Exercise: How to achieve balance by controlling proportion. Three factors control balance: size, surface condition (such as value, color or texture), and position. Some might add a fourth: shape, since some shapes are more attention-grabbing than others. All of these factors have a decided affect on the distribution of visual weight within a composition.
The exercise goes like this: create a white square, any size, add three circles in three very different sizes, fill each circle in with a different value: light gray, medium gray, and black. (If you’re drawing digitally, the stokes should have no color. Using pencil and paper, use a compass to lightly draw your circles.) Finally, arrange your circles within the square or up to the edge. Make sure there’s no overlap and they’re not touching each other.
Your goal is to create a sense of balance whereby all three items are seen at the same instance. No single circle dominates over the other two and no two circles dominate over the third. Each circle must be very different from the others in term of size, value and location (no overlapping or touching). Any of your circles can “bleed” over the edge, but the excess must be trimmed off.
Prefer working in color? Each color has its own inherent intensities and values. Each quality could effect the overall balance of visual weight.
Click here to again view the definitions for Proportion.
Good tip: If you’d like to test to see if you’ve achieved balance, hold a blank sheet of paper over your composition and stare at it for 30 seconds. Then quickly pull it away. Try the test on the two examples below. Balance or imbalance will reveal itself immediately.