Elements of Art: Line | KQED Arts


[ MID-TEMPO DRUM BEAT PLAYS ] [ SOFT MUSIC PLAYS ] -EACH OF THESE PICTURES IS
A SELF-PORTRAIT BY A WELL-KNOWN ARTIST. ALTHOUGH THEY ARE PORTRAYING
VERY SIMILAR THINGS, ONE MAIN IDEA
THAT DIFFERENTIATES THEM IS HOW THE ARTISTS HAVE USED LINE
IN THEIR WORK. LINE IS ONE
OF THE SEVEN ELEMENTS OF ART, ALONG WITH SHAPE, COLOR, TEXTURE, FORM, VALUE, AND SPACE. THESE SEVEN ELEMENTS ARE
THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF ALL ART AND ARE A GREAT PLACE TO START WHEN ANALYZING
OR INTERPRETING WORKS OF ART. LINE IS THE PATH CREATED
WHEN AN OBJECT MOVES FROM ONE POINT TO ANOTHER. IN THE VISUAL ARTS, LINES ARE MADE WHEN YOU DRAW
OR PAINT MARKS ON A PAPER OR CANVAS OR WHEN MATERIALS
SUCH AS WOOD, GLASS, AND METAL ARE BENT OR SHAPED. LINES ARE ALSO MADE
BY PHOTOGRAPHERS AND FILMMAKERS WHEN THEY CHOOSE
HOW TO ANGLE THEIR CAMERAS AND HOW TO COMPOSE THEIR SHOTS. LINES CAN BE HORIZONTAL,
VERTICAL, OR DIAGONAL, STRAIGHT, CURVED, OR FREEFORM. THEY CAN BE THICK OR THIN,
LIGHT OR DARK. SOMETIMES ONE LINE CAN BE
ALL OF THOSE THINGS. LINES CAN BE DESCRIBED
IN MANY WAYS — DASHED, DOTTED, ROUGH, SMOOTH, ZIGZAG, IMPLIED. WHAT QUALITIES DO YOU SEE
IN THESE LINES? HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THEM? EVERY ARTIST HAS A UNIQUE WAY
OF MAKING LINES. IT’S ONE WAY OF EXPRESSING
THEIR INDIVIDUAL STYLE. THIS IS A SELF-PORTRAIT
BY JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT. HIS LINES MIGHT BE DESCRIBED
AS BOLD, JAGGED, ALMOST MESSY AT TIMES. WHAT DO THESE LINES
MAKE YOU THINK OF? WHY MIGHT HE HAVE CHOSEN TO
REPRESENT HIMSELF IN THIS WAY? COMPARE THAT TO THE FAINT,
SEEMINGLY UNFINISHED QUALITY OF THIS SELF-PORTRAIT
BY DAVID HOCKNEY. WHAT DO HIS LINES SUGGEST
TO YOU? DO THEY MAKE YOU THINK
OR FEEL DIFFERENTLY THAN THE BASQUIAT SELF-PORTRAIT? IF YOU WERE DRAWING
A SELF-PORTRAIT, WHAT KINDS OF LINES WOULD YOU
CHOOSE TO REPRESENT YOURSELF? WHAT KINDS OF LINES WOULD
COMMUNICATE THE MESSAGES YOU WANT VIEWERS TO THINK ABOUT? THE NEXT TIME YOU ARE LOOKING AT A SCULPTURE, PAINTING,
OR DRAWING, TRY TO NOTICE
WHAT KINDS OF LINES ARE USED AND INTERPRET WHAT THEY MEAN
TO YOU. [ SOFT MUSIC CONTINUES ]

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