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Balance Paper Collage

Megan Brigden
Title of Lesson: Types of Balance Lesson and Cut Paper Collage Art Project
Grade level: 8-12th Grade

Anticipatory Set:

I will ask the students if a work of art is balanced or unbalanced.

- Students will learn about the principle of art called balance and how it can be used in an artwork.
- They will identify, compare and contrast the three main types of balance and be able to recognize
each type in a piece of art.
- Create a cut-paper collage that clearly demonstrates the three main types of balance: Symmetrical,
Asymmetrical, and Radial through non-objective design.

PASS Standards:
Standard 1: Language of Visual Art - The student will identify visual art terms
Standard 3: Visual Art Expression - The student will observe, select, and utilize a variety of ideas and
subject matter in creating original works of art.

Materials Needed:
Construction paper, glue sticks, scissors, templates (optional), hole punch (optional)

1. Balance in art is defined as the equal distribution of visual weight in a composition. All the elements
(line, shape, color, etc) in that composition look stable or have a feeling of balance (like one side is not
heavier than the other).
2. Balance is one of the principles of design. Understanding and applying knowledge of balance
methods are important parts of creating a good composition. In 2D art, balance refers to how an artist
develops a composition through the arrangement or placement of objects or elements on the picture
plane. The artist places the elements or objects in a such way to create either a sense of equilibrium.
He may intentionally create an unbalanced piece to send a certain message as well.
3. A Central Axis Line is an imaginary line that divides the composition in half either vertically or
horizontally. Objects placed on either side of the axis line can either be repeated exactly the same
(Symmetry, Radial) or unequally but with equal visual weight (Asymmetrical). Central Axis Line Types
of Balance
4. The artist can create interest in a composition depending on how they choose to use balance.
5. There are 3 main types balance:

- Symmetrical or Formal Balance: the elements (line, shape, color, etc.) are identical or almost
identical on both sides of the axis (easiest balance to achieve and generally feels calmer and more
- Asymmetrical or Informal Balance: the elements are not identical on either side of the axis line, yet
the overall feeling is still stable (harder to achieve, but visually more interesting)
- Radial Balance: the elements radiate out from a central point. Elements are repeated evenly both
vertically and horizontally from the axis lines (generally a design is repeated in circle 4+ times)
SKETCH Layout and Designs
1. Draw thumbnail sketches to work out your 3 designs. Repeat lines, shapes, colors and patterns in
each type of balance design to create visual rhythm and so the entire piece has a feeling of unity.
2. Design the layout of your composition.
3. Cut your base shapes of your bases that you will glue your collage onto-use the paper cutter.
4. Cut and glue the pieces for all your collages onto the bases.
5. When finished with the individual balance collages, glue them onto the black paper..
- Start with a few L A R G E shapes that break up the background. Keep them different proportions for
more interest. Add smaller and smaller shapes as you go, being careful to keep the overall image both
balanced and interesting. Shape size is one of the few ways you have to create variety in an image
where the shapes and colors are so limited.
- Create a flow or rhythm in the composition through repetition of design. The shapes should look like
they are placed in relationship with each other and not just randomly distributed.
- Test the balance by turning the composition around, looking at it from several different directions.

Did students create a unified composition that clearly illustrated the three major types of balance?
Peer Critique-Fill out on 2 other artists
Balance Project Critique Worksheet Your Name___________________________
Artists Name _________________________
Please answer each question:
EMPHASIS: The first thing I see is________________________________ because (contrast,
placement/location, size)
What colors did the artist use ___________________
What leads your eye around the artwork-be specific:
VARIETY (Differences):
Do you think the artwork feels UNIFIED? (Circle one) Yes No Why or Why not?

What suggestions would you offer?

What I like best about this artwork is___- be specific: