The element of Line builds upon dots.

A line can be thought of as an actual or implied connection between points, a point in motion, or a series of adjacent points.

Line Quality has an impact and relationship with the expressive intent. Make note of a line’s orientation (position in space). Horizontal lines convey stasis and stability. Vertical lines carry charged potential energy. Diagonal and curving lines are dynamic, and imply movement, as they cross the X and Y axes simultaneously.

Line Weight refers to the thickness and style of the stroke. Thick lines tend to push forward in space, while Thin lines move inwards. Line Weight can change across the length of a stroke, and depending on the style, will evoke different sensations.

Line Continuity affects the direction of a line. Lines which extend beyond the format of a canvas imply infinity, while lines that reveal a beginning and end point have a limited sense of distance.

Outlines are actual lines that mark the outer boundaries or contours of a figure or object.

Contour Lines are actual lines tracing the inner and outer form, and suggest three dimensional volume.

Gesture Lines are actual lines, though inaccurate and vigorous, are used to capture the overall velocity of an object. These lines describe what an object is doing, rather than what it is.

Calligraphic Lines are actual lines, typically hand-drawn, and carry an individualistic imprint of the calligrapher or creator.

Organizational Lines are either actual or non-existent lines which organize a composition, much like the lines found along a Grid System.

Implied Lines are both actual and non-existent lines which may fade in and out of view—either behind objects or by reducing a line’s opacity along the path. AKA “Lost and Found Line”.

Psychic Lines are non-existent lines formed by the viewer’s mental imposition. An image of a pointed finger or gaze of the eyes might cause the viewer to look in that direction although no actual line is present.

Line Networks are a collection of lines to create a sense of space, shape, or volume such as with 2-Dimensional (cross-hatching) or 3-Dimensional wireframes (cross-contour).

Works Cited

Brigham Young University of Idaho. “Design and Color”. Notes from lectures and course materials, 2010.

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