“The song of the curved line is called happiness.”
What is a line, and how can we use it to improve our art?
Art begins with a line.
Sometimes it’s tentative, thoughtful, exploring.
Line can hit the page in an explosion of vigorous energy
Or caress it in a gentle, delicate whisper.
It can dance across the page with the fluid grace of a ballerina, leading the eye from one point to the next.
Line is a universal language that we all understand, regardless of age or culture.
To be fluent in line, we need to see it as an expression of subconscious thought.
Understanding the expressive power of line can lead to better art.
A curving line will bring elegance to any painting.
Think of the beautiful movement of a calligraphic flourish.
Jagged lines have a rhythmic visual movement, but overdoing the staccato
effect can sometimes be disquieting.
Soft lines are quiet and subdued, suggesting distance and recession.
Strong heavy lines demand our attention, and bring things closer to the viewer.
Horizontal lines convey a sense of tranquility and peace
Whilst vertical lines suggest stability and strength.
Lines can also be quirky and fun.
Reading about the expressive quality of line this week has given me food for thought.
Here are some of my favourite quotes-
“A line is a shared edge”
I don’t know who wrote this, but how true this is.
When drawing something, it is important to consider the negative shapes that surround the subject. They are of equal importance and will balance your painting.
“Every line tells its own story, even the very tentative ones.”
Before you begin, think of the story that you want to tell.
“Line can exist without color and tone.
Tone can exist without colour, but not without line.
Colour cannot exist without line or tone.”
Expressive line a powerful tool. Are you using lines in your art effectively?
I'd love to hear what you think in the comments below.
If you have a favourite 'Line Quote', I'd love to hear that too!
I will be giving my 'Top Tips for Better Lines' in my next blogpost.