Line Variety Painting

exploring_line_sample1One of the first projects I worked on this year combined crayon and watercolor: Line Variety Painting. Originally, my students were introduced to different types of line:

  1. Straight
  2. Zigzag
  3. Curved
    1. Wavy
    2. Spiral/Swirl
  4. Dotted (or Dashed)

As you can see, I had originally grouped wavy and spiral/swirl under curved because both wavy and spiral/swirl lines were created by repeating a curved line in some way. This was a hold over concept from when I taught middle and high school. I wanted to distill things down to the very basics and encourage my kids to do the same: break everything down into simplest parts.

Well, on the elementary level, many of my students understood the subcategorization, but some simply didn’t get it. And, so, I’m switching it up to list it simply as the six separate line types:

  1. Straight
  2. Zigzag
  3. Curved
  4. Wavy
  5. Spiral/Swirl
  6. Dotted (or Dashed)

This presentation will also help with the more straight-up teaching approach that is needed when you only see your students every six days (more when you factor in weekends, holidays, assemblies, and any other reason why schools will interrupt the Specials’ schedule).

In addition to learning the six types of line, my students also were taught the three line directions:

  1. Vertical
  2. Horizontal
  3. Diagonal

Breaking It Down

The steps of the project were straightforward enough:

  1. Class discussion covers the six types of line and the three directions of line
  2. Teacher hands out 9×12 watercolor paper; 4H or 6H pencils and erasers are given as well so students can sign their names and class/section number on the back
  3. Class discussion includes basic composition principles (spacing, line intersection, repetition, pattern, etc.)
  4. Students are given a series of directions that include a certain number of line types and a line direction for each type. After verbal directions are given, students draw the line using their pencil. For example: “Draw for me a vertical zigzag line. Now, draw for me a horizontal straight line…”
  5. Once the lines are drawn, students trace their lines using black crayon
  6. Class discussion of pattern
  7. Students are then directed to alternate between coloring in areas/shapes where lines intersect with either a color or a pattern until the whole piece is filled
  8. Class discussion of watercolor and wax resist
  9. Watercolor paint is distributed and students paint each area/shape with a different color

Next Year

exploring_line_sample2To nurture familiarity with non-fiction texts, next year I plan to create laminated cards each with different requirements for this project. I think four different sets of instructions will provide sufficient diversity. But, you could always come up with more.

Students will then be working next to a neighbor whose project will look different than their own. Each card in the series will need a unique identifier so I can grade the projects appropriately. Students will also have to put that number on the back of their project next to their name so I know if they were attending and following their directions.

Visit my Line Variety Painting page on Artsonia to see more of my student’s work!


One response to “Line Variety Painting

  1. Pingback: Pop Art Mitten Matching | The Poetry of Seeing·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s