Line is the tool
Most people think of a line as a straight, but they can be curvy. A combination of objects one after another forming a line and is used to direct your eye. As an artist we use line to define shapes and to control direction within a picture area.
The lines I’m talking about are the lines that create motion. They establish a sense of direction just as a road takes you somewhere. Think about how line, not only the outlines of the objects but also the line or direction your eye moves through the composition.
Every element in your drawing has visible and invisible lines that will work within the composition. This adds interest and direction and is achieved by the placement, size and the angles of the elements in your vision.
You can use directional objects to direct the eye thru symbols like a line in the road, a tree limb, a table, hallway, sofa, room or table. These props established in your drawing setting a clear path for your eye to follow.
Take an animal walking out of a forest you can draw this in many ways. To make it more interesting you can have fallen trees in the background as if to say he was cutting a path thru the forest. Is he carrying food or is there someone waiting in the foreground? Does the tree line support the lines of the composition?
To take advantage of the line or direction of your viewer’s eye can be worked out through doing rough sketches. See where the main lines of objects are and the direction your eye travels with in the picture area. You don’t want to lead them out of the picture area. These rules apply with the lines of the composition just as they do in the rules of common sense.
Apply these Don’t rules:
Don’t divide the picture in have by crowding everything to one side or the other. Use the whole picture area.
Don’t line things up its boring. Create more interest by overlapping or varying the positions of the elements inside the picture area.
Don’t crowd the bottom. Use the whole picture area.
Don’t center everything. Vary the placement of the objects in the picture frame.
Don’t leave a hole. Use the space in the picture area. Leaving a hole becomes the center of interest.
Don’t just let objects touch they may appear to be resting on each other. Overlapping the objects create a sense of order and balance.
Line is a tool that we use as artist and to controlling the movement of your viewer’s eye around and into your picture area. It is like a director making a movie. The action takes place inside the picture area. All elements support the composition. Invisible and visible lines that lead to the point of interest.
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