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  • Deborah Marsh

Drawing the line in Art

Next to color, lines and shapes play a very important part in expressing a work of art. Lines can be used to suggest shape, pattern, structure, the depth or distance, and even the movement or range of motion and emotions of a piece. For instance, curved lines are more conducive of ease and comfort. While straight lines can be viewed upon as more precise, rigid, or firm.


An artist will use all kinds of shapes, from precise squares and triangles to irregular unsymmetrical ovals or broken circles. If you look around you, everything that we can touch and see has a shape, a line, a color, whether neutral, solid, or broken and vague. We are able to identify it as something.


Lines, for instance, can be thick, thin, curvy, up or down, and so forth. Lines can be used emphasize shapes and colors. They can be very expressive. Lines are the basic tools an artist uses to create a piece of art.


Shapes come in two basic types: geometric and free-form. Geometric are the precise shapes such as circles, squares as mentioned above. Free-form shapes are just that, a loose interpretation of the geometric shape.


In the visual arts, shape is a flat, enclosed area which is created through a variety of lines, but sometimes colors, textures, and even other shapes. Three-dimensional artwork, such as with sculpture, is basically an object within a multi-dimensional composition.


When reviewing my work from the Painted Ladies Collection, it’s easy to see the numerous lines, shapes, textures, and colors that are used to create these beautiful colored sketches. For the most part the lines are defined and simple as they outline the subject of each piece. Additional lines are used to form texture and emphasis. Lines are also used to help emphasize the colors within the various shapes.


For a good example of the simple lines used, take a look at the Painted Ladies Collection’s Bathe. Notice when broken down how the lines are quite simple and yet it still defines the picture? It’s the series of lines, shapes, and color that brings these sketches to life!


Painted Ladies Selection, Bathe: Line Study

The Painted Ladies Collection’s Clean is another good example. Notice the shape of the subject by just using line texture. Just like the example above.

Painted Ladies Selection, Clean: Line Study

The Painted Ladies Collection would not be as credible without the use of lines, shapes, colors and textures.


Recommended Reading:

LINE DRAWING: A GUIDE FOR ART STUDENTS, Updated on JANUARY 12, 2018 by AMIRIA GALE, STUDENT ART GUIDE, Helping Art Students Excel


Light, Shade and Shadow (Dover Art Instruction) Paperback – August 8, 2008, by E. L. Koller


#Drawing #Painted-Ladies #Technique

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