Sketching to Learn: Lines, Shapes, and Pattern Hunt

Sketching to Learn: Lines, Shapes, and Pattern Hunt

Looking at and replicating these essential art elements encourages careful, critical observation, and sparks curiosity about artistic decisions.

Grade Level:
Grades 3-5, Grades K-2
Subject Area:
Fine Arts, Visual Arts
Activity Type:
Engagement Activity

Sketching to Learn: Lines, Shapes, and Pattern Hunt

Lines, Shapes, and Pattern Hunt

Focus on the element of line first.  Find, or allow the students to find, a painting and ask them to draw just the different types of lines they see.  Ask them to look for straight lines, curvy lines, thick, thin, etc. Challenge them to find at least five different kinds of line.

For this exercise, only focus on the types of lines they see.  Ask them for simple examples of each kind of line. Share ideas about the different lines found by the group.

Next, encourage students to look at how lines connect. Are there any recognizable forms?  Look at how the lines form shapes. Are the shapes geometric or organic? Or both? Share ideas about the shapes and the role lines have in forming them.

Lines and shapes often work together in art to establish pattern.  Ask students to look back at the work of art and sketch all the patterns they can find.  Ask the following questions:

How does the pattern make the artwork more interesting?

What would the pattern feel like if you could touch it?

Can you create a new pattern using the same shapes and lines? How would you make it different?