Thursday, June 24, 2021

T&T Thursday!


Drawing the Line

By Barbara Weeks

A line drawing is like a solo piano. It can express everything from the even cadence of practicing scales, to the emotion of a concerto, to the novel rhythm of a jazz improvisation, and all with just a single instrument! A 2B pencil is usually my instrument of choice but a ballpoint, a fountain pen, a fiber-tipped pen or even a stick can bring its own distinct qualities to a sketch. 

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.


A few tricks:
  • 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.


African Ape 

A beautiful painting is a wonder to behold but there is much to be said for the simple power of a line drawing. It’s like a full orchestra and a solo piano.

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