“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” ~ Edward De Bono.

Line drawing of Medieval woman

Colouring books have become best sellers in recent years as adults rediscover the pleasure and relaxation of filling in blank contours with colours of their choice.

But few people have considered going further back to an earlier form of drawing.

As children, we all started with simple lines to draw people, houses, cars, animals in our midst. Whether we remember or not, we have all used line drawings at one time or another.

Line drawings can be done with pencil, pen, coloured pencils, or any easy to obtain materials lying around the house.

Line drawings rarely create a mess the way acrylics and other mediums do.

Best of all, line drawings don't require any kind of investment in specialty colour coded markers or no-bleed through papers or expensive colouring books.

line drawing first attempt at flapper
line drawing second attempt at flapper

The last two line drawings are of the same flapper. I didn’t like the first drawing so I started over.

Line drawings as you might have guessed, are useful to observe the form, shape, contour of an object or person, and when cross-hatching is added, line drawings can also indicate variations of shading.

This type of art is not meant to be especially realistic. It helps the artist make the connection between what is observed and what will appear on paper.

Line drawings are the best way to be more aware of shapes and edges.  They are the equivalent of a first draft in writing.

But simple line drawings can also morph into beautiful works of art. I have seen it happen on friends’ galleries on Instagram and on Pinterest.

For anyone who wants to practise relaxation without worrying too much about the results, line drawings are the best and most inexpensive way to begin drawing.

Find a piece a paper, a pen, and give yourself five minutes to observe really well something of interest.  Then, using the pen, and not lifting your hand from the paper, draw a continuous line to outline the shape.

Spend more time observing the object than worrying about the lines on the page.  Your drawing may not be accurate at the beginning but don’t forget that funky works of art have gained a following too.  And this is an exercise in relaxation.  So have fun.

You have just started on a new creative path.  Enjoy!

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