights of different areas counter balance each other. Even though informal balance appears more informal than formal balance, an artist must spend enough time so as to ensure that the layout is still balanced.

Visual balance is one of the principles that bring together artwork. Balance through use of shapes and size can be a large flat area balance by small irregular use of shapes. Shapes and sizes create visual balance by having a larger uncluttered area by balancing it with a small busy area filled with different shapes.  "A shape is defined as an area that stands out from the space next to or around it due to a defined or implied boundary, or because of differences of value, color, or texture. Shapes can also show perspective by overlapping".  Shapes can also be used to show visual balance by making all the shapes the same throughout the piece.

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In a Chest for clothes and jewelry by the Haida people of Queen Charlotte Island geometrical animals are used on the chest so that if the chest were to be cut in the center the two sides would be mirror images of one another. This is one example of formal balance. Sizes and shapes are a great and easy way to use visual weight. An artist may employ color to balance their work for the reason that the eye is more attracted to a bright vibrant color rather than a dull neutral color. In Sol Lewitt's wall drawing that is referred to as whirls and Twirls, he employs a very neutral base of tan along the floors, the ceiling, and also the three dimensional figure in the middle; but then uses bright vivid colors that whirls and twirls throughout the walls of the room. This is one example of an informal balance. Lewitt uses neutral colors on the floor and on the ceiling, but then uses bright warm colors on the walls of the drawing.

Bright colors bring out small objects and they also bring out things that are large but with neutral colors. Colors lead to beauty and balance to artwork. Texture portrays the smoothness and roughness of artwork. "Texture is perceived surface quality. In art, there are two types of texture: tactile and implied" (Kilmer & Kilmer, 1992).  Employment of this element is thus far another way of showing balance. Texture is the same as value, color, shape, and size. A high contrast texture that is on a small shape will stabilize a great shape with a smooth surface. Texture can as well give an emotional quality to a scene; a fuzzy teddy bear can be more inviting rather than smoothed object that is polished. In a Balega mask, the rough beards bring about a balance in the smooth fast lines in the head. Balance through texture emphasizes the mask and shows an unexpected change in the mask. Value is the brightness and darkness of an object. Black is high in contrast than white or anything that is grey can be low in contrast. Just like the color attracts the eye, so does the value to a small area with high contrast while also balancing a large spot with low contrast.

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Jim and Sandy's living room is one of the greatest examples where value has been used so as to create stability. The living room was all of it painted in white with windows allowing light through that gave a feeling of a high contrast. They couches were also white in color white and this also gave a feeling of high contrast. The element of low contrast in the living room was a dark fire place and sporadic settings of dark vases all over the room. Visual balance brings together the aspect of composition. Without visual balance, a piece of art can be really boring or in actuality chaotic. A composition that is solid can be as a result of shape, size, color, texture, and value. The various forms of balance such as formal, informal, and radial are what brings artwork together.

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