The term ‘line art’ refers to a variety of art forms found in different disciplines. A line can be used in art to express emotion, expression, movement, rhythm, depth, distance, and pattern, among other things. Starting from a point, a line can be anything or create anything. The traditional understanding is that line art is monochromatic, but it can use different colors. The line art was originally used as illustrations before photography was born, and it was then used in print production, with black ink on white paper.
There are many ways to use line art, and it’s used in almost every aspect of creativity, including abstract line art, realistic art, caricatures, cartoons, graphic signs, and typography. We are presenting to you some of the best examples of line in art from across several different categories of art. We invite you to continue reading to learn about this fascinating art form.
Along with the shape, color, texture, material, form, value, and size, the line is also one of the seven elements of art. To interpret a piece of art, we may consider these elements as the building block of all art, and they serve as a great place to start. The seven elements are a kind of fingerprint for your individual expression of the artist and offer insights into their unique style. It’s no secret that line art has been a fascination from the beginning of time and continues to be one to this day, as we’re able to see the inner life of the artists through their works. Paul Klee’s famous quote, “A line is a dot that went for a walk” describes the journey from one place to another that leads to the line. Visual artists use lines to make drawings and paintings on paper or canvas or to shape wood, glass, or metal when bending or shaping them. In addition to creating lines and trademarks for a particular filmmaker or photographer, the position of their cameras also makes lines.
A line in art can be categorized into five main types: horizontal lines, vertical lines, zigzag lines, diagonal lines, and lines with curves. Various other types of lines can be categorized as variations of these five types.
Lines in the vertical direction are perpendicular to horizontal lines and move straight up and down in space without slant. By extending into the sky and appearing unshakeable, they suggest height and strength.
A horizontal line is a straight line that runs from left to right parallel to the horizon. This line suggests stability, calmness, and distance.
The diagonal line can be slanted in any direction other than horizontal or vertical. These lines suggest instability or movement.
A zigzag line, or zigzag pattern, is formed by joining diagonal lines together at their ends. The design conveys action and excitement, while they are often associated with anxiety and restlessness.
A curved line is a line that bends and changes directions gradually. It might be spiraling or wavy. This style conveys a sense of comfort and ease and a sensual quality because it is reminiscent of the human body.
All sorts of amazing and unique lines start with the five main types of lines. To get more line variation, you can use tools like width, length, texture, weight, curve degree, style or combine all of these.
It is possible for a line to be long (strong, tall, far) or short (cute, small, close).
A line’s width ranges from thin (slim, delicate, lightweight) to thick (weight, strength, power).
As the width of a line changes continuously, the weight of the line changes as well. You can capture movement, energy and even indicate when one object is ahead of another by varying the weight.
The texture of a line determines its smoothness or roughness. If you want to vary it, just change the medium (e.g., from markers to charcoal; otherwise, digital brushes to digital pens).
Line styles include continuous, dashed, dotted, and implied lines. It is great to lead the viewer’s eye in a particular direction by using continuous or implied lines. Dotted or dashed lines are perfect for highlighting patterns, bringing energy, and grabbing attention.
All of these variations can be combined into one to create a unique looking line with a unique function.
We often wish to include art history and famous artworks into learning the Elements of Art so we can understand how it has been used by professionals. Additionally, you can create a piece of line art from the examples of line in art below and get inspired to do so. In doing so, you will be able to create an entire unit of learning. Let’s take a look!
Bridget Riley’s black and white paintings are influenced by the Op art period and play with the perception of our eyes. Various geometrical forms are represented by them, which produce a movement sensation. The artist painted between 1961 and 1964, with black and white contrasts, occasionally introducing tones of gray. Although it may be surprising to some, we have decided to show her paintings as a representative example of line in art because they showcase how line can be defined in various ways. Rather than using pen and paper or ink or a plate, the lines are painted on canvas with various thicknesses and colors of paint.
The American painter Gene Davis is known for the vertical stripes of color he painted. Surely he has demonstrated from his work that lines can exist without their outline and can stand as their own, independent colored surfaces. The artist implemented the artist’s lines and surfaces in various artistic disciplines throughout his career. Davis focused his art practice on exploring repeating geometric rhythms of a particular color and how abstract line art can be redefined by the painter of public art and street paintings in downtown Washington.
The most famous painter of the movement is probably Jackson Pollock, a master of abstract expressionism. He painted in an action-oriented manner. Applying drips, dots, lines, and strokes from every angle, the result was a net, a vibrant and exciting surface. The purest expression of one moment of creation is shaped by the lines, surfaces, and colors. In this example, we are far removed from the traditional understanding of the idea of line art and how it can be interpreted. However, it illustrates how any mark made by the artist is an element of his artwork and that a line is a combination of dots, strokes, or colors.
It is a stunning piece of Japanese woodblock printing, a masterpiece of line art. It is always a good idea to examine print-made artworks since the line is a major feature of print-making processes. “The Great Wave” is perhaps the best-known example. In addition to the use of lines to create waves and water details, it also creates depth with the Japanese mountains in the background echoing the waves. As well as the texture, there are lines visible throughout the waves, showing motion, movement, and curves. A really inspiring piece!
This painting was painted shortly after Van Gogh left the asylum. He was struck by the obelisk-like shapes of these Cypress trees. As the painter shows in the painting, the lines of the sky, foreground, and focal point (trees) create each element of the painting. Through this painting, the lines convey movement and motion. In his famous “Starry Night,” the sky has similar marks to those seen in the sky as seen in the brush strokes.
Still Life with Teapot and Fruit,1896
Gauguin’s still life artwork demonstrates how the shape is created by lines. In still life, lines define the contour of the objects. This is an excellent example to pair with still life drawing and a lesson on the Element of Line.
Cylinder seal, ca. mid-20th–mid-19th century B.C.
Symbols are created with lines. Egyptian artworks contain some of the famous symbols found throughout art history. There are many ways in which lines can represent information, stories, or legends. Today, lines are used to represent letters and numbers. The line plays a crucial role in everyday communication, historically as well as today.
Terracotta chariot krater, ca. 1375–1350 B.C.
Finally, ancient pottery from Greece was decorated with lines. The illustrations use a wide range of lines to create the iconic designs of ancient Greece, including dots, curved lines, and straight lines. In addition to adding patterns to the surface of the pots, these lines create images of life. It is very common to see detailed pictorial scenes decorated with contrasting colors on these deep vases and urns.
Art is composed of formal elements such as lines. Along with shape, color, space, and texture, it is a component of aesthetics to consider beyond the subjective, interpretive aspects of art. Lines in the art are similar to a discussion of aroma in wine or flavor in food. Lines are part of an aesthetic experience but are not isolated ones. In addition to defining shapes and making perspectives, painters use lines for other purposes. The theory also states that lines in the art can inspire various emotional states. We hope this article about examples of line in art was helpful to you in learning about lines in art.