Monday, January 7, 2008

Balance in Composition - the technicals

Poore's first chapter is on "the importance of balance." And yes, the chapter reads as dry as the title. It is essentially a great long list of types of balance found in art, many with examples.

Balance is one of those slippery terms, the ones that you think you understand, intuitively, and then all of a sudden mid-conversation, you aren't sure what anyone is talking about! (Perhaps this only happens to me, perhaps as a result of being married to philosopher! :D)

Anyway, the following quote helped me to really understand what balance Poore was talking about:

"In the survey of a picture, the eye naturally shifts from the focus of interest, which may be on one side, to the other side of the canvas. If something is there to receive it, the balance which the eye seeks is gratified."

He later adds that if the "receiving something" creates too strong an interest you've created "divided interest" instead of balance!

The image above is copied from "Drawing the Human Head by Louise Gordon", it's a part of my month-long pursuit of learning the structure of the head.

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