Summary – A line is the most common (and important, IMO) of visual design’s four primary elements. It’s a rare subject that has no lines. It’s important to know how to use them to their best effect.
Understanding lines and their proper use
Will greatly improve your images
Can you see the lines (and more)?
Roll mouse over the image
This image contains all 4 of visual design’s primary elements
Lines, shapes, texture & perspective
Henry House, Manassas National Battlefield
Knowing what lines are and
How they are interpreted by viewers
Are important steps in learning visual design
What is a line?
(Here are various different interpretations & definitions; choose)
A mark that spans a distance between two points
taking any form along the way
Marks often used to define a shape or
Has both a direction and length and is
Long relative to its width
Leads the eye through an image and
communicates information via their character & direction
Lines can be:
thin, thick, squiggly, straight, curved, zigzag
continuous, broken, implied
vertical, horizontal, oblique, diagonal, long, short
crosshatched, parallel, spiral, dotted, dashed
The next post will return to today’s featured image and
Discuss its use of lines
In the meantime look at the roll over
Consider that in addition to the obvious (red) lines
There are those that define shapes (green & tan)
And – those likely to be missed (fail to be considered as a line)
e.g., the line (black) dividing the image into
Two rectangles – earth & sky
How are these lines placed & used?
For example –
What effect would taking the wide green path straight down the center of the image instead of its current oblique angle?
This relates to the question of whether horizontal, vertical & oblique lines all send the same message (spoiler alert – NO!)
What’s the effect of moving the horizon higher? Lower?
etc., etc, ….
These are the visual design decisions of the image maker
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