How Does This Line Relate to the Artwork

How Does This Line Relate to the Artwork

What is Line in Terms of Art?

Line is 1 of the seven elements of fine art.  Information technology is considered by many to be the most basic chemical element of art. In terms of art, line is considered “a moving dot”.

A simple way of thinking of a line is to imagine a point that moves…

Cartoon and Painting with Line

Line has an endless number of uses in the creation of both drawings and paintings. Although we typically associate line with drawing, information technology’southward too foundational to painting.

Profile Lines

Perhaps the most obvious employ of line is when it is used to define the edges or boundaries of a discipline. We can apparently communicate a bailiwick’southward edges by using line. In about cases, when nosotros brainstorm a drawing, we first by drawing the outlines of the subject.

The outlines are just the beginning since line is also used to describe the details on the subject field as well. Usually, we tin can simplify areas of contrast on a subject into a line.

Line can show you where an object ends

In the paradigm below, we tin can come across the photo reference next to the resulting line drawing of a blossom. The flower is communicated clearly in the line drawing. Notwithstanding, yous’ll note that the drawing is not an exact replica of the reference. There are just lines used in the cartoon, yet there are many more complexities present in the photo.

Drawing with line-edges

The cartoon higher up is function of “Drawing Bootcamp”. Click hither to view Drawing Bootcamp (Membership required).

As we tin can run across, line is bully for describing a subject in a drawing, but outlines on their own are non complete. Other elements of art (specifically value) must be used in add-on to line to create a realistic drawing.

Lines that are used to communicate the edges and/or to depict the details of a subject (similar we see to a higher place) are called profile lines. We commonly call these lines outlines.

Line Quality

Line quality refers to the characteristics of the line drawn. In many cases, line quality refers to the thickness of a line. By varying the line quality (including both thick and sparse lines), we create drawings that are more interesting and provide more information to the viewer.

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Accept a await at the line drawing of the apple tree below. Notice how the contour lines are thicker in areas. A thicker line is used where we expect to meet shadow and where the apple itself is a trivial thicker.

Line Quality

In this way, nosotros can communicate a fleck about the form of the apple and the low-cal using a simple line.

Cross Contour Lines

Cross profile lines are more complex than profile lines. Cantankerous contour lines menstruation over the form of the subject. These lines can exist implied or visible. Cantankerous contour lines are more often than not used when line is used to shade a drawing with hatching and cross hatching.

To ameliorate understand cross contour lines, you lot may imagine running your finger over the surface of an apple. Offset from the stalk and move down to the bottom. Every bit you move your finger, imagine leaving a line behind. If you continue repeating this, making “lines” with your finger all around the apple, you lot would accept created cross contour lines.

We can come across this illustrated in the paradigm below…

Cross Contour lines in a drawing

The importance of agreement the concept of cross contour lines lies in shading (or adding shadow and highlight) with line. Depending on the course of the object you are drawing, these lines may curve or alter management.

For more than on cross contour lines, see the following lessons…

  • Cross Contour Lines – 25 Days to Better Drawings (Membership required)
  • Line and Value – The Pen and Ink Experience (Membership required)
  • How to Utilize Cross Contour Lines to Create the Illusion of Form

Shading with Line

Line tin be used to shade drawings as well. Shading is the procedure of developing the value (art element). Value is the darkness or lightness of a colour. Darker values typically represent shadows while lighter values typically represent highlights or lighter tones.

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Lines can be concentrated to create darker values. The more than lines that are used, the darker the perceived value. Lighter tones tin be accomplished by allowing more of the white of the paper to show through or with less full-bodied lines.

We tin run across this concept illustrated in the epitome beneath. The pepper has been shaded using lines. In areas where the value is darker, more than lines are used. In areas where the value is lighter, less lines are used. You’ll likewise observe that line quality (variety in line thickness) is also used to create a more than interesting drawing.

Shading with line

The drawing above is function of “25 Days to Amend Drawings”. Click hither to view 25 Days to Better Drawings (Membership required).

Yous’ll also notice that the lines used to shade the drawing curve and change direction slightly based on the form of the pepper. This illustrates the concept of cross contour lines discussed before.


Hatching is the process of using directional linear strokes that do not cross over each other to develop the shading in a drawing.

Hatching tin exist used with any drawing or painting medium simply information technology is at its best when used with linear drawing medium. Below we can encounter a drawing that was created with pen and ink that utilizes hatching.

Hatching with line

The cartoon above is part of “Subjects with Pen and Ink”. Click hither to view Subjects with Pen and Ink (Membership required).

Cross Hatching

Cross hatching is the process of developing the value (or shading) in a cartoon or painting using lines that cantankerous over each other. Just similar with hatching, the greater the concentration of marks, the darker the value. Hatching and cantankerous hatching are often used together.

Below, y’all’ll detect a drawing created with pen and ink that utilizes cross hatching.

Drawing with line - Cross Hatching

The cartoon above is part of “Subjects with Pen and Ink”. Click here to view Subjects with Pen and Ink (Membership required).

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Types of Lines

Lines come in all shapes and sizes and the types of line that can be drawn are endless. Some common forms of line include horizontal, vertical, diagonal, zigzag, and curved. Other types of line include cleaved lines and implied lines.

Horizontal lines
are lines that are parallel to the horizon and generally flow from left to right or vice versa.

Horizontal lines

Vertical lines
are lines that move upwardly and down without any slant.

Vertical lines

Diagonal lines
are lines that slant.

Diagonal lines

Zig zag lines
are lines that alter management abruptly.

Zig Zag lines

Curved lines
gradually change direction.

Curved lines

Broken lines
include open spaces but continue on a path. These lines may imply an border or be used to communicate a highlight.

Broken and implied lines

Implied lines may include the open space in between broken lines. These lines may not be visible but are unsaid due to contrast in value or the inclusion of cleaved lines.

See also:
Implied and Broken Lines

Line – Vocabulary Terms

– element of fine art.  In terms of art, line can be described as a moving dot. Line is maybe the about basic element of drawing.

Line Variation
– the utilise of a variety of line including width, length, texture, thickness, etc. to add involvement to a drawing or painting.

– lines can be long or short.

The Elements of Art- Line

– lines can be wide or skinny.

The Elements of Art-line

– lines can be rough or smooth.

The Elements of Art- Line

– lines can move in any direction.

Degree of bend
– lines tin can curve gradually or not at all.

– lines that flow in the same direction in gild to develop value or shading

Line quality or line weight
– refers to the thickness or thinness of a line.  By varying the line quality artists can make objects appear more 3-dimensional and more interesting.

– lines that cross over each other in order to develop value or shading.

How Does This Line Relate to the Artwork