"A line is a dot that went for a walk"

Paul Klee, Artist - (1879-1940)

Lines are the most basic design 'tool' on which almost every piece of art relies. A line has length, width, tone, and texture. It may divide space, define a form, describe contour, or suggest direction.

Line weight - Used to describe the strength of a line, or how light or dark it appears on paper.

Horizon Line - Controls the height of the viewer's eye. This is most apparent in landscapes but can be applied to other subjects as well.

Orthogonal Line - Used in perspective drawing, orthogonal are the lines that reach back to and converge at the vanishing point.

Implied Line - Occurs when you continue a line after a small break and that line proceeds in the same direction.

Contour Line - Using line to define the edge or form of an object. Quite simply, it is used to create an outline drawing.

Hatching and Cross-Hatching - Using a series of simple and parallel (ish) lines to imply shade or tone changes.

A line is the path left by a moving point. For example, a pencil or a brush dipped in paint. It can take many forms. It can be horizontal, diagonal or curved. It can also change over its length, starting off curved and ending up horizontal, for example.

Lines can be used to show many different qualities, such as:

  • contours - showing the shape and form of something
  • feelings or expressions - a short, hard line gives a different feeling to a more flowing one
  • movement

Watch this video to see different ways that lines can be created