Expressive Line Design ADVANCED VERSION 2.0

Part 1. Drawing and Arranging the Composition…

Check each off after completion!


_____ 1. CHOOSE A theme to connect your piece. Avoid random craziness and keep things connected. Examples; love of nature, Raleigh, Citylife, Underwater, Floating, Alice in Wonderland, Comic books, Animal lover, Feminism, Humanism, etc. Write your theme down___________________

Use this to guide your images and decisions.

______2. Decide if you want your picture to be vertical

               (portrait) or horizontal (landscape).

_____ 3. Create TEXTURE by rubbing a portion (about 1/3)

               of your paper on a textured surface (use bricks,         

   concrete, shoe tread, shutters, a garbage can,                

   crumple it up, etc…)

_____ 4.  CREATE a Ground with any media, could be fade, maybe just add a little movement, variety.

_____ 5. Using the Rule of Thirds. Locate the  perfect spot for a focal point and mark out a shape, organic or geometric. Make the shape about 7 inches across

_____ 6. Choose from the following examples, OR use an image that connects to your theme. Feel free to google your own images. This is the FOCAL POINT, the MOST important part of the picture. MAKE IT ROCK N ROLL        

   Animal or human face



_____ 7. Draw 3 expressive lines/shapes that lead the eye to the

               focal point. These could just be wavy lines… or they

               can be Natural forms; flames…waves… cracks… Anything

               that will bring attention to the focal point.

Natural forms -examples



_____ 8. Draw a Horizontal Line somewhere empty.

               Repeat this step if you feel it would help to BALANCE

               the composition… any length is fine. Horizontal lines

               create a calming effect. Maybe this is a horizon line.

_____ 9. Draw one (1) Vertical line that breaks the picture  

               plane. (This will add formality to your design) Make the vertical line into a time-telling device. Repeat if you desire or feel it is needed.

 timetelling device examples


_____ 10. Draw some diagonal lines, to add a feeling of

               action and movement. Add variety to your picture by

               using different lengths. Make the diagonal lines into a connective device like; hair, chains, rope, ribbons,clasps


_____ 11. Repeat #10 but with curved lines in an empty area, to add GRACE. Wrap your connective device around/through other images.

_____ 12. Draw 5 circles of progressive sizes. (These may

               be added to further enhance your focal point if

               needed) Show overlapping of shapes! These may turn into something that aligns with your theme or just be background elements.

_____ 13. In an empty area of the picture show DECAY


Repeat the decay on the opposite side.

_____ 14. Check the composition! Give yourself a Self-

               Critique by asking; ___Is the design balanced?

               ___Does it have a Strong focal point? ___Too full?

               ___Too empty? ___Have variety? ___Look original?

               ___Show harmony? ___Does it even make any sense?


Do Not Go On Until All 14 Steps Have Been Completed

Part 2. Adding color, value, media, and style!

You must use AT LEAST 4 different media.

_____ 15.Choose a Color SCHEME; monochromatic, analogous, neutral,  full color spectrum, complementary. Show a full tonal range of value within color.

 _____ 16. PRACTICE  media in your book where needed, make smart decisions about which media goes where.  For example colored pencil on a small detailed object, or paint where you need a large soft fade.

_____ 17. Color or add value to your focal point using any media YOU like.Choose colors that will stand out from the rest of the


_____ 18. Achieve color balance by making sure that a color

               is used at least 3 times throughout your picture, ADD

               WHERE NEEDED. The only exception…Do not need to

               duplicate the color of the focal point!

___19.  Don’t forget cast shadows, show depth


Strong focal point                                      15 possible  _______

Variety of line and shape                           15 possible  _______

Color theory, balance of color                  15 possible  _______

Value, full range of light & dark                 15 possible  _______

Originality, personal style, theme         15 possible  _______

Media Mastery                                        15 possible  _______

Work Ethic                                                  10 possible  _______

Total Possible = 100                        Your Grade = _________

Web presence & resources;

For an electronic version of these instructions and for the slide show of examples go to www.enloeart.weebly.com and click on

 teacher resources.

For questions email me at tklenow@wcpss.net

Website for personal artwork; www.trishklenow.com

Instagram #trishklenow




Trish Klenow has over 17 years of experience teaching art.  She has won three awards in art education and has been published in School Arts Magazine.  She regularly shows and sells her own artwork.  She resides in Apex, North Carolina and teaches art at Enloe Magnet High School in Raleigh, NC