Lines are everywhere, noticed and unnoticed, a beguiling network of relationships, boundaries, connections. Looking at a Monet, we focus on the colours, the light, the painterly paint. We don’t necessarily focus on the horizon, that corner of a building or perhaps a reflection from a bridge. Whatever it may be, most paintings, certainly representational styles, rely heavily on line.
In my recent plein-air sketch (above), lines create atmosphere with tree-forms in the background and set compositional elements that help move the viewer through the picture space. The foreground is separated from the main viewing area by line and the horizontal surface of the shallow water is implied by line. Most of these elements are painted rather than drawn.
The focus of the painting is cemented with stronger and more prescriptive line work: the dead tree-root and its companion, an abandoned dock. What may not be visible in the finished painting is line work that guided the painted values, added later to better define the root structure. All this in a sketch that, although modest, could still have gone astray in so many ways. Whilst mainly atmospheric, it’s the line-work that holds it all together.
Line-work is fundamental, and this is the focus of the first of our Fall Series of workshops: Saturday, 20 November features “The Secret Life of Lines”, and we will spend the day immersed in “Drawing for Painters” as our theme. Join us for a day of integrating some sound drawing practices in your paintings. This will include some elements of layout, contouring and equally, exploring how line-work can add drama and punch to your artwork. Bring along materials for a new painting or a work-in-progress!
Check out details on the courses page of my website or just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to book your spot!
Lines Rule, OK!