Chapter 4 SummaryEnglish
Lesson 1: The Element of Line
The world is full of lines, such as tree trunks, spider webs,
and wires. Artists use line to lead your eyes through a work
of art. A line is an element of art that
is the path of a moving point through space. A line has
width as well as length, but usually the width of a line is
very small compared with its length. In fact, a line is thought
of as being one-dimensional. Dimension means
the amount of space an object takes up in one direction.
Sometimes, the edges of shapes look like lines; so artists
often use outlines to define shapes. They can also arrange
things in rows to create implied lines. There are five basic
kinds of lines. (1) Vertical lines move straight up and down—they
do not lean at all. (2) Horizontal lines lay down, parallel
to the horizon. (3) Diagonal lines slant. (4) Zigzag lines
are made from a combination of diagonal lines. (5) Curved
lines change direction gradually. Lines can also vary in length,
width, texture, direction, and degree of curve. These variations
are caused by differences in the media, tools, and surfaces
used. Lines can also vary in value. Value
is the element of art that describes the lightness or
darkness of an object. Artists can vary the number of
lines and the spaces between them to indicate shading. The
lines may be parallel, or they may cross one another. Crosshatching
is the technique of using crossed lines for shading.
Different media and tools create lines with different values.
Lesson 2: The Expressive Qualities
Line is an important element in the language of art because
of its expressive capabilities. For example, vertical lines
are static and appear to be at rest, expressing stability.
Horizontal lines are also static, expressing feelings of peace,
rest, and quiet. Since curved lines change direction, they
express activity. Diagonal lines express instability, tension,
and excitement while zigzag lines create confusion. Three
special types of drawing will develop your understanding of
line. (1) In contour drawing, you use a continuous line to
define the edges and surface ridges of an object. (2) In gesture
drawing, you can draw short, loose lines to capture movement.
While contour drawing captures the exterior of an object,
gesture drawing represents the interior. (3) Calligraphic
drawing is often associated with Asian writing and art. The
word calligraphy means beautiful handwriting.
In China and Japan, calligraphy is used to form characters
that represent the language. You can make calligraphic lines
with a paintbrush, creating brushstrokes that change from
thin to thick in one stroke.