Line and Value


     In drawing, line is the very thing that creates the image or space that you are trying to convey. How we use line is entirely up to us. By varying the pressure on the pencil you will lighten or darken the line you are using. Also the way in which you draw the line will make your drawing look very different. In the examples below you will see what I am talking about.



     Let's take a closer look at each of these styles.


Line Drawing


(Drawing without looking at the paper)


     In flat line drawing you keep a constant pressure on the pencil and render your drawing with a line that remains the same throughout the drawing. Somewhat like in a coloring book. This is if you do not want any depth or tonal value in your work. Often this is enough to get your message across or to prepare for a more in depth drawing later.

     With accent line drawing you will put a little extra pressure on the pencil whenever you come to a place in the drawing where a line crosses or intersects or where it changes direction. It is a little bit more interesting in that it changes and varies the line.

     Here is an exercise to get you to loosen up with contour drawing. Pick an object in your home and make it simple. Something like a banana, apple or other small simple object. Place it or them on a flat surface like your table and put a lamp or other light source up and to the left of the objects. Now, without looking at your paper draw the outline of the combined objects. Don't worry that your drawing doesn't look like what you see. As you can see below I used a plate with some apples on them and drew the outline without looking at my paper.



     You can probably see by your drawing and by the loop of mine that our drawings will not exactly meet at the right place. It's not supposed to. This exercise will help you to learn to draw quickly to capture quickly anything that catches your attention. This is a method to help you train your hand, eye coordination. Therefore you will concentrate on your subject matter and draw it as you see it and not as you think it should look.




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