Research point – part 1

I was asked to look at the work of a range of artists and make notes about their use of line.

I first looked at David Hockney. His drawings are made up of single continuous lines, describing the shape of the body, furniture and clothes. Some images really capture the negative spaces of what he is drawing which I feel leads to a more accurate sketch. I found his line drawings very inspirational. They are simple lines but very effective, and something I wish I could achieve in my own line drawings. I think I tend to over complicate with too many descriptive lines sometimes, but I really like Hockney’s minimalist yet detailed approach.

Hockney, David (born 1937) In Despair From Illustrations for Fourteen Poems from C.P. Cavafy [Etching on paper]. [Online image]. Tate, London, UK. Available from [Accessed 16 August 2012]

Hockney, David (born 1937)
Portrait of the Artist’s Mother, Mrs Laura Hockney, Bradford 1972
[Pen and ink on paper]. [Online image]. Tate, London, UK. Available from [Accessed 16 August 2012]







Next I looked at Edgar Degas. I found he used looser lines in his sketches, but again, he only uses a few to capture what he is describing. For example the image , he really describes the jockey, and also his facial features / expression. He varies the the thicknesses of his lines to describe shade and tone. Degas didn’t just use one medium for his line drawings, but a combination, such as charcoal, chalk and pastel. He uses the mediums not only to describe the lines of the body, but also where the light hits, to create a sense of 3D form.

Degas, Edgar (1834 – 1917)
Study of a Jockey [pencil on paper]
[Online Image]. Private Collection. Available from [Accessed 16 August 2012]

Degas, Edgar (1834 – 1917)
Half Length Nude Girl, c.1895 [charcoal heightened with white on tracing paper]
[Online Image]. Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, UK Available from [Accessed 16 August 2012]

I also looked at some line drawings Alberto Giacometti and noted that he had a different style in his drawings. He tends to use busy, scribbley lines to describe busy his subjects, but still captures the personality of the person he is drawing / painting.

Giacometti, Alberto (1901 – 1966)
Drawing after an Egyptian Sculpture, 1952 [ballpoint pen on paper]
[Online Image]. Collection Fondation Alberto & Annette Giacometti Available from [Accessed 16 August 2012]

Giacometti, Alberto (1901 – 1966)
Portrait of Sir Robert Sainsbury, c.1958 [oil on canvas] [Online Image].Collection Fondation Alberto & Annette Giacometti Available from [Accessed 16 August 2012]


About tiffanymclean

I am studying towards a creative arts Degree with the Open College of the Arts. I hope to eventually train to become an Arts Therapist.
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