When I first heard that phrase in art class, it sounded elegant. The idea that each line in a drawing could convey a piece of the story or even its own story spoke to the writer in me unlike anything I had ever heard about painting. Sure, a piece of art as a whole had something to say but this concept suggested levels of simplicity, complexity, and nuance that was both exciting and daunting at once. I was smitten.
Nothing beats a supple watercolor brush at producing varied lines but that hasn’t stopped me from trying to produce this effect with a pen, be it fountain, dip, or brush. Below are a few of the expressive pen and ink drawings I’ve discovered around the web.
A Specimen of Dracofloris by Leigh Reyes
Purple Lamy & Moleskine Sketchbook by Gentian
New Pens by Mattias Adolfsson
You can see more of Mattias Adolfsson’s drawings at his blog. The expression on the fourth one, “The Coldwar Pencil”, is priceless.
Then there are the classic drawings by Da Vinci and Michelangelo.
Spend a little time with all of the above and expressive lines will follow. May your doodling never be the same.
Oh, do share your favorite line drawings. I would love to see which ones make you happy.