Project Objectives

Develop visual understanding of the differences between subject matter and form.

Intentionally transform a representational design into an abstract or non-representational design to convey Content.

Develop visual understanding of the Element of Design Line and its characteristics.

Project Description

In this project you continue to exercise ways to abstract from Subject Matter while focusing on Form by exploring variation within line to evoke content - feeling for the viewer. Short staccato lines may evoke the feeling of anxiety or aggression, where as long wavy lines may evoke a calm and serene feeling. We will experiment with line characteristics: thickness, length, value, and character to describe various emotive words.

Required Materials

Sketchbook 9" x 12" Drawing Paper 14” x 17” Bristol Board PITT Pen Set (Black) HB Pencil Eraser Ruler Rubber Cement

Step-by-step Directions

Step 1: In your sketchbook make a list of 10 adjectives - descriptive words that describe a feeling (for example: jittery, serene, anxious, rigid, ephemeral, etc.)

Step 2: In your sketchbook use your PITT pens to design two lines for each of the adjectives on your list. Experiment with each of your pen sizes (S, F, M, B). You may work with thick lines, thin lines, light lines, dark lines, lines that vary from light to dark, straight lines, zigzags, curving lines, organic/curvilinear lines, powerful lines, implied lines.

Step 3: In your sketchbook use the lines you designed as a reference and create at least 8 thumbnail sketches with the PITT pens that adhere to the following criteria:

Create a composition that consists of 3 different lines.
At least one line must touch the edge of the picture plane.
Experiment with horizontal and vertical compositions.
Refer to the Compositions to Avoid handout when composing your sketches.
Think about the shapes that your lines create in the negative space surrounding it.
Try having your lines over-lap.

Step 4: On 9” x 12” Drawing paper choose your strongest line composition. Re-create the composition on your 9” x 12” drawing paper. Using your HB pencil, lightly sketch in the basic lines. Then using your PITT pens, complete the composition. Use the various pen nib sizes (S, F, M, B) to create variation of line thickness and character. Your drawing should take up the entire page.

Step 5: Mount your final drawing on a 14” x 17” Bristol board using rubber cement glue. See How to Use Rubber Cement Make sure the drawing is centered on the Bristol board by creating guidelines with pencil before gluing.

Project Considerations

Is the composition non-representational?

Has a Visual Flow been established?

Is the overall composition unified and harmonious?

Does the design fully explore line characteristics within each of your three lines?

Does the composition utilize the entire picture plane?

Are there any shapes or negative spaces that are not activated within your composition?

Is the overall design conveying the intended content/emotion?

Has the final design been executed in a professional manner? Designs should utilize the designated materials with care, effort, and attention to detail. This includes proper mounting to Bristol Board.

CRAFTSMANSHIP is extremely important for each of your designs and is part of the grading criteria. Do not fold, bend, crease, smudge, tear your artworks! Always take great care when creating each design and then put directly into your portfolio case.

What is Craftsmanship? Care in construction and finishing; demonstration of skill and knowledge of processes; attention to detail. The quality of design and work shown in something that is made by hand.

Project Delivery

Wrote a list of 10 adjectives in sketchbook.
Created two lines in different PITT pen for each adjective in sketchbook.
Created 8 thumbnail sketches with three lines each based on the initial line characteristics and followed the guidelines.
Created final drawing of best composition.
Presented final drawing mounted on Bristol board.

Grading Criteria

This project is worth 5 points.
Project's Grade Rubric

Craftsmanship: The final design has been executed in a professional manner. The designated materials are intentionally utilized with care, effort, and attention to detail - cut, pasted, and properly mounted to Bristol Board.
Materials: Design utilizes only three lines. Required paper sizes and pens were used.
Composition: The composition utilizes the whole picture plane, contain a clear primary focal point and adhere to the rule of thirds.
Elements of Design: TThe design is abstracted from subject matter through the use of interesting lines characteristics and quality. A sense of space in the design is attained through size, overlapping, and/or linear perspective.
Principles of Organization: The design is asymmetrical and establishes an intentional understanding of unity (Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, Proximity), utilizes emphasis and focal point through the usage of contrast, convergence, isolation, placement and the unusual.

Related Presentations

Project 3 | E-portfolio

Self-Critique Questions
Artwork Documentation
Writing Assignment
E-Portfolio Notes

Project 3 | Resources

Project 3 Presentation on Line [PDF]


Compositions to Avoid

Mood Lines: Setting the Tone of Your Design

Project 3 | Related Reading

Design Basics: Line pps 140/2 [Line as Value] to 149 [end]

Project 3 | Sample Work

Project and some Student Samples appropriated from Prof. Mahr, Westchester Community College, NY