Lately I’ve been noticing how many good paintings and drawings use repeating shapes within them, a motif. This motif seems to carry us through the composition, and give harmony and order to the shapes. I recently stumbled across this original drawing by Diego Rivera, posted on Facebook by Paul Hemminger of Bellingham Frameworks. It’s full of repeating angles and shapes. You can see the repetitions in the colored lines I added here: I’ve emphasized in orange the curve of the worker’s backs, the hats, the hands. The angle of the legs, the tool, the arms, and again the land, all arching at well placed and graceful intervals are grouped, emphasized here in red, green, and blue. Along the orange arches, the green lines fan out a bit, while the red lines stay exactly parallel. The counterbalancing opposite angle in the upper right keeps us in, and loosely mirrors the lines below the left figure. So many repetitions! Lovely piece. Next time you see a work by a skilled artist, take a look and see how many repetitions you can find within the composition.