Lines

Some qualities of a drawn line (in no particular order and not necessarily distinct):

 

Thickness/fineness/weight

Intensity/tone/strength

Curvature – straight/simple/wavering

Speed of gesture

Precision

Regularity of tone/variation of tone

Scale of variation in curvature (see speed)

Softness/hardness

Angularity

Continuity/brokenness

 

Possible combinations of qualities:

 

A straight fine, dark line

A simple smooth curve, varying from dark to light

A soft pale wavering line

A hard, dark, jagged, fast scribble

A complicated curve of varying intensity

 

Each combination suggests/implies a different bodily action or feeling: a tight or a loose grip of the drawing tool, a fine movement of the fingers or a large movement of the arm, a slow or a fast gesture, considered or unplanned mark-making, a gentle stroke or an angry scrawl …

It’s a good thing we aren’t consciously thinking about all these things when we draw. Here are some recent abstract-ish drawings, starting from fairly random lines and seeing what happens:

ripples.jpg
Ripples – lines generate surfaces – surfaces imply depth
fissure.jpg
Fissure – pencil and Chinese white on tinted paper
UFO.jpg
Unidentified fragmentary object
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Yellow Door and brown paper

The Yellow Door gallery in Dumfries is exhibiting entries to its portrait competition at the moment. Last week I had a lovely surprise when they awarded my self-portrait first prize! The exhibition is on until Saturday 1 September.

Self-scrutiny, oil on canvas

And here is an irrelevant drawing on brown wrapping paper photographed from a flattering angle. Still experimenting/playing with non-representational drawing, and the way lines can create apparent depth.

Mixed media

Growth

Growth: the process of increasing in size; development to maturity

Growth, infinite: the premise of capitalism

Growth, malignant: uncontrolled abnormal cell division that can invade and destroy nearby tissue and may spread to other parts of the body