Use of color to create movement
The colors used in this painting create the idea of movement. The color red is used sparingly and in small dashes by the horses hoofs and tails to indicate a sense of speed. The palette is also on the cool side, with a lot more blue than red or yellow, which would be warmer colors. This cool palette of colors is a very effective way to give the feeling of movement. The fact that this painting is done in monochromatic colors just adds to the feelings of speed and movement.
Use of brushstrokes to create movement
The way the artist uses brushstrokes can help you ascertain movement in a painting. In this painting, the artist does not use any long smooth brushstrokes when painting these horses, but instead uses short strokes to depict them. This is an effective way of depicting movement. Artists use short and choppy strokes to show movement as it is done here. This is because our eyes tend to be attracted to areas of movement. If a painting has many smooth strokes, then it would take longer to have the eye pass over these areas. It can thus be concluded that by using choppy strokes, the artist is depicting movement.
On the other hand, if a painting has smooth strokes, then it would take longer for the eye to pass over these areas as a result of which the viewer’s attention is drawn to the area of movement instead. The eye is therefore attracted to those places where there is no movement or change in form and therefore perceive these as “still” or “stopped”. The impression of movement is then created in the viewer’s mind with the help of the choppy strokes.
Use of light and dark colors to create movement
One also needs to look at how this painting uses light and dark colors. This painting has very little dark or black areas in it which would be used to show an object receding into the distance. Instead, it uses a lot of white and light colors to show the movement. The whiter light areas are considered to be in front of the darker ones, which are the areas that recede away from us. This is a picture that draws your eyes around it in a circle. There is movement created by this technique as well, because the eye keeps traveling across the painting to see all of the various figures and objects in it. The artist makes use of light and dark colors to create movement in this painting
The painting above uses light and dark colors to create movement
Perspective in the painting creates movement
The use of perspective in this painting also creates a sense of movement. The use of perspective in this painting is quite exaggerated, as the whole picture seems to be pulled up and away from us. We know that the artist has used perspective to create this effect because he has mentioned it in his signature at the bottom right hand corner of this painting. You can see that he has written ‘VAN DYCK’ with what looks like a flourish. This little inscription is his way of saying that he was the artist of this painting. ‘Van Dyck’ originally means ‘from the village’ but in his signature, it is used as an indication to say that he has used perspective to create a sense of movement throughout this painting.
In order to understand how Renaissance artists used perspective in their paintings we must first look at the science behind it.
Perspective sees the world in three dimensions, which is explained by using two diagrams. The first shows a front view of the environment, and the second a rear view, which gives us a side view. In these diagrams are also drawn all of the objects that are present in the room.
The placement of objects in the painting creates movement
Another skill that you need to look at is how the artist places objects in a painting. In this painting, there are two trees which are placed slightly left of center. This is a very effective way of showing the direction of movement because it makes us perceive will usually be in front of us and moving away from us at the same time. This is how we usually perceive things and to break away from this can cause confusion in a painting. That is why this painting is so effective. The two trees are out in front of us and in the very center of the painting.