Sol Le Witt, Lines

Untitled, from Squares with a Different Line Direction in Each Half Square
Sol LeWitt (American, 1928-2007)

This drawing by Sol Le Witt exemplifies the amazing three dimensionality that can be achieved through the simple manipulation of line, orientation and density.

We have looked at recreating this drawing digitally in a number of ways.

One way is to literally draw the lines and offset as if one were drawing with a pencil. Simple and effective. Making the drawing in this way allows one to be more intuitive when it comes to lineweight, spacing and colour.

An alternative is to use the hatch tool and create four different hatches with 0, 90, 45 and 315 orientations. These can easily be made by using the hatch dialog box - found at the bottom of the hatch menu within the attributes palette. 

Or you simply use the hatches included in the sample drawing below and change the offset amount to suit. These hatches can then be used for adding tone, shadow and shade to your own drawings.

The third way to make this drawing is a combination of hatching and drawing. You can draw the the shapes you want and then instead of filling them with a hatch using the 'attributes palette' you can use the 'hatch...' tool usually found in the 'modify' menu.

Select the shape you want to fill > go to 'modify' > hatch... and then pick the start point and orientation of the hatch you want.

The advantage of this tool is that it creates a hatch which is then turned into lines.You can then easily change the colour and weight of these lines without having to open up the hatch dialog box.

The computer will never replicate the softly shuddering line of the pencil - it creates something new which has an especially precise and sharp line.