Repetition (pattern)


Repeating visual elements such as line, color, shape, texture, value or image tends to unify the total effect of a work of art as well as create rhythm. Repetition can take the form of an exact duplication (pattern), a near duplication, or duplication with variety.

Photo to the left: When looking at this photo, what do you notice? What happens when the pennies are repeated? Does your eye stay in one place or travel?

You probably have realized that your eye tends to travel around the whole piece. When the pennies are repeated, they create a pattern in the gaps between them. Some of the pennies are heads up and others are tails up. This also provides a pattern.
(Photo provided by Jon Sullivan)

Photo to the left: These plant bulbs are repeated. How are these different than the pennies? Is the repetition organized?

You've probably noticed that these plant bulbs aren't quite the same as the pennies in that it's not as organized. The green portions are in different directions, which make this photo chaotic. So this is an example of how repetition can be used to create chaos.
(Photo provided by photos8)

Photo to the left: What is repeated in the piece of art? Is there more than one thing repeated? What does the repetition do to the piece?

The squares are obviously repeated in this piece of art. The colors are repeated as well. The way the repetition is complete in this piece gives the piece of art a sense of balance as well as uniqueness, because your eye goes around the whole piece, which is wanted in art.
(Photo provided by Public Domain Pictures)

Art Talk Portion:
Listen to the following Podcast on Emphasis. Use the (blue) Art Talk book while the audio reads along in the chapter about Repetition (pattern).

Click here to hear the podcast on Repetition

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