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Line economy

Line economy

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Published by Mark Creegan

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Published by: Mark Creegan on Jan 24, 2012
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2D Design

Spring 2012

Instructor: Mark Creegan

Project: Line in Simplification DUE: Tuesday Feb 7 Materials needed: pen, pencil, canson brand tracing paper, waterproof ink, bamboo brush, Bristol paper, sketchbook Concepts: Economy, abstraction, distillation, balance The element of line is a useful tool to describe form. Since the very first etchings into the cave walls of our prehistory, man has used line as the primary device. In this exercise, you will use line to describe a form or image but also to practice the process of distilling the image to its essential elements. Step 1: In a magazine or newspaper, find an image of an object, person or scene that is not too complicated and not overly simple. Using a sheet of tracing paper and a pen, trace all of the contour lines of the form. Step2: Now place another sheet of tracing paper on top of the first tracing and begin to trace again, but this time start to edit a few lines from the original by getting rid of any lines that are unnecessary to describe the essential form. Repeat this process 3 more times so that you have a total of 5 tracings that show a gradual simplification of form. The last tracing should include only the lines that are absolutely necessary to describe the form (if you took out another line it would destroy the image). Step3: On a sheet of Bristol paper, make a line drawing of this last tracing using the bamboo brush and ink. Make the lines using quick brushstrokes so that it looks spontaneous, do not worry too much about making the drawing accurate but do think about how the drawing should be composed on the page (think about balance, use of negative space etc.)

TIPS: Again, don t choose imagery too complex or overly simple. Be sure to use implied lines or edges. You can combine lines as well. In deciding what to leave in, try to capture the elements of the image that you think are essential. For example, if its an image of a lady with a fuzzy scarf, see how you can convey the fuzziness of the scarf in the most economical way.

Grading: Technical: How well did you handle the material? Is the line quality consistent? Is the form discernible? Conceptual: Is the image economical? Did you effectively edit out all the unnecessary lines? Did you use implied edges and shared contours? Are there lines you took out that need to be included? Aesthetic: Did you accomplish the above things with a certain inventiveness? Does the overall final brush drawing have a nice sense of balance and unity? Is the image interesting and dynamic? Process: Does the tracings show an even simplification? Is your decision process of what to leave out/in considered and careful?

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