Rhythm can create an exciting visual beat for our eyes to follow. Like in music, rhythm and repetition in art can be smooth and flowing, or sharp and staccato. It all depends on the effect the artist is trying to create.

Check out this amazing display of Rhythm and Repetition:
Extraordinary Musical Instruments

The repetitive unit is called a Motif

  • Regular or Harmonious Pattern in which the motif is evenly distributed in predicted intervals without much variation and usually follows a basic invisible grid or network 
  • Irregular or Alternating Pattern in which the motif changes as it is being repeated - such changes as in color, size, spacing...
  • Flowing Pattern consists of lines or shapes that are repeated in waving or curving arrangements. Our eyes tend to glide along this pattern - and an artist may use this to lead our eyes through the artwork. 
  • Random Pattern has no obvious order, either of the motif or of the spaces. Can be seen in wildflowers on hill sides or horses grazing in a pasture. This adds variety and complexity to an artwork and the excitement of the unexpected.

Henri Rousseau, The Equatorial Jungle, 1909

This painting holds an inaite sense of decorative beauty and repeated patterns - including a variety of leaf motifs that overlap 

M.C. Escher, Tesselation 97 

In a tesselation design spaces between the pattern network lines usually interlock or connect endlessly in any direction. This is also called an allover repetition.

M.C Escher
see his work and learn more about this unique and creative artist

Enrique Ramirez, Painted Dragon, Oxacan, Mexico, Folk Art 

An example of how ethnic or tribal traditions of art used patterns and repetition to richly decorate surfaces.

Henri Matisse, Harmony in Red, 1908-09

repetition and pattern, inspired by design seen by artist in Persian carpets. 

 Andy Warhol, Green Coca-Cola Bottles, 1962, Pop art

regular repetition of a single motif makes a statement about consumerism and contemporary life.

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