This week, as we end our focus on Balance, we look at the term Radial Balance, meaning a design where all of the elements are equally balanced around, toward or away from a central point. Unlike other forms of balance that use either a horizontal or vertical axis, radial balance has all of the interest radiating out from the center like the rays of the sun or spokes on a bicycle wheel. The examples below help to illustrate the definition.
Below on the left is a fabric with bilateral symmetry, while the right has radial symmetry.
Designs can be round or square. Kaleidoscope images are radial. A Radial design can be very effective, as it draws the eye into the center of the design. Examples of Radial balance that can be found both in nature and man made ojects include:
Cathedral Rose Windows (e.g. Notre Dame Cathedral)
A halved orange or grapefruit
Merry go round
Let's use the example of Dad's Lonestar by Ricky Tims. Did you notice how all of the elements spin around while at the same time move your eye from the center outward? Also, the brilliance of the yellow star in the center vibrates, which enhances this same outward movement.
Examples of quilts featuring Radial Balance:
Practice Exercise: Create Your Own Radial Balance Design:
Design your own Radial Balance design with just a few simple tools.
Design your own Kaleidoscope Name design. Click here.