At the same time as working on each of the units in the course I wanted to investigate how artists use LINE in their paintings. This was a personal study and one which is ongoing for me. I have used line a lot in my watercolour work and felt I needed to develop a more expressive approach to this aspect. I didn’t want it to be a question of just outlining!

I’ve only had time to just scratch the surface of this study but it has been great…just opened up another door onto the creative possibilities. It has meant looking at the tools I use for line and expanding on this as well as a wide variety of media. I was fortunate to be able to see two great exhibitions at this time, of artists who use line in their work so effectively to express their ideas and individuality.  These were Honore Daumier (1808 – 1879) and  Paul Klee (1879 – 1940).

I spent some time studying Daumier- his line is very fine, almost scribbly. I had to hold the pen at the very tip to get the loose scribbly effect. He never drew from live models – his method was to listen and observe and then back in the studio he would draw the nameless people he had seen in the streets. As I copied these lines, I could feel a kind of sculpturing, letting the forms emerge from the tangle of lines.

Daumier...soft scribbly lines

Daumier…soft scribbly lines




John Palmer

John Palmer


About pbfarrar

I am an Australian living permanently in England. I have recently retired from the position of Principal of an independent school and have taken up the study of Fine Art with the OCA.
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