Elements of Art – Line

Line is one of the main
elements of art. And I would like to show you
a wide range of lines. Before I begin, I want to show
you some art materials that will come in handy when you’re
trying out different lines. So here I have a set of drawing
pencils that vary in hardness and softness. You will notice that each pencil
has a letter and a number on it. So for example, letter
H represents hard. And letter B represents soft. And also letter F represents
the midway between hard and soft. The numbers on these letters
also represent the level off hardness and softness. So a good way to get started for
you is to try all of these pencils out in order to
familiarize yourself with the kinds of line that they create
and how dark and light you can make these lines. So start out by drawing really
dark, pressing really hard, then seeing how dark you can
achieve a line and then pressing lighter and lighter and
lighter and writing down the number. And this is basic warm-up
technique just for you to test the pencils but also to
understand better what kind of marks and lines you can
achieve with each one. So you will notice the
difference between H, a really hard pencil that achieves
lines that are finer and lighter, and HB that’s a pencil
that is a combination of hard and soft that you
can get much darker. And notice this. When I use something like a 6B
and press really hard, my line is much, much thicker
and darker. And even as I press a lot
lighter, I’m unable to achieve a line that is as light
as this one. So this is 6B. And here, AB is extremely
dark. And this kind of pencil is
really great to use for areas where you need a really dark
shadow, for example, 8B. And you can try all of them out
for yourself and see which ones you like the most. So lines vary in quality and
character and personality. And based on the type of line
that you’re using, you’ll be able to create a different
type of mood and get a different message across
in your artwork. So here I have an apple that
I’m going to try and render with different kinds of lines,
using graphite pencils. So a basic outline is something that is pretty common. And outline doesn’t
change a value. It just outlines the object
without giving much information. Another line that I’m
going to show you is called contour line. So what makes contour line
unique is that it changes from light to dark, thick to thin. So you can carefully look at the
object, look at the light and shadow on your object, and
then vary the thickness of your line by altering the
pressure you’re applying to your pencil. So right now, I’m going to look
at my apple and press harder in areas that are darker,
press less in areas that are lighter. So what’s happening here is that
I’m translating the shape but also looking at the dark
and light of the object. The cross contour line turns and
changes based on the light in front of you. So this is contour. Cross contour is an interesting
line that’s usually used in topography. You will notice similar lines
used on topographical maps. So instead of outlining an
object and looking at the value of that line, you’re using
your line to describe the surface of the object. So I’m going to look here and
imagine that I’m almost drawing on the surface
of the apple. And you will ask, how
do you know where to place these lines? And how do I know where
to press more or less? So the answer is you
press harder on areas that are darker. You press less in areas
that are lighter. Areas that are darker can have
lines closer together. And areas that are lighter can
have lines further apart. So there’s not really a
correct way, or one way of doing it. As long as you are using line
and you are varying its value and placement, and you’re
describing its surface, you are getting the message
across. Using fabric and drawing fabric
from life using this technique is a really great way
to practice cross contour. Another way you could have drawn
this apple is going this way, vertically. And once again, I’m going to
press less for areas that are lighter and press more for
areas that are darker. OK. Another types of line
is implied line. Implied line implies the shape
without actually outlining it. It’s very minimal. It gives you the idea
without having to spell everything out. So here’s an example
of an implied line. I’m implying the shape of the
apple without giving you too much information. And here I’m going to show
you gesture line. Gesture line has a lot
of expression and movement about it. And it’s often used in figure
drawing, especially when you’re creating warm-up
sketches of figures. So with gesture line, you’re
basically constantly moving around and measuring the
object in front of you. And you’re also defining
its lights and darks. So darker areas will get
more dense lines where I will press harder. And lighter areas will get
less lines where I don’t press as hard. So this is gesture. And now I’m going to show you
similar lines achieved with a charcoal pencil. So the effect will be slightly
different from that of a graphite pencil. So this is my contour example. You will notice that I’m varying
my line by pressing less or more, depending
on the lighting of the apple in front of me. Same would go for
cross contour. You can see how dark you can
get it with your charcoal pencil, which you can also
play around with in the beginning, just to get a better
sense of the medium. Here’s my example
of implied line. The lines with charcoal
pencil are much more precise and dramatic. And let’s see. And now I’m going to
show you a quick example of implied line– also it can be called
calligraphic line, since it’s very similar to calligraphy– using black India ink
in the brush. This can be a lot more
elegant here, and at the same time minimal. And you can also play around
with gesture and the brush. It’s a lot more spontaneous
here. Now you can go ahead and try
your own approaches to different types of
lines and medium. OK. So start the timer in
three, two, one. Oh yeah.

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