Compositional Models


A good basic composition will often either be asymetrical or will lead the viewer's eye around the work. Some standard compositional layouts are shown above.


In this simple composition a dynamic balance is created by the changes in value from dark to light. There is not equal amounts of dark or light on each side.


This simple composition is completely reliant on rhythms. Rhythm is important to all compositions in any discipline and visual art is no exception. The changing sizes and values lead a viewer across the page like changing notes lead a listener through a piece of music. Notice that there are not any two areas that are the same size. This helps to create an asymmetrical balance. Other types of sequential compositions rely on mathematics, like the Fibonacci Sequence.

Simple Asymmetry

Also referred to as Dynamic Balance. This sort of composition relies on creating balance between the two sides of the picture. In this picture the area on the left has equal visual weight to the right side. Think of it as you would a scale. On one side of the scale there is one four-ounce cube and on the other is four one-ounce cubes. They both weigh fourt ounces, but look different. In a compositon this could be shown as one large dark rectangle and four smaller rectangles. Try to move the elements around the compositon to lead the viewer around the composition. The use of one shape, color, line etc. is called repetition of an element and helps to create visual connections between objects in a composition. This compositional style also shows up in sculpture.