Drawing the Line
By Barbara Weeks
There are many reasons to explore line as a drawing technique. Here's just a few:
- It comes naturally to us. Watch a child draw with abandon using line. We all unconsciously doodle with line. We should stretch and develop this natural tendency.
- Line emphasizes shape and helps us see structure.
- It can be a quick way to get fleeting impressions of our surroundings down on paper.
- A single line can be slow and sensitive describing the attitude of a shoulder or the roll of a hilly landscape.
- Line can show the erratic movement of a crowd or the scratchy texture of a piece of toast.
- A confident and varied line can give even the most mundane subject character.
- Vary the pressure on your line from heavy to light to disappearing to show volume and distance.
- Restate a line when searching for a shape or form. Don’t erase the old line. It will add life and energy to the drawing.
- Practice making lines that describe different textures such as smooth, hard, soft, hairy.
- Practice freehand drawing straight (well, straightish) lines on the paper varying the thickness. When I practice I usually make two dots at least three inches apart and then connect the dots. and work down the page. It will give you a sure hand and a confident line. It’s like practicing the scales on the piano.
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