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Within the elements of art, space, color, form and texture, line is perhaps the most basic element, simple and pure in the visual arts. There are drawings that show our thoughts.

“The line is a continuous succession of points in space.” (Kandinsky).

The point is static, the line carries intrinsic movement. The point is the base. The savage looks at the night sky and saw the stars, points. Man draws lines between those points and creates constellations. The farmer first put lines on the floor to highlight areas, they plant their plants in a straight line, and, so they organize space.


Ways to use lines

There are in general two ways:

a) Symbolic

Abstract, symbolic, lines create letters. The letters have forms, display name to things and feelings. Each culture has its “graphics”, Western Script is completely different from Chinese or Arabic.

b) As artistic element. The lines are drawn

– Contour: Children use the line in its simplest form. Drawing, creating contours. They define a figure, and so they separate the shape of the surrounding space. If we draw an outline, we create a figure (form) and background (outside), positive, negative, yin and yang. The use of contour lines as is common in advertising or artistic creations. It is simple, direct and fresh. In a previous post I talked about a character game. Post: I suggest a game, draw with your eyes.

– Rhythm: Repeating lines can create rhythm, depending on the frequency, recurrence, and the distance there between.

– Lines static or dynamic: However the shape of the line is, static or dynamic, images can be formed. There are lines made with a rule, law, mathematics, more static. But it is also possible that lines express motion, exhibit dynamics.

– The lines may suggest surfaces or volume:

A line may divide spaces into different zones. Mondriaan does this with his paintings. In a form we can create volumes with shading, the chiaroscuro, the reflection of light, the three dimensions of the object. Lines can be straight or curved, horizontal, vertical or diagonal, thin or thick. Depending on the force (pressure) to make the line, the speed in the embodiment, the image may change completely. Lines created freehand are much more personal and expressive. They are like signatures, each person has unique and different region.


Artists and line

There are many techniques to create lines. The first thing on your mind is a pen, marker pen, paintbrush, pencil. Post: Pencil, creation of ideas and sketches… But the line as a concept is used in many ways in the history of art.

Sol Lewitt: His work is minimalist, the significance based on the concept, idea, and not the realization. It is systematic with a starting point on the basic shapes, such as sphere, triangle or a cube. www.lissongallery.com/artists/sol-lewitt

Lucio Fontana: He makes his line as he cuts the canvas. In his work he seeks the connection of image and space he wants us to feel the movement in making the line with the knife, quick motion, energy. www.moma.org/collection/artist.php?artist_id=1930

Osvaldo Cavandoli: Cartoons “La Linea”. # 215. It is the simplicity of the line, which gets life, humor, movement and feelings. Very nice. (See under this post his video).

David Oliveira: The line is a sculpture made with wire line. He makes space, volume, you can walk around the sculptures, but at the same time the lines seem made into a flat surface. Very interesting. I like his work. www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/david-oliveira-scribbled-wire-sculptures

Ángeles Nieto: I often use the symbolic line (words) as art element. It’s interesting, enriching. The line as word has a meaning, but also a pictorial element to divide rooms, gives rhythm, or shading to create volume. My contribution to this post is the illustration “under the stars”. I played with the line. Combine the ink line with the embroidered wire. Line forming words and drawings. Words in an envelope containing a message. A letter with words and pictures that are sent to another. The other is in the envelope and looks at us from his window. Art is the line of my contour. www.angelesnieto.nl

Gustav Klimt said, “art is a line around your thinking.”

Illustrations: Ángeles Nieto. Artworks: David Oliveira, Sol Le White, Lucio Fontana “Concep spatial,” Nieto Angeles “Aire de alas”. Photography, images: Ohara design group, Trend Land, Tornabuonim, Ángeles Nieto



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1 Comment

  • Reply
    kehinde Sanwo
    March 8, 2016 at 11:18 am

    Quite an engaging thought on line. I love to drive line via different media to convey my thought and emotions.

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