Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Elements of Art - Line

Line - a continuous mark made on a surface, using a tool such as a pencil, pen, brush, or any other pointed object.

1. The Straight Line: A straight line, as you probably already know, is a line that contains no curves. It is the shortest distance between two points. It can be made using any kind of straight edge.

2. The Curved Line: A curved line is any line that is not straight. It is also referred to as "curvilinear." If a straight line is the shortest distance between two points, then a curved line is the longer way there.

3. The Thick Line: A thick line has width or mass. It could actually be considered a shape, since it has area or volume. Other names for thick lines are wide, fat, bold, and broad. Thick lines are used for emphasis.

4. The Thin Line: A thin line appears to have no thickness. (In actuality, it does, but it is not very much compared to a thick line.) Thin lines are subtle and are used primarily for indicating other shapes.

5. The Light Line: A light line is drawn so as to look like there was very little pressure applied to the page when drawing. In other words, when you don't push very hard with a pencil, it produces a very light line. A very hard pencil will produce similar results. These are extremely helpful when beginning any project. They are easily erased, and they are not very noticeable in the finished product. They can act as guides for darker, more permanent lines.

6. The Dark Line: A dark line is usually used when the project is approaching completion. It is made by pushing hard with a soft pencil. It is used for emphasis.

7. The Vertical Line: Vertical lines go straight up and down. They lie perpendicular (at right angles) to the horizon. They indicate the height of an object and can also represent growth.

8. The Horizontal Line: This line takes its name from the word "horizon," so horizontal means that it represents or is parallel to the horizon. The horizon is the point in the distance where the earth meets the sky. Horizontal lines can represent something at rest.

9. The Diagonal Line: A diagonal line runs at an angle other than vertical (90*) or horizontal (180*). It appears to be leaning over and can represent a state of unrest or tension.

10. The Gesture Line: A gesture line implies movement or placement. They may represent a simple rendering of how a subject is moving. It does not incorporate a lot of detail, and is fairly simple in appearance. Gesture lines are made quickly and used essentially as a "skeleton" for a more detailed drawing. They are made to set up the composition and develop basic shapes.

11. The Contour Line: This is the most common type of line used in drawing. It represents the out-line, or contour of a subject. contour lines, when closed, create shapes. Cross-contour lines are those that fill in simple detail within the shapes.

Diego Rivera came to Detroit during the Great Depression and, in the very center of the Detroit Institute of Art, created a tribute to industry and workers. These murals reveal Rivera’s fascination with industrial processes – and his critique of the political and social realities of capitalist enterprise.

The murals assert the benefits of industrial processes, but warn of their destructive side effects. The aviation industry produces planes for war as well as for travel. Scientific discoveries allow us to fight disease – and create poison gases.

Rivera also reminds us that all human endeavor is rooted in the natural world. The scenes of Michigan industry – from chemical production to car manufacturing – are all accompanied by images of natural structures and processes. And in a prominent position facing the museum’s Woodward entrance, Rivera painted an infant in the bulb of a plant, nourished by the earth. www.uwec.edu/geography/Ivogeler/w270/Photos/Dearborn%20Ford%20Motor%20&%20Murals/index.html