in an artwork?
How can we talk
about line, in the
context of visual art?
Alice Neel drawing
Nasca Lines, Nasca Desert, Peru
(moved, scraped earth ) 400 – 650 AD
(photo of moving flashlight)
A line is a point moving in space.
Line(s) can describe
form in different ways.
The EDGE of a form, or the
directional movement of a
form itself, may also be
thought of as LINE
in both 2 dimensional
and 3 dimensional art.
Matt Shlian origami sculpture
Rod Arad chair
might a line have?
How can we describe line in art?
Unknown artist, Manzanar Camp
Line has “weight”:
Guache and colored pencil on paper and mylar layers
Line has SHAPE--- it
might be straight, curvy,
or angular …
continuous or interrupted…
Line can have COLOR, VALUE, and TEXTURE.
LINES ARE DIRECTIONAL.
HORIZONTAL lines in an artwork may contribute a sense of
restfulness, stability, stillness.
lines or directional
Hong Chun Zhang charcoal and graphite
DIAGONAL lines best evoke
motion, energy, dynamism.
Most compositions contain a variety of directional lines,
whose energies play off against one another,
and lead the viewer’s eye around the composition.
Hokusai wood-block print
SOME TYPES OF DRAWN LINE:
is a simple, more or less continuous line, which follows contours, or edges .
HATCHING and CROSS HATCHING
are ways of using lines for shading to create darker values,
often to show dimensionality or space.
Line can also show
SPACE and dimensionality
with perspective lines, cross-contour lines,
and overlapping lines.
follow contours across a surface,
to show dimensionality.
line refers to line having the
flowing and expressive quality of calligraphy
(decorative, handwritten lettering.)
Sufi Calligraphic Art
GESTURAL LINES, made with energy and speed, evoke
direction and movement of form (whether abstract or representational form.)
Some line, repeating its
movement or gesture, may
be thought of as
EXPRESSIVE line may suggest mood, emotion,
tension or energy.
IN A COMPOSITION, LINE FUNCTIONS TO:
• Describe form; create shapes.
• Lead a viewers eye around the composition.
• Establish directional movement within the
• Through shading, create darker values, and a
sense of space or volume.
• Express energy and mood through line quality
A definition of
lines and marks made
on a surface.
Lascaux Caves, France
(charcoal, earth pigments on stone)
(black and white chalk on paper)
Kulvinder Kaur Dher
(graphite drawing based on photo)
Leonardo Da Vinci
PEN and INK
Charles Dana Gibson
COMPUTER- GENERATED DRAWING
uses wind analysis software
(used by builders of
to generate fluid surfaces
that he renders by hand.
Hair drawing on handmade paper
Gunpowder and Ink
“Footprints of History” @ 2008 Beijing Olympics