Gestural Line, A Case Study: ft. Tater

Every week as a part of my university course EAES 201, I am to post two pictures of something that makes me think of line. I can use my own work, or pictures I’ve taken of something that really strikes me. First off, I’d like to take a moment to just examine gestural lines. I’ll use a picture of my dog, Tater, for an example.


Already in this picture, we can see a couple of really obvious “lines”. The curve of her back, for example, as well as the vertical sides of the door and the horizontal floor tiles are pretty noticeable. The rounded shoes, too, pop out against the diagonal lines of the shelves. Neat! There’s line everywhere – even in familiar places.

More popular examples of fluid lines can be found in many mainstream Disney characters. (Think, for example, the lions in The Lion King.),

I personally favour rounded lines. My hand makes loopy lines easier than it makes straight lines…Its a lot easier to make an oval than a square. Typically, I use lines like this in my sketches. They’re easier for me to capture the emotion in a picture, as well as the subject matter being presented.

The lines, while few in number, still resemble Tater.

The lines, while few in number, still resemble Tater.

Expressive line is used everywhere; even handwriting or calligraphy could be considered almost entirely expressive line. In fact, the “painting” medium could largely be considered an “act” of fluid line. The strokes are fluid, and you are literally putting liquid onto the surface of whatever you’re painting on.

My theme is “line”, and throughout the course of the next semester, I will create a post every week discussing line.

Do you use loose, gestural lines, or more rigid, edgy lines?

Where do you see expressive lines the most?


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