Art Sketchbook · EDCI 307A

Element of Design: Line

Line – Two points that are joined

Line has always been an element of design that I have enjoyed exploring, despite my general distaste for making traditional art. I partially attribute this to the types of doodles that I enjoyed making on my homework in high school, which I now know as zentangles, and my love of digital creation and editing which involves a lot of manipulation of lines.

An example of my love for line. I really like how this Minecraft Creeper turned out, made in 2014 by me, out of various shades of green embroidery thread.

Our introduction to the element of line in our art class was a discussion surrounding an art museum’s purchase of a very expensive piece, featuring nothing other than a few solidly coloured straight lines. We were asked to consider why a museum would pay such an exorbitant amount of money for a painting so simple that seemingly anyone could make. This is a question that I have asked myself time and time again, particularly during the summer that I spent 2 months living in Paris visiting many museums which featured a lot of art. Well it turns out that just like any other museum, art galleries also document history, curating the art trends that resulted from the inquiry of that time period. We followed up this discussion withdrawing our own lines to express being exuberant, despondent, quizzical, and elated.

Lines have feelings, too!

Next, we were prompted to draw the most interesting line we could think of. After doing this, we were encouraged to play around with how the thickness of the line could be manipulated to make a more interesting image. I am always a slow worker, so I didn’t finish stylizing my line before we moved on to the next activity.

Interesting line, work in progress

Our main activity for this class was an introduction to Pastel Batik. We started by choosing a piece of coloured construction paper, on which we drew another interesting line with chalk. We added dimension to ours lines by playing with thickness again, then we coloured around the chalk with oil pastels.


After we finished colouring our pages, we ran them under water to rinse off the chalk revealing the final product. I may have missed a step somewhere as my chalk is certainly less visible, but is not fully gone. This may also have been the result of chalk settling into the construction paper, having completed my piece over several days rather than in a single class.

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We also started exploring zentangles and henna hands at the end of class for those of us that had finished with the Pastel Batik (so, not slow me). I started on creating a zentangle during some down time of another art lesson, but I will include it here to keep consistent.

Zentangle, work in progress

The mentor artist(s) that I chose for the element of design of line is the all female manga artist group, Clamp. They have written and illustrated several popular manga (Japanese graphic novels), including one of my favourite series, Cardcaptor Sakura. The manga series was originally printed from May 1996 to June 2000 in the shōjo (aimed at young female readers) manga magazine, Nakayoshi.

Image retrieved from, 2016

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