G.(R.)A.V.I.T.Y. Rhythms

In 1349 a group of Florentine artists formed a society for the study of the chemistry of colors, the mathematics of composition, etc., and that among these studies was the science of motion. Rhythm has been the movement of the Universe since time begin. There is rhythm in the movement of the sea and tides stars and planets. Both poetry and music are the embodiment of rhythm, without it, they would not exist. Rhythm is as essential to drawing as it is to poetry, music, or dance.

In drawing and painting, there is rhythm in line, mass, color, light, and shade.

LINE: Linear movement, straight line rhythms are created be moving from point to point, line to line, plane to plane. Arabesque rhythms and lines of continuation are flowing and curvalinear. The master draughtsman prefers straight to curved and continuously squares the round.

MASS: There is rhythm created by the juxtaposition and organization of masses or form units in a spacial context.

TONE: Tonal Rhythms, Light Moves Through the Figure in Two Directions at the Same Time. You should create a unity of light values and dark values horizonally, vertically, and diagonally through the figure. Using notans, or patterns of lights and darks, to create these tonal rhythms throughout the drawing.

REPETITION: There our rhythms created by the repetition of elements, lines moving in the same direction or gamuts, repeating parallels, and other aspects that carry the viewer in and out and through the work.

RELATIONSHIPS: Here, we are referring to the rhythms created by alternating activities, especially active to passive. If the body is contracting on one side it is expanding on the other, much like an accordion.

ROTATION: This very much relates to relationships and is created by the rotation and orientation of the major masses related to one another. This can be used in a two dimensional space by rotation of elements around a fixed point, or in three dimensional space with the rotation and orientation of a mass around its axis. This is can be visuallized by the artist in terms of latitude and longitude on a hemispherical solid.

RADIATING LINES: Radiating lines are used by master artists in composition to tie specific elements together from a single point, much like the spokes on the wheel of a bicycle. Using radiating lines creates a sense of unity and allows the eye to travel within the work of art smoothly. Anytime eye movement is controlled by the dynamic symmetry of compositional devices movement occurs, and movement creates spacial rhythms. These radiating lines can merely take the viewer to focal points or create perspective views. They may also be used to create variety; the intervals between the lines can be varied to increase or decrease the speed that the eye moves in and out of the composition. More examples can be found at dynamicsymmetryart.com.

BALANCE: When masses or form units are balanced at juxtaposed angles to one above the other, they do so concerning the pull of gravity. In a drawing, there must be a balance between the opposing forces. This is true, regardless of the pose. In the standing figure, the center of gravity passes from the pit of the neck through the supporting foot or feet, or between the feet when they are supporting the weight equally.

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