Some qualities of a drawn line (in no particular order and not necessarily distinct):
Curvature – straight/simple/wavering
Speed of gesture
Regularity of tone/variation of tone
Scale of variation in curvature (see speed)
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:
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.
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.