What is a line?
If we think of a point as having no dimensions (neither height nor
width), and then we set that point in motion, we create the ﬁrst
So we can define line as a dot in movement.
The line is one-dimensional, it has position and direction in space.
Lines can vary in width, direction, and length. Lines often deﬁne the edges of
The line is used to deﬁne shape, contours, and outlines, also to suggest
mass and volume.
Darker, heavier lines create emphasis and draw our attention to a certain
part of a drawing.
Lines can be combined with other lines to create textures and patterns.This is
common in engravings and pen and ink drawings.
Tension lines or implied Lines are those Lines that are not actually drawn but
created by a group of objects seen from a distance. The direction an object is
pointing to, or the direction a person is looking at.
Expressive qualities of line
• Lines can communicate
information through their
character and direction.
• Line also communicates
emotion and states of mind.
• Horizontal line suggests a feeling of rest or repose. Objects parallel to the
earth are at rest in relation to gravity. Compositions in which horizontal lines
dominate tend to be quiet and restful in feeling.
• Vertical lines communicate a feeling
of loftiness and spirituality. Erect
lines seem to extend upwards
beyond human reach, toward the
• Extended perpendicular lines suggest
overpowering, beyond ordinary
Diagonal lines suggest a feeling of movement or
direction. Since objects in a diagonal position are
unstable in relation to gravity, being neither vertical nor
horizontal, they are either about to fall, or are already in
Curved lines do vary in meaning, however. Soft, shallow curves suggest
comfort, safety, familiarity, relaxation.They recall the curves of the human
body, and therefore have a pleasing quality. Deep, acute curves, on the
other hand, suggest confusion.
Zigzag lines are lines that are made by combining diagonal lines that
change direction. These lines when viewed in a work of art create confusion.
They suggest action and excitement.
LINE IN DRAWINGS
• When line is the main element of an image, the result is called a drawing.
There are two general types of drawings: contour and gesture.
• Contour Drawings:When line is used to follow the edges of forms, to
describe their outlines, the result is called a contour drawing.This is
probably the most common use of line in art.
• Gesture Drawings: In this instance, describing shapes is less important than
showing the action or the dynamics of a pose. Line does not stay at the
edges but moves freely within forms. Gesture drawings are not drawings of
objects so much as drawings of movement, weight and posture.
• LINE IN PAINTINGS
Line can be an important element in painting. Because painting basically deals
with areas of color, line becomes important to painting when the artist
purposely chooses to outline forms
SHADING WITH LINES
• HATCHING – It is a way of shading or giving tones to the areas of objects
and surfaces with parallels lines.
• CROSS-HATCHING - It is a way of shading or giving tones to the areas of
objects and surfaces with parallel lines in several directions.
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