Movement in Art

Did you ever look at the art from the perspective of movement? During this class, my students got to discover different ideas on movement in art and how it can be included in compositions. I know it all seems to be obvious and sort of easy to spot for you, but when you think about examples of movement in art, how many of them you can bring up? Some of you may think about a picture with athletes, or maybe a hockey game, a horse galloping through the woods. How about a windy day with trees bending down to one side and leafs flying all over the picture? What about seagulls flying over the sandy beach? Can you see it? Movement in art brings dynamic to the picture, makes it look more vibrant and interesting. When you have all scene happening in front of your eyes you can experience so much more of emotions and imagine what people who are painted could feel.

Young girl sketching dancing ballerina.
Dancing Ballerina Sketch.

The very popular movement in art exercise is a sketch of a dancing ballerina. It obviously starts with the sketch and you absolutely should advance to painting it and ideally include few ballerinas in different dancing positions.

My students had an opportunity to sketch one ballerina in one dancing position using step by step instructions which helps to keep proportions of the figure and right shapes of individual parts of the body. We started with a simple “stick person”, made sure that both legs are the same length and in a right angle. Then we added the thickness of the legs, arms and the torso. After drawing the neck and the head, we worked on the skirt shape and ballerina shoes. Since we were working on the sketch only students used some tools to add shade and volume to the ballerina’s skirt.

If you are trying to follow the same idea you could draw your ballerina on the canvas and then paint it as a next step of creating this beautiful movement in art. Use your imagination for the background. The ballerina could be dancing in a dance studio, on a stage or even in the park or as a street performer. If you found this article interesting please leave a comment!