Influences of Graffiti

Graffiti is a form of art that uses atypical artistic forms. It is an art form growing in popularity because of the influence it can have on whole communities. Consider that horizontal lines are considered to be a good way to express “rest” due to the fact that such lines are parallel to the earth and imply that something is resting. On the other hand, vertical lines usually imply height such as in architectural images, but they also suggest concepts beyond human reach, such as the heavens or skies. When horizontal and vertical lines are combined (through the creation of 90-degree angles) it usually implies something extremely stable or even permanent.

Interestingly enough, diagonal lines tend to convey things like movement, perspective, and more. Consider that a tree depicted on the vertical may be falling or about to fall and that a street scene with good perspective often uses vertical lines for streets or rows of buildings disappearing into the distance. Curved lines are frequently used as means of depicting energy. For example, a gently curving line can lead the eye around the scene while twisted lines create a sense of chaos or struggle. Repetitive lines are frequently employed to create patterns used to create some sort of rhythm in a scene. Just consider the effect of the use of repeated lines to depict grass or corn blowing in a gentle breeze.

We also understand that lines can be “implied” rather than actually positioned on the paper, canvas, photo, etc. It is a good idea to master the use of implied lines for very specific purposes. For example, it is quite common for an artist to create texture through the use of lines. They might use smudging and blending of the “medium” (the paint, ink, chalk, etc.) that they are using to create an implied line, or they might use repeating or broken lines instead. They can even use repeated lines at various distances to create depth in an image as well.

All of these techniques, however, would not actually rely upon a physical line in the image to get their results. Because artists must understand and use lines within their work, it is important that they have a clear and accurate comprehension of the diversity of styles and expressions in which lines can be put to use. This means that it is a good idea to examine a range of famous works of art in order to understand how lines function in them.


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