Design Composition Tutorial 2

What is design composition?  Composition is when separate elements come together to form a whole.  Take our tutorial from last week as an example.  We formed a beautiful design by bringing together smaller elements. 

Let's talk more in detail about the BALANCE of a design.  Balance of a design is one of the most important things in design composition.  There are 2 ways you can balance a design.  Symmetrical and Asymmetrical. 


  • equal elements from top to bottom, or left to right
  • mirror images on either side of your main design element
  • gives a clean and elegant design flow


  • gives balance to a design without symmetry
  • use the scaling (sizing) or contrast (fills) to create balance
  • think of each element as having a weight--small elements have less weight than big elements
Tips for better balance in a henna design
  • use fewer elements in order to focus on the main element
  • use elements that compliment each other (leaf clusters go well with swirls, small flowers go well with dot clusters, etc)
  • select embellishments with purpose and intention
  • use contrast for a more focused design composition.

ASmmetrical balanced design--there is more weight with the vine towards the finger because it is longer, but the leaf clusters at the top are wider and balance out the design.  The focus is on the central flower though, and the symmetrical nature of this design flow let the flower stand out

Although it looks symmetrical, this design actually has ASYMMETRICAL balance.  The vines balance each other out nicely, but the paisley, dot chain and leaves are all placed intentionally.  Each of the two larger leaves and paisley divide the design up into 3 sides, while the small leaf and swirl clusters next to them help keep the flow of the design.  The dot chain adds more weight to the top of the design, but the more spaced out vine at the bottom draws the eyes to the whole design.