As a person who draws and doodles compulsively (especially in class), I never think about the fact that I am drawing lines. My aim is the overall effect that my picture or doodle will achieve. A line is a line. Why is it so important to know what a line is?
“A line is an identifiable path created by a point moving in space. It is one-dimensional and can vary in width, direction, and length. Lines often define edges of a form. Lines can be vertical or diagonal, straight or curved, thick or thin.” (Thank you www.getty.edu)
This definition didn’t say what I already knew about lines. To find out why they are so important to art, I had to dig deeper and found the answer in –of all things– psychology.
Our brains look for patterns, shortcuts, and recognizable pathways. A line is a road that our eyes see and the brain follows.
Lines are important because it is the basic building block and foundation of creating art, even abstract. Connect enough lines together and the brain will recognize an object. Lines can create the illusion of weight, lightness, and distance (to name a few tricks). There are artists who devote their thesis and/or entire body of work around lines, but I’m going to stop here.
Understanding what a line can achieve makes the humble and versatile line, not simply a line anymore; it becomes a playground of possibilities.
Part two: Value