Varying the lines you use creates a more interesting drawing. This drawing uses straight lines, curved lines, thick lines, thin lines, hatching, cross-hatching, spirals, scribbles and zig-zags.
by the helpful art teacher.
Understanding line, shape and form
Here is the pencil sketch of my picture before I added the rhythmic lines. While this pencil sketch is 'good', it is not nearly as engaging as the finished picture.
Look at the artwork of these famous illustrators to gain a better understanding of how you can use line in your own artwork:
Looking at a picture and noticing the lines the artist used will enable you to copy any drawing accurately. Follow the directions in the worksheet below. This really works!
Try this trick with any linear drawing, no matter how complex. You will surprise yourself.
Artists use line to express volume
Using the worksheet below, try adding different types of lines to transform flat shapes into three-dimensional forms
Click on the link below to learn about the work of Carl Krull, an artist who uses line to express volume:
Drawings by Carl Krull
Artists use line to express movement
Some examples of illustrations that use lines to express movement by Arthur Rackham
This illustration depicts a windy day.
How do we know it is windy?
Who Has Seen the Wind?
Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you.
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I.
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.
If wind is invisible, as the poem says, how can we draw it?
Can you use your knowledge of different types of lines to create a picture that shows a windy day?
Here are some stock photographs I found on the Internet of windswept trees to get you started.
ALBUM OF SKY REFERENCE PHOTOGRAPHS BY RACHEL WINTEMBERG
The album above uses a Flash player. If you are on a mobile device and do not have a Flash player, you can see my album of sky reference photographs by clicking on the link below:
How did Vincent Van Gogh Depict Movement in his famous painting, Starry Night? What type of lines did he use?
Practice using line to show movement by looking at this
waterfall in slow motion:
How would you draw the lines that show the falling water?
What sort of lines would you draw to show the water splashing up?
How many different types of lines do you see?
How can repeating a line many times in a rhythmic pattern increase the feeling of movement in a picture?
How can varying the thickness of a line and the distance between rhythmic lines help to express movement?
Artists use line to show texture
|With just a few lines, Arthur Rackham creates the softness of Alice's hair, the bushy disheveled fur of the field mouse and even the folds of fabric on Alice's dress.|
In the Van Gogh drawings below, you can almost feel the textures of the landscape.
Artists use line to depict space.
Artists use thicker lines in the foreground and thinner, more delicate lines in the background, to create the illusion of distance in their pictures.
Here are some more of Van Gogh's drawings
The print below is the work of Jean Millet, Vincent Van Gogh's favorite artist. Notice how the lines in the background are lighter in value, thinner and more delicate, creating the illusion of three dimensional space.
Here is a video of my cousin, Hiroko, teaching me about Japanese sumi brush painting. See how she uses line, shape, form,movement, texture and space to create a snake, dragon and octopus, with simple brush strokes.
From The Helpful Art Teacher's Sketchbook
Using Line To Show Movement
Artists use line to create rhythmic designs and patterns.
This is particularly useful for designing fabrics or wallpaper.
If you repeat a line, or create a repeating pattern using a series of lines, your artwork will have a sense of rhythmic movement.
Why is it important to vary the line width and add shadows?
Look at the last student's artwork (above)
and then click on the thumbnail
to compare it to a picture of his unfinished work:
Varying the line width and adding shadows will make your picture more interesting to look at.
To lean more about how artist use line, please click on the link below to read my post rhythmic line designs and patterns. That article contains many photographs, project ideas and printable worksheets to inspire your creativity.