Sunday, January 27, 2008

Maxfield Parrish and Symmetrical Balance

Prior to studying Parrish, I was under the impression that symmetrically balanced designs tend to be boring. I think Parrish shows this need not be the case. Here are a few examples where Parrish uses symmetrical balance as a design technique. Parrish apparently liked symmetrically balanced designs, since he used them frequently.

Very Little Red Riding Hood (1897)

Jello Ad (1922)

Two Pastry Cooks (1921)

Now that I am attuned to symmetrical balance, I am noticing it more often. My son Christopher loves the I Spy books. As we sat together reading the other day, I noticed that the cover of Can You See What I See? Once Upon a Time is for the most part symmetrically balanced.

I am keeping this design technique in the back of my mind. I am waiting for the right occasion to try it out.


Jenny said...

My brain tends toward symmetrical balance. If I draw something where I have to fight going symmetrical, then I go for the symmetrical. Years ago I noticed I would tend to draw within a square area. Ever feel like a square person in a round world?

I've always been fascinated with the illustrations of Maxfield Parrish, and it's been fun viewing your posts with his art.

Scarlett said...

Thank you for posting this. I always loved his work, but never took the time to think and ponder about him.

Laurel Neustadter said...

Thanks, Jenny and Scarlett. I really enjoyed studying Maxfield Parrish's work. Next month, I study N.C. Wyeth.