- Slides: 23
What is a line? "A line is a dot that went for a walk. " - Paul Klee.
Paul Klee WAS FEHLT IHM? , 1930 What’s the Matter with Him? Stamped drawing in ink on Ingres paper on cardboard, 55. 5 x 34 cm A line is defined by length; its length is always greater than its width.
Types of Line Here a few: Broken Implied Contour Gestural Curvilinear Rectilinear Heian Period, 12 th c. Japan, Scroll of Froliking Animals. Shows: Curvilinear, Gestural, Implied and Broken.
Henri Matisse, curvilinear contour line.
Rectilinear lines are those that are geometric in style. Rectilinear lines are straight and clear with pointed angles. Rectilinear lines can create a harsh and energetic feeling to an artwork. Cubist work such as Picasso's Guernica employs a dominant use of rectilinear lines to express an organized sense of chaos. Studies for Guernica by Pablo Picasso.
Now, the lines we are dealing with today are called Contour Lines. A contour line can be curvilinear, rectilinear, gestural or implied, but a contour line always shows the edge of an object. A contour line can be the outside edge of our view of the object (its perimeter) or a contour line can show the edge of a plane within the object.
Pablo Picasso Contour Drawing
Lucian Freud Contour Drawing of Francis Bacon
Diego Rivera Contour Drawing
Cross-countour lines go around a form, describing the volume of the form. Cross –contour lines are great for drawing people or vegetables. (We’ll be doing both in the next two weeks. ) You can vary the pressure of your crosscontour lines. You may start the line in a shadowed area with a good deal of pressure and lessen the pressure as your line flows into a lit area.
Contour lines are sometimes hard, with a heavy, even pressure, that creates adark line. Such images have a stark, flat look.
Sometimes soft or broken contour lines work better.
Or sometimes a mix of both. If you were to draw these dice you might make the hardest line at the base where the dice touch the table. The soft edges that define the round “faces” of the dice could be executed in a broken and/or softer line. Softer contour lines are also called for when you want to express an illuminated (rather than shadowed) edge.
Look at this contour drawing of a mannequin’s head. Which contour lines could be softened or broken because the edge of a plane is soft (and shows a low contrast of light)?
Egon Schiele 1890 -1918 Expressive lines can be spikey or looping They can vary throughout a drawing, shifting from curvilinear to broken.
A line’s best friend may be a mark. A mark can be as wide as it is long. In general marks are shorter strokes than lines. Beginners rely too much on line (rather than mark. ) Beginners also tend to use only outline, rather than true contour lines Look at this landscape by Van Gogh. Can you see how different marks suggest different textures and forms? Try combining line and mark.