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From: Bunki Kramer (bkramer_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Mar 02 2002 - 12:31:46 PST

from: Bunki Kramer (
Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Road
Danville, CA 94526
art webpage -

> Has anyone used the idea of lines and direction in
> their lessons? What have you used to get across this
> concept? This is for a grade 6 class.
> I am thinking of using a one point perspective lesson
> to show how the lines lead your eye in the direction
> of the perspective lines??

I discuss line and direction with my 7th grade rotations. I talk about the
three main directions...horizontal, vertical, diagonal...and show them on
the overhead by making small quick a landscape for
horizontal (smooth, even, calm feelings), tall buildings for vertical
(strong, concrete, stable), and an abstract quality of diagonal lines
(showing movement, carrying the eye around the picture).

I step over to the print of Picasso's "The Tragedy". I talk about
monochromatic coloring and what was happening in Picasso's life as he was
painting this pic. We discuss his use of all three line directions in this
painting and how they connect the three figures together. We also talk about
the lines used with "body language" signals in each figure to give the
feelings of separation and aloofness. We explore what Picasso might have
been trying to get across in his use of line direction.

I go back to the overhead and discuss ALL the types of lines...thick, thin,
spiral, parallel, etc. They are taking notes.

Then I show them on the overhead how to make ribbons by drawing a slow,
curvy line, decide how thick I want to make the ribbon at its widest, and
then add another line beside the first one without getting any thicker than
the thickest part but crossing over many times.

We practice our initial this way quickly. I introduce (also quickly) a hint
of ribbon shading.

We discuss the rule of thirds (done previously in 6th grade) and I ask that
they begin their design at one of these four points.

Assignment is to use a template and make a rectangle (which fits the paper
and leaves a nice border). They must use all types of lines at least twice,
they must show all directional lines at least twice, they must use ribbons
at least twice. The design will be non-objective. Somewhere in their design
they MUST include the word "LINES" They must go outside the rectangle at
least once on all four sides (thinking outside the to incorporate
"boo-boos"). There should be no object/space bigger than a fist. All this is
inked in with thin black markers.

The final step is to choose from two techniques to finish...completing it in
ink textures filling up at least 75% textured black (not solid black) OR
coloring with colored pencil. If they choose ink, it must be clean and pure.
If they choose colored pencil, they must try to accomplish it in a certain
way...coloring lightly in the middle of each shape and then making it darker
around the edges of each shape to give it visual form with a slight relief
appeal. A good all-round lesson that hits many points IMHO.