good lines, bad lines?

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  1. #1
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    Question good lines, bad lines?

    I've read some comments in my sb, telling me to vary my line and improve it.
    Since the beginning of my sb till now I think I've improved my line a lot... but Im not happy with it and they still telling me to improve it...

    I don't speak english very well and I do not know what is a good line... sooo
    I'm creating this thread asking you for help: can you show me (examples, images) what are good lines???

    thanks


    saludos!

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  3. #2
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    There is no such thing as 'good' or 'bad' lines. Some artists use scribbly lines, some use scratchy lines, some use smudged, ragged lines, some use thin, tidy lines, some use varied thickness and some use consistent thickness. Some use combinations of all, or some, of these things.
    Rather than think of lines, think of marks. Marks are there to make your intentions manifest. If you have a hazy thing to say, well, maybe a hazy, broken mark is a good idea for that statement on your drawing. Maybe you have a definite, clear statement to make about an edge - well, use the sharpest most incisive mark you possibly can. Marks are like words - sometimes you are polite, sometimes poetic, sometimes you swear and sometimes you whisper. There are no good and bad words. There are no good and bad marks (lines). The real thing to be 'good' at is.....being clear about what you have to say.

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  5. #3
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    wonderfully articulated!

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  6. #4
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    Thanks for responding
    IM going to read and analize it to understand it completely

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    el coro
    someone sure likes to render!!! more linework please. rendering is the easy mindless part. spend a little more time on the actual shapes, gestures, and nuances, and you will find yourself with much more interesting stuff to render. your stuff is good and shows alot of promise, just dont get so caught up on the fun part...you gotta eat those vegetables to grow up big and strong! -c36
    a good linework is when you make a good manifestatioon of your intentions?

    Im confused

    nonoo combined with good shapes, gestures and nuances

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    I disagree with Chris Benett in that there are no good or bad lines. Yes, there are good and bad lines, but that judgement is only to be made by the artist in what he wants to achieve. I do agree with him in that you can use any sort of line you want to achieve your goal, and one line is only better than the other depending on the artist's vision. But pretending that there is no right or wrong will not help.

    Anyway.

    Being bad at English is no excuse; fine art does not use language, it uses images. The type of line you use is up to you; depending on your style, or what you want the final product to look like, you can use whatever type of line you want to achieve what you want to achieve. Now, if you're going to try to draw realism, then sometimes thinner lines (or no lines at all) is the way to go. If you are attempting to draw something more cartoony, then varying the thickness of your lines (Such as making the outline thicker than the inner lines, as a simple example) may be the way to best achieve the look. But again, it all depends on how you, the artist, want the final product to look. If you want to have smooth lines, work on drawing smooth lines. If you want to have jagged lines, by thunder, draw jagged lines! If you want your lines to be smooth, wavy, broken, abstract, then so be it; make your decision based on your vision of the final product.

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    Good linework is when it stands alone without the aid of flashy rendering.
    Theres actually alot of artists on these boards who get too caught up in rendering(myself included) in my opinion. It does gloss over a mediocre sketch but in a sense you're hiding the flaws in your linework.
    Its like building a rickity, poorly constructed house and furnishing it with designer furniture.
    Plus rendering takes time and almost gets unfair airplay as opposed to its neglected other half. The Line. And in my opinion, linework is by far the harder to master.
    Look at someone like Salaryman, perfect example of what el coro was talking about.

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  12. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimmerCat View Post
    I disagree with Chris Benett in that there are no good or bad lines. Yes, there are good and bad lines, but that judgement is only to be made by the artist in what he wants to achieve. I do agree with him in that you can use any sort of line you want to achieve your goal, and one line is only better than the other depending on the artist's vision.
    So, you're disagreeing by agreeing with him?


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  14. #9
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    ok! thankyou Im getting the idea...

    SlimmerCat, maybe Chris was not wrong at all, but if you complement what he said with what you say you get something like: there a lot of types of lines and a good linework depends in what you are looking for and how do you use every kind of line.
    "Being bad at English is no excuse; fine art does not use language, it uses images. " Is for the same reason I was expecting you to show me your answers through images... cause I dont know if Ill be capable or not to understand what you are trying to say (technical english?)


    Lukiaswoow, thanks for the reply sir, I think you're right... and I think Ill keep hiding my linework under my less-bad-than-my-lines-rendering . I admire your work

    BTW, Tensai Is looking at this thread, and I think HE REALLY has a good linework

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  15. #10
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    Lines have emotional character to them... for every occasion there is a line. The only "bad" lines are ones that lay down false information (bad drawing) or don't have any emotional feeling to them (inexpressive drawing).

    But there is a problem in thinking about anything in art as "bad" or "good" to begin with. Bad versus Good is *not* what should be going through your head as you draw or paint. Art isn't some examination in school. There is no "right" answer when it comes to expression. You just have to be true to yourself and the world. (Rather than false about yourself, or false about the world.) And only you know what is true about you. Only you can put draw your soul on to a piece of paper.

    Joy and sorrow are always true. Think about it.

    Last edited by kev ferrara; March 26th, 2008 at 09:04 PM.
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  17. #11
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    What you should try doing is use different pencils. There are some that are darker and some lighter. Also, you can vary line thickness and lightness by pressure. Use darker and bold lines for borders, and lighter ones for textures and like. I do lot of line work in my art so take a look at my sketchbook and you will see what I am talking about. Hope that helps.

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  19. #12
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    I think that kev ferrara pretty much nailed it. IMO there are "good" lines and "bad" lines, but it's based entirely on perception. But good and bad lines are highlighted when you're inking. A good line with proper weight is what separates great inkers from beginners. Understanding what your hand, elbow, and wrist can do naturally and then controlling it is a great skill to master. Some artists can "scribble" in a sketch and you can almost feel the years of dedication each line has behind it. It's subtle, but it's there. I can usually look at linework and get an idea of how much the artist understands form even tho there are no values in the drawing.

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  21. #13
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    Good lines are marks that express form and movement.

    Form is expressed through perspective. Round forms will have round cross contours, blocky ones will have angular cross contous. By exaggerating the blockiness of forms you can heighten the 3d effect, since the vanishing points will be implied, look at the way Loomis draws hands in "Drawing the Head and Hands".

    Here I added a hint of the brow for overlap, and curved the mouth for the cross contour, just basic perspective. It also would look better if the eyelids were added since they're cross contour would also clarify the perspective.
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    Your drawings also lack rhythm. You'll see the legs here are just rectangles, there is no flexiblity in the legs, no dynamism. I placed a Wes Burt drawing on the left because the rhythm through the legs is so obvious. Rhythm is mostly the expression of balance through the body, and is derived from gravity. Look at the spine in profile, the lumbar region bends in to support the mass above it, the cervical region bends in to support the head above.
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    Your shapes tend to be pretty generic, always rectangular. Just think about what basic ways you can vary a rectangle, you know, parallel sides, non parallel sides, tapering sides. Throw in some round shapes, some triangles, some pentagons. Then look at life, photos, other peoples art, to get more interesting shapes.

    Think out the poses more. Would a guy really stand like that holding a gun? Plenty of movies with that sort of pose, so there is a lot of variety to check out for ideas. I also just noticed that the placement of the feet really flattens out the image, you need to clarify the ground plane, basic perspective.

    Another good rule is to keep all your contour lines convex. One possible book to check out for the explanation of that is Donald Hoffman's "Visual Intelligence".

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