The Power of the Line

The line is the essence of drawing. It is a humble element, made simply by the tip of a pen or pencil as we move it across a receptive surface. Once drawn, a line chronicles the movement by which it was created. It can describe contour and shape, even texture.

More importantly, the line is able to convey to the mind’s eye three-dimensional forms in space, often not by its presence but rather by its absence—where we decide to stop a contour…and pick it up again.

These sketches of sculptures in and around Rome and Naples are prime examples of this amazing power of drawn lines to suggest what in reality is not present on the page.