Art Essentials: LINE/ Expressive Line Variations | Jennifer Moorhead | Skillshare

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Art Essentials: LINE/ Expressive Line Variations

teacher avatar Jennifer Moorhead, Artist, Art Professor, and Entrepreneur

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (25m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Creative Mind Set

    • 3. Horizontal Lines

    • 4. Vertical Lines

    • 5. Diagonal Lines

    • 6. Curvilinear Lines

    • 7. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

This class is for beginners to experiment with art without fear or feeling judged. This is a positive and motivational art class that emphasizes the intuitive creative approach to making art.  Experience a variety of fun and interesting exercises using expressive lines. These exercises are quick and easy while learning to draw using a variety of creative processes.

Discover the Creative Mind Set that will unleash the creativeness in you.  Take this class for a quick art adventure about learning the different characteristics of 'line' while learning to create art.

Art Skills you will learn:

Discover a variety of expressive usages of line

Explore a variety of creative processes

Experience art with your intuitive creative ideas

Art Materials you will need for the class:

(9” X 12”) Sketchbook or white paper (at least 10 sheets)

Pencil and/or pen



Tape (any kind)

Anything else….paints, markers, crayons etc.


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jennifer Moorhead

Artist, Art Professor, and Entrepreneur


I am confident you will develop and 'find' your creative artistic 'gift' through my unique fine art teaching methods. 

I incorporate the same fine art methods that I taught in college for over 34 years yet I modify the art exercises into fast-paced, easy to understand, and simple to create. The exercises are all 'hands-on'. This allows you to really explore and experiment with the art methods...while having fun! 



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1. Introduction: welcome to my class would be learning about line. This is a classic stuff to be fearful. You just could be starting with one. And I'm going to be teaching you about that creative mindset so that you can really feel good about what you're doing and releasing that to the creativeness security half I'm a former our professor of 34 years. So I've really seen the wonderful unleashing a creative minds. I designed this class especially for a beginner, to feel comfortable because everybody's created and I want to really feel at ease and released that wonderful usage Like you could sit back and watch this and I hope it really entices you to really want to participate. The projects are basically the exercise that you could be working materials that you will be meeting for. The class is anything. If you have a pencil, a paper you are ready to go. I've heard it many a times. I just can't drop Anybody can learn how to draw. Everybody is creative. You just need to start somewhere. This is a class to start. Come on and join in the journey of being very creative like it especially look at this next section because I'm talking about that creative mindset. No, this will ever giant sea wanting to create feel good about. 2. Creative Mind Set: so happy you're still here with me. And this is talking about that creative mindset. I really worked back to being that five year old to release that energy. When you're five, you could get a somebody give me a piece of paper to Cran and you just go. But somewhere along the line, somebody said, That's not right, you're not. You're going over the line. I don't like that Colors So? So it was better than you somewhere. Somehow you got this in your mind. You can do it. I want you go way back and think about being that created five year old. Even Picasso talked about it. If you go back to their, that's where all your creative juices are. The creative process has four stages, one being preparation to his incubation. That's when you get away from it and you're kind of process it. Your conscious and subconscious works together on that, and then it will just sit you. That's the illumination stage that see ah ha stage of If you ever wake up in the middle of night and figure something out like yes, because it's been processing and then fourth this implementation. That's when you want to actually, visually do it, put it there. Actually make the peace that you have in your mind in this class were solely going to be concerned with the first stage, which is preparation, and that's planting the seed. It's intuitive, and you will see me work through this stage in actual time. Although will be speeded up, I will be exploring a variety of methods. I encourage you to watch and also create your own intuitive thoughts on paper. The class exercises are all hands on activities with the objective of just doing making art with the sole concern of immediate processes. Were gonna be starting out with horizontal lines? Definitely be playing around on exploring with the different line variations. It'll be very intuitive. Next, I'll be working with vertical lines. I do a different processes. I'm constructing the piece. I will be deconstructing the peace and then going back and reconstructing it. So it's another thing to look at it just pretty interesting in the segment Diagonal lines. I'm really trying to explore and create really dynamic lines in the segment. Curvy linear lines. I intuitively worked with a couple pieces, then find one element I really enjoy and try to work it into another piece. So come on and join me and let's make some art. 3. Horizontal Lines: I'm glad your chosen to stay with think this segment is on horizontal lines. Horizontal comes from the word horizon horizon, meaning the line between Earth and sky. I have chosen some dry art materials to work with you. Welcome to choose anything that you want to work with, but let's just select one. I'm gonna go ahead with the graphite stick. Now let's start with your mind set. You can look all around June. You know there's horizontal everywhere. It's a very relaxing, calming line said you could be making so just be thinking about those nice lines and just breathe. Take a moment, just declare your mind and then we're going to begin drawing and just do it intuitively. Don't worry about what's gonna happen. There's nothing right or wrong. It's gonna be great. It's a process and concept. Just start with one line. Notice how I'm holding my graphite pencil, and also I'm any pressure to with this will great values that press down and as I lighten up will become lighter so I can control my value just with pressure. Just fill up the page for this exercise. If you'll notice I don't go away to the edge. You should cut that off in the end. Now we created calm using these horizontal parallel lines There three variations to blind and they are the with the length and the direction. In this exercise, I use my graphite stick with the same with across. Yet the only changes I made was the with in between the lines. This is a great exercise to play with. Try it. It's a lot of fun. I obscene on cut my edges, which is called cropping. I've used the same with with my art material that I was working with. But this variation of spacing is creating an interest in my artwork. Here are two exercises Although there are a little bit different, they still share the parallel lines long lines and it truly does the feeling of relaxing almost like calm waters. For next exercise, I'm choosing four different pastels just for their withs. Even though I'm introducing color right now, don't worry about the color. If you're very hesitant, just used try a to colors like red, yellow and blue. I'm right handed, but this exercise I'm working with my left hand. This will help me concentrate more on my drawing than trying to think about making something in particular. - In our last exercise for this segment, I'm working with oil pastels. This time will be the same with but shorter lengths. - Do shorter lines created another effective expression. You bet they do. Look how much movement it's created on the left side versus the right. Well, look at him altogether. You could really see the variances of expression as you look at each one of them. Although they have something in common, which is the horizontal line. How fun is this? So you've really served this creative process? I bet you banked some pretty exciting drawings here. I'd love to see him. You can put him up in the project gallery for me to view. Here's a few pieces just playing around. Keep creating. And the next segment we're going to be working with vertical lines and a whole new creative process 4. Vertical Lines: welcome to the section of artists, essentials, vertical lines. First thing I thought was great with this is that the inside of a church? Those long vertical lines really give the feeling of grandeur, elevating and straw. So let's go back to the mindset of just clearing your mind to be creative. Just take that moment to breathe. Think about vertical lines for this exercise. I want you to bring all the materials that you have that you wanna work with. Have him already. If you need a wet down your paints, everything that that's very easy and accessible for you to get to. We're also gonna be using our scissors or Exacto knives or that you want to cut with a swells. Your tape. I'm starting out my black magic marker only to give a basis and place into things. I'm going very intuitively. I know that things are going to be working on our short lines, thin lines, wide lines and just continually be building up the surface. Not only are we working with a variety of expressive lines, but we're working on a new creative process Right now we're constructing our art piece. We're going to crop the edges, cleaned it up and we're going to start to deconstruct it. I'm taking out areas, Said I don't find is interesting and I'm going to start putting them back. So I'm going to reconstruct them. I've turned it upside down, re lined it up, and then I'm going to take it back together. I picked out the color blue just to contrast the orange just to put a few lines in. So I have this white space left. I want to choose a color just to calm a muted in there, and I'm going to choose with a green one and fill it in. How easy was that? How relaxed and rewarding and exciting to create the space. We've learned a new process that was scraping and constructing the peace, deconstructing it and then reconstructing it again. In our next segment, we're gonna be working with diagonals and have another new adventure 5. Diagonal Lines: this section of art essentials is stealing with diagonal lines. Diagonals made out of a straight line that said it a angle instead of a straight up across meaning. It's not vertical horizontal. But if you think of a square and you cross the line between the opposite corners, that's a diagonal. Let's go back to our mindset. Think about diagonals. Think of how they move throughout the landscape and how they move in a room. Just breathe. Think about it. Clear your head and get ready to draw for this exercise. Let's begin with the dry art media. The goal of this exercise is to make Shar diagonal lines. I'm beginning with the graphite stick, since these lines air connecting, I'm actually making zigzag lines next time, using my magic marker and making shorter lines. Where it created here is something that's dynamic, exciting and creates movement started another one here used in ebony pencil, which is a very salt elated council, creating a lot of lines and going out and charcoal stick trying to give it some whip. And as I'm working with it, I'm noticing this is not working out for well, it's getting too messy. It's not really coming through the way I want. This one's not working. That's okay. That's part of the creative process. This is not wrong, Baia. There are parts of this that I like that it can use in another drawing, so it's definitely a good experience. Now I'm attempting another one and I'm going to start up, get with my ebony pencil and this time will be my graph. I I'm liking the angles because of I can start thinking about triangles through this one. I'm really loving these directional lines and I like the fact that I'm getting really small so them I'm getting patches. It almost looks textural. So it's playtime. I'm self critiquing right now. I'm looking at it. I wanted to be more dramatics. I'm gonna create longer, wider diagonal lines now is I'm converging some of these lines together. I'm making a variety of complex triangles. I could stop here, but no, I want to see what it looks like A little bit of color in there. I'm gonna just choose primary colors but instead of the yellow and replace that with the yellow green way. When I look at this one, it seems playing but it really exhibits a lot of energy and flow through it. So simplicity sometimes can really work effectively. Adding color to this really changed it in a way that the triangles become a shape versus just a triangular line. So it really takes away from really the essence of what I was working on. Interesting. But I still feel the one on the left is a lot stronger. A diagonal line definitely does exhibit motion energy and those triangles. If you're not experimenting, what happens? Your work becomes the same. You begin to do the same kind of image res. This is a process of to get you out of there, get what's really working inside your subconscious and really letting that energy a creative intuitiveness just explode again. I'd love to see your work posted up in the project gallery and next we're going to be doing curvy linear lines 6. Curvilinear Lines: this segment is on purple in your lines. Turbulent airlines also referred to as organic or biomorphic lines very flowing. Third, formal perv lines like those often found in nature have a photo here of my can't, which I think is really reflective of those curvy linear lines. They're very soft. They're flowing there, calming. So this is the time to just breathe and start thinking about curvilinear lines. I'm gonna have you choose five different sizes round shapes that you can trace around and just draw them randomly throughout your page. Materials I've been working with on this drawing it's gonna be ebony pencil, graphite stick and wash. I'm gonna let you just view it at the end of my drawing. Then I'm going to talk about I'm going to start introducing this drawing as it progresses along. You start with the one on the left, which is very flowing. I really like the magic marker even how it does flow as it moves across the paper. And then we add the egg wash to the 2nd 1 in the middle. And in this progression, it's starting to create a lot more movement in there because of the thick and thin lines. And then, lastly, I've added more of the smaller lines just to create a little more texture with these lines and some variety is this part of the right hand quarter, the last one? I'm really not considering any kind of composition at this time, because I'm just dealing with lines and trying to be very expressive with them. I really enjoy what's going on here. And if I even take it a step further and blow it up here, while it's really something that I like, what's going on, especially in the curve towards the sun, er that it's thin and then it goes thicker and it really gives us a nice movement. And my next drawing, that's what I'm gonna work on in this creative process, have been working on its. I've taken something that I've like that I played with, and then I worked with little more. This is really the essence of it, and I'll just show you something a little bit different. What will do with this one? I'm turned it sideways. What a difference it makes it Now it becomes almost figure tip that it looks like there's a human forms in there and to the right of the other two images. They've been cropped to really get a different viewpoint. And as you progressively go along, even going into the highlights of areas that you really love and start to cut these out if they're not permanent collections of yours and to started art journal or a sketchbook with them is great. To have the actual piece, you could just cut it out and just start forming something so that you have a resource. Go back to that's all yours. That's what makes being creative so exciting. 7. Final Thoughts: way. You have to admit that was fun. You look at all the things we've explored, and that's just with line. I think a lot about the classes in our essentials, which are are elements as well to design principles. Check out my profile age classes I teach. I hope to come back and enjoy those. Don't forget about putting your project in the project gallery. Love to see your work, what you're doing. And there's classes that really a tune with this one and two that I could think of. Offhand is gesture as well as contour. So go in there and keep exploring. Keep drawing. Be creative, Thanks.