During the last design class one of the assignments for students included the keeping of a lines journal. The excitement was great as most participants had identified line as the most important element of design.
Those readers who have actually taken classes with me know that I do not assign tasks that I have not explored myself. The lines journal I filled so many years ago was a lot of fun. The process of observing line in my daily surroundings became a virtual obsession and soon I recorded any line I encountered including… yes, you guessed it: Cracks in the sidewalk!
Today’s slide show features 24 pages of my personal lines journal ranging from experimenting with pencils, felt tip markers, wax crayons, water color paint dropped onto a piece of paper and blown across with a straw to create intersecting lines, as well as pen and ink.
To this day I particularly like my doodles! I would take hold of a fine tip pen and just draw a continuous line that intersected in several places while filling most of the page. I proceeded to fill in each section with marks. These include short lines, hatching and cross hatching, polka dots and anything that struck me as interesting at that particular moment. Give it a try – it is addictive and a lot of fun! I don’t even want to mention the word spontaneous!
Look around you: Where do you see line? Do you have a fence surrounding your yard? And what about the cracks in the sidewalk you navigate every day? Don’t step on these – draw them!!! Have you studied the I-Ching at any time in your life: Now there is a multitude of lines combined in countless ways! Weaving structures and textiles in general offer great study opportunities.
Explore nature: Are the tree branches against the sky not the perfect patterned intersecting lines? Do you have some shells in your collection of beach finds from your last holiday? Have a closer look and notice: … the lines. Open a magazine and find lines in home design, page layouts and so much more!
If you are feeling a little “blocked” or under inspired try a lines journal! Fill one page a day and see where it will lead. Oh yes, I nearly forgot: The sketchbook should be not larger than 5″ x 7 ” (12.5 cm x 17.5 cm approx.). And the most important instruction is to HAVE FUN!