Movement is the path the viewer’s eye takes through the work of art, often to focal areas. Such movement can be directed along lines, edges, shape, and color within the work of art.
Rhythm is when the artist uses a repetition of shapes, colors, patterns or textures to create the illusion of movement throughout a work of art. Just like a musical rhythm carries you through the beat of a song, visual rhythm carries your eye through the work of art, leading your eye around the composition.
The Great Wave, by Hokusai
Hokusai’s world-famous print, The Great Wave is perhaps one of the most iconic images from Japan. The print features a wave that dominates the frame as it crashes onto people struggling to stay on their boat. Hokusai used visual rhythm to move the viewer’s eye up and down through the picture as if we, too, are riding the waves!