Two-dimensional art, such as drawings and paintings, can be created in a variety of ways. Some artists use paints and canvas to create their masterpieces, while others use pens and paper or even computer programs to do so.
Regardless of the medium used, all artists must understand some basic rules about perspective and proportion when designing their artwork. How do artists do this? Well, it all comes down to understanding one important concept: the implied center of gravity.
This concept refers to the place in a two-dimensional artwork where the weight or force acting on an object is equally distributed on either side. It is what makes an object appear balanced or symmetrical.
This article will discuss how to find the implied center of gravity in any two-dimensional artwork that is balanced symmetrically.
Usually placed directly above the center of the top line
The center of gravity in a two-dimensional work of art is the point at which the art would balance if it were suspended. In most pieces, the center of gravity is located directly above the piece’s top line.
When a piece has more than one level, such as with a painting or sculpture that has an upper and lower level, the center of gravity can be placed between the levels.
Some artists choose to place their pieces off-balance, either intentionally or unintentionally. If this is done intentionally, then the artist most likely places the center of gravity in a different location than mentioned above.
This is done to create a different feeling or expression in the art. Some artists even play with this feature to create a more dynamic piece.
Approximately halfway between the two lines
When creating your artwork, you can use the implied center of gravity to your advantage. By placing an element or element group at the implied center of gravity, you can balance your artwork.
For example, if you were to draw a circle in the middle of the paper and draw two lines on either side that met in the middle, then the circle would be at the implied center of gravity.
Any other element you add to your art piece will be pulled to this point, creating a balanced piece. You can add many elements without worrying about making your work unbalanced.
This is a great tip for beginner artists as it helps gain a sense of balance in your art.
Somewhere outside of the image
When you look at a piece of art, you can think about where the weight is in the piece.
If the piece is symmetrical, like a mirror image, then the weight is evenly distributed. The artist uses shapes and lines to create the form of what they are painting or drawing.
Because the image is balanced, the weight of the object being painted or drawn is also balanced. The implied center of gravity is somewhere outside of the image itself.
If the image is not symmetrical, then the weight may be in different places within the image. The implied center of gravity is somewhere outside of the object itself, but close to it.
It doesn’t have a implied center of gravity
Two-dimensional art, like a drawing or a painting, does not have a center of gravity. That is because two-dimensional art does not have depth, so there is no back or front to the artwork.
Because it is symmetrical, the art has two implied edges that balance each other out. These edges act as the artwork’s frame, so there is no need for a bottom or top edge.
Since there is no depth to the artwork, the center of gravity does not exist. The artist would have to add some sort of external support to make it look like the artwork was standing on its own.
This element of art can be very difficult to master. Many artists spend a lot of time trying to get the proportions and framing just right so it looks like an actual piece of art.