Drawing Techniques Part 2 – Continuous Line

Creative Studio

When we first picked up a pen or pencil and started making marks on paper, we began with a line.

Drawing Techniques

Whether self-taught, through trial and error, or guided by others, we learned how line defines form, creates structure, divides a frame, traces contour, creates tonal variation (cross-hatching, for example) and leads the eye from one part of a work to another.

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Initially a mechanism for getting outlines onto paper – identifying edges – we begin to applaud lines for their own merit: celebrate their presence…whether a quiet flick of charcoal on paper or a streak of graphite.

Continuous Line Drawing

A continuous line drawing is produced without ever lifting the drawing instrument from the page. This means that, in addition to outlines and internal shapes, the pencil must move back and forth across the surface of the paper, with lines doubling back on each other, so that the drawing is one free-flowing, unbroken line.

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To avoid the temptation to erase lines, it can be helpful to complete a continuous line drawing with an ink pen, varying the line weight, as needed, to indicate perspective and areas of light and shadow.

Continuous line drawings work best with in-depth observation of your subject, without interference from your thinking mind.

Continuous line drawing is actually a very powerful way to create a piece that is both hard edged and fluid, representational and abstract, rational and emotional all in one

Posted by Maddy Moore, Good Egg Team and Member