Lines are basic. Lines are easy. Even people that think that they cannot draw are known to say they can only draw stick figures; which are of course lines! Line is an essential element of art and a great place to start with kids, no matter their age, because it is so unintimidating. Pointing out the element of line in art is an easy place to start!
As kid get older art can be intimidating. Making art can be something that makes kids clam up with an instant “I can’t.” I love introducing the elements of art to kids because it gives them an easy place to start. Everyone can draw a line, then another line, then a different kind of line. Before they know it they are making all kinds of marks; which is a great beginning to making art!
After being able to draw lines comes the next best thing about introducing line in art. And that’s being able to talk about art. Being able to identify a single element like line or color gives kids of any age a place to start when they look at art!
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Again with the books….
As always art and children literature are an easy connection for me. Look! Drawing the Line in Art by Gillian Wolfe is a great resource for older elementary through middle school. I love that it uses famous works of art and points out how the element of line is used. It’s a great book to spark a discussion even if you don’t read it word for word!
Line in Art…Easy!
After reading this and chatting for a bit to get some ideas generating we moved on to this little handout. This handout will eventually be a part of a book for my older elementary homeschool co-op art class. We’re working our way through the elements of art one class at a time!
I like to hand this line printable out without them seeing an example done by me or anyone else. Ideally kids will have some space around them so their ideas are their own! If they cannot see their neighbors work its amazing to see what unique ideas kids can come up with just given the directions to make lines with Sharpies!
I like to use only black Sharpies or pens in this exercise so the element of line is really isolated! The only differences they can make are in the quality and characteristics of the lines they make.
Lines can vary in length, width, and direction.
Start with lines that vary in length, width, and direction. This is a concrete idea that is easy for kids to grasp.
Lines have feelings…..
Once they have loosened up a bit move onto the idea that lines create feelings. This is a more abstract idea. It can help the kids to get this if you can let loose and be silly a bit. Lines with feeling can be fun to demonstrate on a large surface like a roll of paper, a chalkboard, or a large whiteboard!
If your kids feel comfortable it’s fun to do a little show and tell and take a look at the variety of lines that the kids came up with!
If you found this printable useful feel free to print, use and please share!
See my other elements of art printable posts here!