Line Drawing

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Tropes and genres
Synonym(s)line art, pen and ink
Related tropes/genresstippling, chiaroscuro, screen printing
See alsocoloring book, fanart, List of Fanart Genres
Related articles on Fanlore.

A line drawing is a style of art "that consists of distinct straight and curved lines placed against a (usually plain) background, without gradations in shade (darkness) or hue (color) to represent two-dimensional or three-dimensional objects."[1] Areas of solid shading can be added, as well as contours to convey 3D shape, and (cross)-hatching or stippling to convey a grey-scale effect. Occasionally colour is added on a line-art background.

The effect is commonly achieved using pen & ink, marker pens or digital techniques, but can also be obtained with a brush or pencil or by using stencils.

As line-art engravings were commonly used in, for example, 19th-century book illustrations, it can be used to give an old-fashioned feel. It also often combines well with decorative fonts for zine covers. Aside from aesthetic considerations, one reason for line art's popularity is that it's usually easy to reproduce, without requiring screening into dots. Laser printers and photocopiers handle some forms of line art well, though they can struggle to reproduce very fine lines, stippling, detailed hatching or images with large areas of solid black. Line-art digital files/scans also compress to small file sizes and so are easy to store and transfer over slow connections. Line art without hatching/stippling and with relatively coarse line widths can often be reduced successfully to a 100 x 100 pixel or smaller icon.

Fanart Examples


  1. ^ Wikipedia:Line art, accessed 30 August 2014.