Relationship of dot, line and plane
cave paintings contain the line in its most primitive abstract graphic
version. Geometrically speaking a line is nothing but an extension of
points in one dimension. The shortest distance between two points is
a line. It is the basic visual tool, and therefore any composition and
any form can be broken down into lines. The process of drawing a line
between any two points creates a system of tension in the design. The
points no longer remain free elements in space; they become tight and
rigid, responsible for holding the line between them and thus become
frozen in time and space. Points fuse and form lines, while lines of
different types and having different qualities come together and form
images. These images will reflect one or more principles of aesthetics:
depending on whether the lines are straight or curved, thick or thin,
dark or light, and also where they begin and how they end. The primary
characteristic of linear form is that it tends to imply activity and
generally a boundary or demarcation. Visual artists use these lines
primarily to communicate ideas in a simple, concise manner. Lines can
be of following types (partial list):
The line is an ideal tool for communication, because it has the potential to convey and generate a variety of messages and emotions. But it is also very sensitive, so one needs to have control over its flow - its length, its thickness, its value and its quality.
If a straight line conveys rigidity and discipline, a curvilinear one is graceful and playful. To modify these basic qualities and infuse it with a quality alien to its inherent nature is an artist's greatest challenge.
Of all design elements, the line alone is indispensable. "Line, depending on its use, may recall, inform, describe, amuse, make fantasy, signify subjective forces and arouse deep-lying associations - all with impressive economy. Lines as pictograms, ideograms or words - that is, lines as writing signify things, actions, concepts, qualities and conditions, across the spectrum of civilizations," says Calvin Harlan, in his book "Vision and Invention".
- 01 Lines of MF Hussain
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