The Continuous Line gives the drawing an enclosed flexible structure, or environment, which in turn means that all parts are related to some degree. If I modify sections of a drawing there can be ramifications elsewhere, which may be small or extensive. “Skelldale” was one of my earliest continuous line drawings.
When I compose a drawing I have to bear in mind that the line must return to the start point. This is a lot of fun when I do an abstract, but for a figurative drawing it is more difficult as I am aware that the drawing will constantly change. However, I have learned that this difficulty can help to trigger the creative force that often lies within the drawing.
This discipline of having to make choices on the route of the line, or modifying the route, can produce an extra structural effect or dynamic of movement which I may not have foreseen. This creation of a result beyond my intention is similar to what happens in nature, where the practical necessity of combining all the elements needed in an animal or a plant often evolve into a tremendous design.
A further result of the Continuous Line is its creative effect on colours applied. I worked out a method of applying colour sequences which can further enhance the natural structure and dynamic effect. A colour only occurring once can be in a key area, eg. the eye of the Iguana. I used a special repeat pattern for the scale effect.
My “spherical” drawings, where the line goes out of one side of the page and in at the opposite side, also produce a special arrangement of colours which can apply to a sphere. The “Flame on the Sun” has coloured areas which match if the picture has its sides pulled around to meet in a cylinder. However, there is no such match top to bottom, where a “bunching” effect would form the “poles” to complete a sphere.
My knowledge of Continuous Lines also lead to my creating them within natural structures when I researched the Four Colour Map Theorem 40 years ago. This single line along boundaries of the countries of Africa (from my 1950’s school atlas), goes through every boundary junction once only. I could connect up the two loose ends to make it “Continuous” ! You can use two alternate colours for countries inside the line and another two alternate colours for countries (and the sea) outside the line and you have your Four colours. Proving that you only need four colours for any map is a different matter !
So there we are, my fascination with my lines continues. I will cover all these types of line further subsequently.