The Seven Elements of Art: Line

Line is everywhere. It’s found on the edge of a coffee table, the bare tree branches, and on the wings of a duck. Line is often

considered the most basic element of design, but it can have a very powerful effect on the viewer.

Consider line in two ways: the linear marks made by a pen or paintbrush, or the edge created when two shapes meet.

Line is a powerful tool for conveying feelings, and how it is used speaks volumes about the mastery and style of the designer. Thick lines denote feelings of strength and boldness, whereas thin line denote fragility. There are perhaps a million ways to use line that influence the

mood in design.

Expert use of line provides other elements of design, such as texture, space and value. For example, working many lines together, achieving pattern and depth will create texture, where as wavy, swirly lines are used to denote energy and vitality.

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of line is that it draws the viewer’s eye to a point of focus. According to Gestalt Theory, there are profound psychological merits to this. Using line

to direct the eye, create paths, and re-enforce perspective, can prevent a chaotic and confusing viewing experience. When line leads the eye to a significant point of interest, the viewer experiences closure, making your creative work complete and memorable.

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