This post is a continuation in my series through Harold Speed's drawing book. It covers chapter 12, "Rhythm: Unity of Line".
If you remember the last post, Speed talked about variety in line - how important variety is to a sense of life in a drawing. This time he focuses on line being a unifiying factor in artwork - in other words, this is about composition and the flow of lines through a piece.
He warns you with the first sentence, "Unity of line is a bigger quality than variety, and as it requires a larger mental grasp, is more rarely met with." He's not kidding - it's a tougher subject.
He doesn't deal with the entire topic of composition - that would be more than a chapter, but he does do an extended treatment of lines and flow and how they can work for or against you. I would recommend digesting this chapter over several reads, but some of the topics covered:
- straight lines
- parallel lines
- corners of your canvas (potential distractions)
- difficulties of square compositions
- curved lines
- creating energy and tension
- exercises to build your composition skills
- movement of lines