Thinking About Line

October 10, 2014



Left: A quick "Piecemeal Style" sketch of Susan Hampshire who was in a show I caught one night not long ago and despite aging looks as lovely as she ever did, with that wonderful line of her nose, her neck, those cheeks… I started on one 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of Fabriano Tiziano and expanded, using magenta 3M masking tape as I went. I was drawing with the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen, and I restated the outline when I was done because I also really liked that nifty negative space Hampshire creates—item 2 on Loomis' list below.

I almost didn't write a post today for this image because I looked in my blog-log (I'm in volume 4 now, you can see one of them in the video at that link) and saw that I wanted to use the image above, but couldn't read my note about what I had intended to write about. Then I realized I'd written "Loomis on Line."

Once I deciphered my scrawl I realized that I wanted to share Andrew Loomis' thoughts on the importance of line:

There are seven primary functions of line

1. To convey its own intrinsic beauty.

2. To divide or limit an area or space.

3. To delinate a thought or symbol.

4. To define form by edge or contour.

5. To catch and direct the eye over a given course.

6. To produce a grey or tonal gradation.

7. To create design or arrangement.

While I hate to play fast and loose with his insight and his wisdom I would humbly like to add that all of these add up to FUN. A good line, a line that you hit right, gives you everything you wanted, as well as the fun of moving your implement across your drawing surface—and the momentum to keep making more lines.

Go make a ton of lines this weekend and have some fun.

  1. Reply

    I enjoyed so much “Monarch in the Glen” with Susan Hampshire. I really like you rendition of her portrait including her upturned nose and elegant neck line. The seven primary functions of line are well thought but as you said all of those add to FUN. Thank you Roz for remind us of it.

  2. Reply

    Roxane, glad you enjoyed this and could recognize her. I was stunned to see how beautiful she still is, just a gem.

    I’m glad you are keeping FUN in mind!!

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