How to Draw Lines

How Important is a Single Line?

Come on, it’s just a line, everyone can do that! I know the title ‘how to draw lines’ might seem rather silly as everyone knows how to draw a line. But what I am talking about is how an artist draws their lines. A line, or stroke, in a drawing is very important. Lines in a finished drawing can tell the whole story. Even by itself, a line can be expressive. A lighter line can convey a feeling of weightlessness, whereas a dark stiff line defines weight and steadiness, or feeling of being anchored. How you draw your lines will determine how the drawing feels. And really, you can tell how good an artist is just by looking at his line work.

How to Improve Your Line Work

So how do you draw a nice looking line that expresses how you feel? Before you can do that you will need to have good hand control. To draw a variety of lines, you have to be sensitive to how the tip of your pencil is contacting the paper. Over time, through drawing practices, you will develop that sensation and hand control. Then you will be able to draw any kinds of lines you want, like the all-important tapered line.

The Tapered Line

One of the most important aspect of a line is how the line starts and ends. Having a tapered edge at the beginning and the end of the line will allow you the maximum flexibility in your work. It’s a lot easier to illustrate this on video, so let me show you some basic techniques on drawing lines and some exercises that you can do to improve your overall line work.

I can’t stress enough how important this is for a beginning artist. -Wei

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