Gradation of Line

Albrecht Dürer's pencil drawing shows how an economical use of carefully controlled line can suggest fine detail. The gradation of curved lines in the hair, beard and around the contours of the face build up convincing textures and a solid three dimensional form.

Durer’s control of line is clearly visible in the fine gradations of confident, complex curves in the build up of hair texture. Delicate contour shading broken by understated areas of simplicity keep the drawing interesting.

Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) “Head of Bearded Old Man – Saturn” (1516)

The growth lines on the horns of this mountain sheep show an interesting linear gradation. As the animal ages the length, diameter and shape of the horn changes.


The linear gradations around the horns document this evolution in much the same way growth rings on a tree trace its history.

Mountain Sheep showing Linear Gradation


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John Lovett


John Lovett is an Australian artist working in oils, watercolor and mixed media. Since commencing his career John has held over thirty five solo exhibitions and taken part in many joint ones. John’s work is represented in private and corporate collections in Australia, United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and USA. John’s passion for his work and his open easy approach to teaching make his books, DVD’s and workshops thoroughly enjoyable, extremely informative and always very popular. His articles are regularly featured in “International Artist” magazine.      



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© 2017 John Lovett (all text and images unless otherwise stated)