An element of art that is the path of a
moving point through space.
• What role does line have in works of art?
• How can line be used as a tool of
• How have artists used line as a form of
• What artists have used line extensively in
What is line?
• Line is a recording of a movement. It takes movement to make
• Line can be used to lead a viewer through a work of art. It is a
• A line is one dimensional. Line has both length and width, but
its width is usually very small compared with its length.
Dimension means the amount of space something takes in one
• Line is everywhere. Artists can draw line with a pencil on
paper or with a stick into wet clay. Lines can be tree trunks,
yarn, spider webs. These are seen as lines because their length
is more important than their width.
Types of Line…
• Outline: A line
that shows or
creates the outer
edge of a shape.
• Implied Line: A series
of points that the
Kinds of Lines…
• Vertical Line: moves
straight up and down.
They do not lean at all.
A vertical line drawn
on a piece of paper is
perpendicular to the
bottom edge of the
• Horizontal Line: are
parallel to the horizon.
They do not slant.
When you lie flat on
the floor, your body
forms a horizontal
• Diagonal Line: These
lines slant. Diagonals
between a vertical and
horizontal line. They
look as if they are
• Curved Line: change
When you draw
wiggly lines, you are
putting together a
series of curves.
• Zigzag Line: are made
from a combination of
diagonal lines. The
diagonals form angles
and change direction
Length: Lines can be long or short.
Width: Lines can be thick or thin.
Texture: Lines can be rough or smooth.
Direction: Lines can move in any
direction, such as vertical, horizontal, or
• Degree of curve: Lines can curve
gradually or not at all, become wavy, or
Line and Value
• Value: the element of
art that describes the
darkness or lightness of
an object. Value
depends on how much
light a surface reflects.
A surface has a dark
value if it reflects little
light. It has a light value
if it reflects a lot of
• Crosshatching: the
technique of using crossed
lines for shading. Each
time you make a mark on
a piece of paper you are
making a line with a
certain value determined
by how hard you press.
organizing lines of a
certain density and value
to create a continuous
Expressive Qualities of Line
• Depending on its
direction, a line can
express different ideas
Verticals lines are static, or inactive. They appear to be at rest.
Horizontal lines are also static. They express feelings of
peace, rest, quiet and stability. They give the feeling of
permanence or solidarity.
Curved lines change direction and express activity.
Diagonal lines express instability, tension, activity, and
Zigzag lines create confusion. They are extremely active and
may evoke feelings of excitement and nervousness.
Kinds of Line Drawing…
• Contour Drawing: A contour line drawing defines the edges of
surface ridges of an object. A contour line also creates a
boundary separating one area from another.
• Gesture Drawing: A gesture drawing captures an expressive
movement. A gesture drawing uses very little detail and is drawn
quickly. Marks are made loosely—even recklessly—in order to
capture movement. They represent the interior of an object.
• Calligraphic Drawing: Calligraphic means beautiful handwriting.
In China and Japan, calligraphy is used to form characters that
represent the language. Calligraphic lines are usually made with
brushstrokes that change from thin to thick in one stroke.