Beyond the lines……..

The literal meaning of lines in art is a dots that moves in space. The points connote numbers of dots visually connected, ends up with a line. Paul Klee in his pedagogical sketchbook summarizes lines by three cases:

  1. Active lines, passive planes; linear energy (cause, linear impact (effect), secondary planar effect.
  2. Medial lines; linear energy (cause), planar impact (effect)
  3. Active planes, passive lines; planar energy (cause), planar impact plus secondary linear  effect.
Roͬͬ͠͠͡͠͠͠͠͠͠͠͠sͬͬ͠͠͠͠͠͠͠͠͠aͬͬ͠͠͠͠͠͠͠ Menkman “Frieder Nake, Nr. 2 (also known as Hommage to Paul Klee) 1965” Artez students emulating plotter drawings by hand Image source: License: CC-BY

How can lines give impact to our visual understanding of anything that we see and observe which are drawn or appear in nature? How do lines dominate our minds which enables us to synthesize and make other people believe in us? 

Photo by Zahari Hamidon The pictures have ‘invisible’ lines determined by the subjects that can create a sense of ‘structure’ in the composition.
Photo by Zahari Hamidon

Go outsides and look at the nature around you, what you see is shapes and forms where actually everything started from ‘lines.’ You can also imagine the lines from your minds and start drawing, it may result in realistic or abstract images. Lots and well-organized lines tell a story that might able to please the audience.


We can also conceptualize our ideas through lines. Lots of lines in the diagram can also create a better understanding of the audience. It is reflected in all of the images below. In this case, lines play a role in providing overall graphic representation based on the mind of the creator. It may also reflect our imagination.

So, lines are useful not only in ART, but it is also valuable for other sciences. If we go back to the three cases highlighted by Paul Klee, lines that we usually used in ART serves the same purposes in a different branch of knowledge.


______ (n.d). Vocabulary. Elements of Art. Retrieved From

Moholy-Nagy, H. (2018). Paul Klee Pedagogical Sketchbook. Lars Muller: Germany

Creative Commons License
Illustration Burung Bayan 1 and Burung Bayan II by Zahari Hamidon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


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