Drawing lines types
Drawing lines types examples

Types of Lines in Drawing

In art, what is a line?

As one of the visual arts’ seven basic elements, a line can be defined as a line that moves across space (line, color, shape, form, texture, value, space). A single dot in space that evolves into lines and then drawings is one of the most important aspects, as everything begins there. There’s a lot of traffic!

Types of lines.

In art, lines come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including horizontal, vertical, diagonal, and zigzag. Aside from these five primary types of lines, there are several variations.

Vertical types of lines are perpendicular to vertical lines, which move in space in a straight up-and-down fashion with no inclination. It’s because of this that they appear to be unbreakable, extending toward the sky.

Types of Lines - Vertical
Types of Lines – Vertical

Horizontal types of lines are straight lines that go from left to right and are parallel to the horizon at all points. Their wide, open, and serene appearance conveys a sense of stability.

Types of Lines – Horizontal

Straight types of lines that slant in any direction other than horizontal or vertical are known as diagonal lines. Using them indicates mobility or instability.

  Types of Lines - Straight
Types of Lines – Straight

Zigzag types of lines are made up of a sequence of diagonal lines that are connected at the ends. In addition to conveying excitement and exhilaration, they can also convey uneasiness and restlessness.

Curved types of lines are also self-explanatory, the choice of length shape, and the curve is up to you.

Lines that progressively bend and change direction are referred to as curved lines. They can either be straight or wavy. Comfort and ease, as well as sensual quality, are conveyed by these lines that remind us of the human body. Now when you know something about the importance of the correct techniques, read something about the benefits, but before you start, for the fastest improvements, we strongly recommend using the professional guidance that can be found here: Draw Like a Master Artist.

How to Create Artwork with a Variety of Lines

The five most common types of lines are the starting point for a wide variety of other lines! If you want to create more line variations, you can use tools such as the length and width of a line, as well as the weight, texture, style, direction, and degree of curvature. Depending on the length of the line, it can either be long or short (small, cute, close). The thickness of lines ranges from thin (lightweight, delicate) to thick (heavy) (strength, weight, power). Constantly changing the width of lines is called weight. One may capture movement, energy, and even suggest that one object is in front of the other by altering the weight.

Type of lines - Sketched over three mornings at Spinelli’s Coffee and Ice Cream
Types of Lines in Art, (Image credit: paulheaston)

The smoothness or roughness of something can be described using its textural properties. You can easily switch up your working medium when you want to vary your approach (for example, going from marker to charcoal or changing your digital brush). Line style can be defined as either continuous, dashed, dotted, or implied. Continuous or implied lines are excellent for guiding the viewer’s eye in the desired direction. Patterns, vitality, and drawing attention can all be achieved with dashed or dotted lines. All of these options can be used to create a unique and functional line, if you still don’t know how to use it check this tutorial.

Types of Lines in Art Defined by Their Use

By the way, they are employed in a piece of art, you can also combine different lines into distinct types. Lines include contour lines, continuous lines, parallel or cross-hatching lines, decorating lines, inferred lines, and gesture lines.

Contour lines

The outline of a shape is defined by a contour line. Line art is a term that refers to the use of straight lines to create an image. When creating contour lines, some painters like to use the same line width, while others vary the width to give the impression of movement and volume.

Continuous line

When a drawing is completed in one sitting, it is known as a “continuous line.” If done well, this form of art may be incredibly expressive and lively, but if done incorrectly, it can simply appear sloppy.

Cross-hatching or parallel lines

Cross-hatching or parallel-hatching lines are used to create patterns and textures. As a sketching tool, they are often used one at a time. The darker a region seems, the more lines there are close together, forming a shadow.

Gesture lines

It’s common to see gesture lines utilized to depict human movement and form, which is why they’re called gesture drawings. As a warm-up activity, gesture sketching can last anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes, which is ideal for drawing lively, rapid, and in-motion lines.

Implied lines

Implied lines are lines that don’t exist in the real world but are produced in our imaginations depending on other topics. They are an extremely effective tool for artists and designers because they direct the viewer’s gaze in the direction the creator desires.

Types of Lines in Art, (Image credit: Katie Stewart)

It requires practice and a good foundation which can be achieved only with hard work or by following the professionals, therefore it is good to consider asking the professional or participate in the course.

Lines in Art and Design: Their Purpose

An artist’s signature line serves as a type of identification for them. One’s favored lines are the beginning of one’s art style, and each artist has a collection of their own lines that they prefer. The five most typical roles of lines in the art are to identify, organize, move, and texture in three-dimensional space. Identifying the subject is the most fundamental function of a line. Humans and objects are recognized by our brains because of the way they are constructed.

The line’s three-dimensional role is to provide a sense of space. The effect can be achieved by varying the line’s tone, width, weight, focus, and intensity. The basic underdrawing (or sketch) for artwork in painting and drawing and dividing or grouping components on a page in design are all examples of the organization function of a line. The composition of art is often defined at this point, with the foreground, center ground, and background all defined.

There are many ways that a line can be used to draw the viewer’s attention and illustrate a subject’s motion. By changing the breadth, direction, or even the suggested line of a given line. Using multiple variations of a line, a texture can be created. For example, a smooth texture can be generated by drawing straight or curved lines without any breaks, while a chaotic texture can be created by using a different technique, to use all techniques correctly, and for more useful tips visit the complete course.

 Types of Lines in Art,- line art black & white
Types of Lines in Art, (Image credit: Bill Sanderson)

What role does line play in the creative process?

The line is one of the essential aspects of art. Two-dimensional (flat) shapes and three-dimensional forms have distinct edges that can be marked by a line. An outline can be used to show a shape, whereas contour lines can show a three-dimensional form.


Think about what your artwork is all about before you start drawing! Try utilizing curved lines with changing width and roughness to create a dynamic piece of art! Make use of the organizing feature, figure out enormous shapes, and then employ curved waves and minimalism to create a serene work. Cross-hatching, zigzags, and diagonal lines can be used to depict anxiousness in a piece of art.

Now when you have learned all about the lines, you can move to the next important step and learn about the perspectives in drawing which moves you to another level:


The next step in the drawing tutorial after Types of lines in Drawing

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