Art Principles and History

Form and Style

What is line?

Imagine holding an ink pen and pressing the pen against a piece of paper to make a black dot. Continue to hold the pen and then slowly drag the pen across the page. The original black point has now been extended horizontally to form a line. Line is one of the core elements of art. Line is used to outline shapes and to create forms. The characteristics of a line convey feeling and emotion. A shaky line is vulnerable while a bold, straight line is powerful. The term linear, is used to describe art that emphasizes line as opposed to light, color, or form. A linear sculpture is one that emphasizes its outline, or exterior contours.


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