SAQA The Design Line – Day 1

Today I decided to experiment with 3 different line orientations: horizontal, vertical and diagonal.  I used a #2 pencil and some printer paper as they were handy. 

This first page has 2 horizontal lines drawn on it:


The first block I drew (at the top) was very geometric with semi-evenly spaced marks.  I crossed the border between line and shape by making the boxes and circles though.  It was really hard for me not to draw shapes.  

Having that straight horizontal line also made me want to stick with straight, horizontal rows.  This was constricting, as my brain felt it had to maintain order, instead of making freeform marks.

Realizing what was happening, I consciously tried using more curved lines in the middle section.  Again, the circle in the corner crossed over from creating lines to creating shapes.  My mind wants to make sense out of the lines.  That’s probably why it ended up looking vaguely like a landscape.  Here I thought  I was a free spirit.  Evidently, that is not true.

The bottom section proves that point.  Yes, it’s lines, but my right brain exerted itself and made me write words. 

It’s not easy for me to make random line marks.  This requires practice, and I’m a product oriented person, not process oriented.  The only way I’m going to work through this exercise is by making a game out of it.  I’ll work on the same page orientations everyday for a week to see if I can loosen up a bit.  It’ll be interesting to see what the last 3 pages look like.  If there is some progress, I’ll continue practicing this one exercise everyday for the rest of the month.

Back to the other 2 pages though.  Here is what the vertical segmented paper looks like:

Already I can see some differences.  The 2 side sections are more random line work.  Yes, the one on the left resembles a tree a bit, but the one on the right is just line after line.  The middle is a mixture.  And I did draw from the left to the right, so the closer I got to end of the page, the better I got at making just lines.

This is the diagonal paper:

I started with the squiggles on the left, went to the cross hatching, then the alternating directional straight lines, and crossed into shapes again with the triangles, followed by the writing and, lastly back to line work.

 The last section reminds me of a crazy quilt pieced section as I drew it with that in mind.   The only reason I included the words in one of the wedges was because I had included words in the first 2 pages. There’s my must “matchy-matchy”  desire asserting itself again.  I’ll break that habit with tomorrow’s papers. 

The horizontal lines are supposed to evoke a sense of calmness, the vertical a sense of strength, and the diagonal a sense of motion.  It’s spot on as far as I’m concerned, although making each wedge different on the diagonal paper makes you stop to view each section individually.  That is not necessarily a bad thing.  It certainly stops a person from looking quickly and then moving onto the next image.

It’s good to add to my knowlege base which lines to use when I want to evoke one of those emotions.  Already I’m learning and and it’s only the first day.

Tonight I’ll read a chapter in one of my reference books that focuses on line.  Hopefully, my brain will work on what I’ve read while I sleep and tomorrow’s papers will reflect the material.



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