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The Importance of Lines in Art

By Isabella Somma

Volume 1 Issue 1

November 1, 2020

The Importance of Lines in Art

Original artwork by Isabella Somma

Lines. Most people know what lines are: strokes across a page that connect the space between two points. But what is the importance of line in art? Lines make up the fundamentals of artwork, shape, and basically any object. It is one of the seven basic elements of art. Lines can be straight or curved, bold, or thin, and long or short. Lines can be used to define shape and style in 2D drawings or photographs but can also be used as a way to enhance and draw detail on 3D objects. Typically, in line drawing, artists avoid shading and color, so the attention of the piece is mainly on the lines of the objects in the painting -- how they connect and cross paths, and how their use impacts the rest of the piece. To create depth, dimension, values, and the illusion of a 3D image, lines can be drawn thicker or thinner, bolder or lighter. To achieve this look, you can use different shade pencils with different levels of hardness, or press lighter or harder with the medium you are working with. 

Now that we know what line is, why is it important to art? Line, along with shape, form, space, texture, value and color, makes it a fundamental aspect to artwork. Line is used to draw attention to the shapes of objects and allows for more sophisticated composition. Line lets artists map out and frame textures, highlights and shadows. Although important, lines can be tricky to work with because typically when creating line drawings, photographs, or paintings, color and shading is eliminated from the piece. It is up to the artist to experiment and grasp the concept of the objects twists and turns and portray it into a masterpiece.

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