Art Foundatins Banner
| home | projects | gallery | teachers | quiz | district link |



Element of Design: Line

Line is probalby the most fundamental of all the elements of design. It is the starting place for most artistic creation whether one is starting a fine draing or painting or even sketching ideas for a sculpture. most design begins with line. So what is line?

A math teacher would say that line consist of only one dimension, length. In the real world of creating art though a one dimensional line would not be practical. A more usable deifnition might be that line is the path of a dot, point etc. through space and that is always has more length than thickness. Lines are not all the same, especially in art.

Types of Lines

  • Vertical lines: are straight up and down and perpendicular to horizontal lines
  • Horizontal lines: are straight up and down and perpendicular to vertical lines
  • Diagonal lines: are lines that straight in any direction except vertical or horizontal
  • Zigzag lines: are a series of diagonal lines joined end to end
  • Curved lines: are lines that bend in any amount of degree; they may be gently wavy to tightly wound spirals

Variations of Lines

Lines come in many varieties. They may:

  • be long, short or anything in between
  • be thick, thin
  • be smooth or rough
  • be continuous, implied, dotted, dashed
  • change direction
  • change in degree of curve (curved Lines)
  • be any of the above combined
  • Some ways Artists use line

  • to outline; a starting place for many drawings or paintings
  • to suggest moods or emotion; lines can appear calm, nervous, angry, etc.
  • to lead the viewers eye through a work of art
  • to create lightness or darkness; lines placed close together appear darker than those placed further from each other
  • to create texture; roughness or smoothness

Common types of line drawings

  • contour line drawing; drawings that use a fairly continous line to represent the edges and surface detail of shape or objects being drawn
  • gestural line drawing; drawings that use quick pencil strokes (or other darwing instruments) to capture a scene. gestural drawings imply action and movement
  • hatched anc cross hatched line drawing; drawings that consist or parallel lines (hatching) or crossing parallel lines (cross-hatching) drawn to create changes in lightness and darkness and texture.
to line unit      
to shape unit vertical line
to value unit
to space unit horizontal line
to color unit
to texture unit diagonal lines
to form unit
  zigzag lines



curved lines

| top of page |home | projects | gallery | teachers | quiz |district link|