This week I have been looking at lines. There are so many different ways to use lines – they can be very expressive and present, they can just hint at something, they can be incredibly detailed, they can be representational and they can be abstract.


Look for and sketch linear patterns in things around you
Draw a portrait with one continuous line
Use a line as the basis for a map of your day
Experiment with using cross-hatched lines for shading


Here are some lines that my mum has found around the farm. She’s doing the sketchbook challenge using her camera as well as her pencils.

lines collage


I love how expressive lines can be and how making them lighter and darker can give real depth to a picture.  Intaglio printmaking processes are a great way to transfer pen and ink or pencil drawings into prints. In etchings, you can use all sorts of techniques to brighten areas of the plate, but when I make drypoint prints using Granny’s mangle I try to keep my designs as simple as possible and use cross-hatching to add areas of shadow.

Each fine line you make will collect ink, and so by putting lots of these lines together you end up with darker areas on the plate. You can also experiment with light and shadow by leaving some of the ink on the plate before printing, or by using talcum powder to remove it completely.

I’ve been working on a series of Drypoint prints based around nature and animals. I love trying to capture the different textures of fur, feathers and scales.

Sketchbook Challenge, Line


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