Welcome to Art School!

Today's Lesson: Line Art

by , posted on May 8th, 2012 in Art School, Arts & Crafts

This lesson is a great way to introduce children to new vocabulary words found in art. A very important and fundamental element of art is line, and this is a great exploration into what we can do with lines. Also, it’s a great introduction for little ones to tracing.

First you can begin the lesson explaining these two new vocabulary words. If they are upper grades (3rd-5th) you can have the children write down the proper spelling and definition, and maybe ask them for some examples of both.

For lower grades (K-2nd) I recommend clapping out the syllables as you say the words, and then ask them to look around the room and see if they can pick out something monochromatic (or one color).

For all grades I would brainstorm examples of different lines and have a piece of paper handy to jot them all down on, some things you might hear are spirals, dotted, curved, straight, circles, zig zags, waves, etc.


white drawing paper or thick white cardstock, pencil, scratch paper and black permanent marker

photos by Deborah Harju


Monochrome- in art when we say monochrome or monochromatic we are usually referring to something in black and white, but it can also mean using another color, as long as it’s just one color.

Line Art- this is an image or a picture of straight and curved lines that is usually drawn on a white background. When we create line art we are concerned with the shapes and form than the colors.

We are going to combine these two new vocabulary words into one lesson, we are going to make a monochromatic line art drawing. Quite a mouthful. But when your child is done, I assure you it’s going to be fridge and frame worthy!


Children will want to start with their paper vertical and have them place their non-writing hand near the top half. It’s good to have their elbow off the paper near the bottom. They will be using their pencil to slowly trace their arm and each of their fingers. For younger ones, this is a skill that isn’t easily acquired so let them take their time and remind them to keep their hand steady so it doesn’t move around the paper.

When they lift their hand off the paper you can ask them what they see, it should have a rough resemblance to a tree trunk and branches.


Next, have the children divide their branches with vertical lines from the base of their fingers down to the bottom of the paper, so now they have five little sections that are divided.

This is where we get to introduce all the different lines to our line art. Have the children choose five from the list they brainstormed earlier.

Each section will have one type of line in it. Choose one section at a time to work on before moving on to the next section.


Pretty soon you will have an image filled with different types of lines.

Next have the children go over all their pencil lines with permanent marker. This is where we can review what monochromatic means, and how our line art is on a plain (white) background and our single color is black.

When they are finished be sure they sign their name with black marker on the front. Here is the finished project for a 7 year old second grader.

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3 Responses to “Welcome to Art School!”

  1. Sandra Says:

    May 8th, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Great idea to introduce these concepts!

  2. Jennifer Cooper Says:

    May 9th, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Deborah, this is so awesome! I’m going to try it with my kids. They’ll love it.

  3. Stacie Says:

    May 21st, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Thanks for this post and this site! My children and I just completed this particular project (ages 9, 7, & 4.5). It was easy, straight forward, and they loved it!

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