Making lines into shapes and shapes into art: paintings, sculpture, art quilts… so many things!

Tropic 2, acrylic, (sold), KGTaylor

So many paintings or other art objects begin with a drawing, and maybe a deceptively simple one. I wish I had the original sketch to show alongside this painting, but the following sketch below is representative of the typical lines that can spawn a painting for me. This small painting shows my favorite recurring bird character one might see on any fence post or twig at the top of a scrawny tree. The heart motif is also a recurring theme for me, but it also represents shapes seen in nature, from the lowliest bush to the biggest rock formation or mountain.

This line sketch below is simple looking enough, and will be a painting in the future inspired by shapes created by intersecting lines. When I was a student art teacher, my first graders made amazing paintings based on this intersecting lines idea. The Cubists of the last century also “got it”. One can do so much with lines that make shapes that eventually make something more complex and special to the artist who begins the study.

I exhibited a painting years ago at the Art Center of Estes Park, CO, in their “Lines into Shapes” annual juried show. (Still going, check it out.) It was painted in a more traditional style that I favored back then, which only goes to show that a line drawing can turn into a painting of any genre. Students of art history know this. Line drawings are known as “cartoons”, which act as the base art from which the entire painting is created. (Witness the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo!)

Artists start with lines.

“Draw lines, young man, many lines; from memory or from nature, it is in this way that you will become a good artist.” -Ingres


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