Rhythm-"Swing Lines"

T   
he curved analogs of parallels and perpendiculars are 'swing lines' (my term). These control what is called the rhythm of the composition.

Some say that the rhythm of a composition is controlled by the spacing of individual elements within the work. To me, this is a ridiculous use of a term denoting temporal reference. No "static" quality should be accorded the name of "rhythm". Hence, I am herewith absconding with this term and putting it to its proper use in works where some sort of action is depicted. (NOT FOR A VASE OF FLOWERS!)
They are present in all great, highly structured works of art (primarily in compositions depicting action).

The intent is to lead the subconscious attention of the viewer through a sequence of stops. These bring the work into its fullest state of integration. They may be curved lines or highlighted areas or objects of a certain type.

Here are a few examples:

Lionhunt - Rubens SEVERE CURVATURE

Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus - Rubens

SEVERE ACTION

Battle of Anghiari - DaVinci

Note that the curve is always convex to the right side because convex to the left is less indicative of resistance. Movie action goes left to right to show resistance - "Charge of the Light Brigade/Errol Flynn" remember?

I think it is more because most artists are right handed.


Next Page