Balance requires equal distribution of visual weight.

Symmetrical Balance

The objects are repeated in the same position on either side of the design. One side is a mirror image of the other.

Sometimes while attaining perfect symmetrical balance you can loose unity and visual interest.

Asymmetrical Balance

An asymmetrical design is normally more interesting.

Once objects on one side of the image are heavier it is important to create ways to move the viewer's eye around the design.

Asymmetrical balance can be achieve by the placement of color, texture, direction and scale.

Artist Unknown
The Cholmondeley Sisters Swadddling their Babies    British School

Balance - Symmetrical

This image has perfect symmetrical balance.

The portrait of the two sisters is almost a mirrow image.
The left and right are identical except for a few minor details.
Venus Rising
Venus Rising - Sandro Botticelli

Balance - Symmetrical

Although the left and right of Venus Rising are not identical this painting still has symmetrical balance.

The weight is evenly distrupted on either side and Venus becomes the focus point with the other figures looking directly at her.
Artist Unknown
Hunters in the Snow  Pieter Brugegel

Balance - Asymmetrical

The left and right side of this painting are completely different.

Our eye initally is drawn to the hunters, we are taken into the rest of the painting because the hunters are walking in that direction.

Also on the right there is a lot going on and our eye follows though the various activities to the mountains.
Venus Rising
The Wedding- Pieter Brugegel

Balance - Asymmetrical

Red is the most dominant of all colors and will always draw the eye. It is evenly distributed on the right and left. These splashes of color draw the eye through the painting.

The activites are balanced, although there is more going on on the right the activities of the man and the boy in the forefront are more obvious and bring our eye back to the left. The man in the red coat left-center is looking towards the figures with the pies which brings our eye over to them.