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Line

Line is the linear, line part of the drawing. Lines draw the viewers eye along their length. Use this feature as an important part of planning your composition. Fat, strong lines tend to jump forward; pale, blurry lines tend to fade back into the distance.

Line weight is the thick and thin parts of a line. Lines that are all the same thickness tend to give the feeling of formality, precision, calmness, and order.

Straight lines appear controlled, still, modern and regimented. Curved lines appear natural, in motion, and free. How the artist uses straight and curved lines can tell us a lot about the time in history he lived in. Line is one of the basic indicators of style. For instance, in the 18th century the "Line of Beauty", a curved S-shaped line, was recognizable in many works of art.

Lines that have thick and thin parts give the impression of casualness, spontanaity, change, randomness, and unease. Lines that have smooth changes in weight give the impression of order and elegance.

Line has color. Thick lines give an overall impression of darkness and black. Thin lines look grey, even if they are done with black ink.

How do I use Line to improve my art? Vary the line weight if the media you are using allows that.

In both traditional drawing and computer illustration, use thick lines for items in the foreground (which will jump forward and attract the eye) and thin lines for items in the background (which will recede).

When you draw, try to achieve one smooth line and avoid a series of short, choppy lines. Draw with your whole arm, not just your wrist. The more cramped and tight your drawing motion is, the more cramped and tight your line weight and texture will be. Cramped, tight, choppy line is bad thing to have in a drawing. At best choppy lines make the artwork stiff and unappealing, at worst it looks amateurish.

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         Alice Taylor, Instructor .:. school email.:. 254-336-0800 .:. © 2010. ver2