The fine black line

“Stop putting a black line around things and coloring inside, you’r not in kindergarten anymore” This comment that gave me an established artist (= exhibiting and selling) pops up from time to time when I start drawing. So, to avoid the kindergarten effect, I do a no-line painting.  And then, as a treat go back to the fine black line.

“Arretez de mettre cette ligne noir autour des objets et de colorier a l’interieur, vous n’êtes plus en maternelle” Ce commentaire que m’a donné un artiste établi (=exposant et vendant) surgit de temps en temps quand je commence un dessin. Alors, pour éviter de me retrouver en  maternelle, je fais donc une aquarelle sans ligne. Et après, à la récré, je laisse cette fine ligne noir courir sur le papier.

2 thoughts on “The fine black line

  1. Effacer le ligne ne conviens pas. Le ligne est surtout dans la tete! Je n’aime pas les regles …. On pense aux lignes de Matisse. Il aimait les tableaux en maternelle.

    Penser a l’image. Il y en a deux facons: des lignes et des taches. Si on pense en lignes, n’importe si les lignes sont visibles — ils sont autour de l’idee.

    Les lignes sont encore tres abstraits — en penser en lignes on imagine les surfaces d’un facon tres elegant, precis, leger ….

    Toute le monde aiment les lignes! Les taches, ce sont belles aussi.

    Don’t know how I’m doing with the French, here. So I better say in it English for clarity’s sake: the line one draws in inside the artist’s mind and to put these lines down visibly and boldly is not a kindergarten exercise! (Much as I love kindergarten, mind you.)

    The differences between drawing the lines and seeing a scene in masses goes beyond the techniques employed. Both things should be sought as experiences to have a broad grasp of visual things. But both are very profound things. I would never tell anyone to stop drawing lines! “Line is the probity of art,” Ingres said and even if he might have said it in a bit of a pushy way … he has a point!

    Maybe the artist was trying to encourage you to try something different? But line is so fundamental. It’s like the opposable thumb — it separates us from the animals! To think in linear ways is fantastic! I think you should do both. Draw lines, lines, lines! And also shift to seeing things in masses — in terms of spots of color or tone. Or like Van Gogh find the place where they meet — in the hatchings of hundreds of lines that become tones.

    I love your left-handed drawing of the coffee pot! Bet the coffee was delicious too.

  2. you are very clear in both languages, I should say in all languages as for you said visual art is a language too.
    When I re-read what I have said about the black line I can feel a bitter sweet taste.
    Actually I appreciate what that artist thought me: seeing in masses and not just the contour. As a Japanese sumi-e artist she is always thinking in masses and never consider contour as a start.
    You put it more clearly and I, once again, agree with you, I like using both approach, trying to see the masses, the volumes, and switching to the contour.
    I guess that what bothered me in her comment was that narrow vision of using one style, one way, one technique. Being in a box.

    Et oui, le café est toujours aussi bon dans cette cafetiere… merci de la visite,
    difficile d’offrir une tasse de café virtuelle.

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