In figure drawing the mastery of line is very important because, besides defining the concrete contours of volumes and creating a sense of direction or vital impulse in the drawing, it creates tensions and reactions—the particular cadences of the figure. A knowledge of these dynamic tensions gives the figure a sense of contained motion and a rhythmic sensation that can be of great compositional and interpretive interest.Thus, figures appear to be described by a strange equilibrium dominated by action, in a constant entwined motion and violent inflections that are propelled by a force that, although sometimes overwhelming, gives meaning to the pose and unites all of the linear elements of the figure.
Rhythm is an important concept in drawing, taken from the world of music. As in music, it is created by alternating between accents, silences, and neutral passages. A pose has rhythm when it is harmonically dynamic, full dynamic alternations.The distribution of these alternations determines the attraction and interest of the drawing's rhythm. Accents in a drawing are the alterations of its continuity; for example, a diagonal interrupts a vertical line, and vice versa. A static, symmetrically positioned figured is the antithesis of rhythm.
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