Principles of Design


The Illusion of Movement

An artwork can incorporate the illusion of movement, called implied movement. Movement in a visual image comes from the kinds of shapes, forms, lines, curves, and textures that are used. Diagonal lines tend to create movement.

The image to the right uses illusion and curved lines to create a sense of movement.

Controlling the Viewer's Eye

Artists use a visual sense of motion through their work to create movement. They can control the movement of the viewer's eye by how they position objects and elements in a composition. Combining elements in an artwork can create a look of action.

In the image to the left, the artist used texture and has positioned the lily pads around the flower so that the flower is what the viewer focuses on.

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Emotion and Movement

Arrangement of different elements in a piece of art can show emotion. Vincent van Gogh was an artist who used dramatic brush strokes to express emotion and add a feeling of movement to his works.

The image to the left uses texture and curved lines to convey movement and emotion.