Get in Line

As a resident of Orlando, the theme park capital of the world, I spend more than my fair share of time in lines—long lines, short lines, single file lines, ’every man for himself’ lines, lines of traffic, lines that twist and turn, and lines that go on for hours.  Disney refers to their lines as ‘queues’, and while that term might fool the tourists, I know a line when I see one.  You can only hope what you find at the end of the line will make you happy that you endured the wait.

Artists spend a great deal of time dealing with lines, too–thin lines, thick lines, broken lines, continuous contour lines.  I was going through my old portfolios the other day and I came across some line work from my first drawing class at Valencia. One of my favorite exercises was a ‘blind contour’ study. The goal was to complete a drawing looking only at the subject—not at the paper.  Another exercise that was popular in class was the ‘continuous contour’ drawing.  I chose a cluttered space—my kitchen pantry– and drew it without lifting my pen from the paper. Those exercises gave me a new appreciation for the line—a seemingly simplistic device that can make or break a drawing.  And while I did spend hours dealing with those lines, the ride was definitely worth the wait.

Line work from Drawing l at Valencia College:

contour line drawing

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continuous contour drawing

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Putting all that line work to use–pastel on paper

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