This project is an exploration of line character. It will help you understand how different media can produce lines with varying personalities. Begin by dividing a large piece of paper into 16 equal parts. Using a pencil, sketch out a balanced and unified composition structured around one continuous line that goes through all of the 16 boxes or areas. The result should be an organic shape or design. Go over your line using at least two types of media (e.g., a brush and paint, a B lead pencil, a pen and ink, charcoal, or a marker) and add different types of line (e.g., horizontal or vertical lines drawn using a ruler, dotted or dashed lines, curved lines, or implied line). Use only black and/or gray media, and try to be inventive with your use of line (figs. 4.27, 4.28, 4.29).

There is an approximate heart shape outline made up of trees, circles, a thick line, and the text decay. There are a pair of scissors and a thin dog bone shape. There are curved lines. There is a thick curved line among small dots.
Figure 4.27 Student Work: Sarah Navin, Line Character Collections, 2016.
Navin uses script and reversing the traditional black line on white background in here study of line character.
Meyers square drawing consists of four rows of four squares each. The squares have shapes such as coffee stains, a toothbrush, broken eggshells, a bar code, a carrot with leaves, flowers, leaves, a honeycomb, cream biscuits, a bottle head, and a water drop.
Figure 4.28 Student Work: Jessica Meyers, Line Character Collections, 2016.
Meyers uses a black square with a white line to create a focal point. She also uses coffee cup stains in the upper left portion of her design as a unique line element.
Julies drawing shows four rows of four squares each. The shapes in the squares are bead chain, curves of different thicknesses, parallel horizontal lines, parallel vertical lines, and other dotted curves.
Figure 4.29 Student Work: Julie Crowe, Line Character Collections, 2016.
Crowe reverses her line color from black to white is several boxes within the composition. She develops a rhythmic design that uses the entire page effectively.


In The Studio: Critique a Sample Student Work

Critique one of the student examples in the textbook and answer the following questions:

  • How unified is the composition in the presented sample works? Does the overall form imply a specific type of movement/dynamic?
  • How are the different types of line predominantly interpreted throughout the image- through material, mark-making, or both?
  • Are there contentious transitions between the various types of lines from box to box? Are the transitions between boxes essential to the image?

Your instructor will subsequently provide comments on your critique and evaluate you using the rubric attached to the exercise.

In The Studio: Submit Your Work

Submit your In the Studio piece to your instructor. Your instructor will advise you on their preferred submission method.

In The Studio: Presentation and Group Critique

In this assignment, you will both present your In the Studio assignment and critique your classmates' work.

Your instructor will organize groups in advance, and you will coordinate when you will meet. If you are the first person to start the recording, please use the group name provided by your instructor in the title of this recording session so others can join easily.

When you present your work, be sure to answer the following questions:

  • Did the principles of composition discussed in Chapter 3 inform the overall gesture of your dominant line? If so, what principles were emphasized the most?
  • Where did you draw inspiration from for your various types of lines? How did the various types of materials inform your mark-making? Was texture utilized through rendering or through the use of material?
  • How does the quality of your line work convey certain feelings/emotional responses in yourself? In your viewer? How can the qualities of line conveyed in your image inform future images?
  • When critiquing your classmates' work, be sure to address the following questions:

    • Does the student create a unified composition throughout the image or are the boxes highly segmented? Do the different types of line work in each box interact with the surrounding types of marks in the surrounding boxes?
    • Do the types of lines used work to support the overall flow of the composition and keep your eye moving throughout the image?

    Your instructor will subsequently provide comments on your critique and evaluate you using the rubric attached to the exercise.