Talking Points: Exploring Line Weight

A collection of imagery and sources designed to encourage children to consider how line weight can impact drawings.

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ages 5-8
ages 9-11
ages 11-14

Line weight refers to the thickness or thinness of a line. The weight of a line can be altered by applying different amounts of pressure to a drawing tool and by changing the drawing media.

Depth, tone, character and atmosphere can be achieved by exploring a variety of weighted lines in drawings.

When we look at the lines in drawings we may get an impression of what the artist was experiencing or what they are trying to communicate through their drawing. For example thinner lines can create a delicate peaceful atmosphere whereas thicker bold drawings can evoke a sense of power and authority.

Leo Gestel

Seagull (ca. 1891–1941) drawing in high resolution by Leo Gestel. Original from The Rijksmuseum. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

Seagull (ca. 1891–1941) drawing in high resolution by Leo Gestel. Original from The Rijksmuseum. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

Portrait of Jean Jaurès (ca. 1891–1941) drawing in high resolution by Leo Gestel. Original from The Rijksmuseum. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

Portrait of Jean Jaur&egrave’s (ca. 1891-1941) drawing in high resolution by Leo Gestel. Original from The Rijksmuseum. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

Taguchi Tomoki

Japanese vintage original woodblock print of birds and butterfly from Yatsuo no tsubaki (1860-1869) by Taguchi Tomoki. Digitally enhanced from our own antique woodblock print.

Japanese vintage original woodblock print of birds and butterfly from Yatsuo no tsubaki (1860-1869) by Taguchi Tomoki. Digitally enhanced from our own antique woodblock print.

Paul Signac

La Rochelle (1911) painting in high resolution by Paul Signac. Original from Barnes Foundation. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

La Rochelle (1911) painting in high resolution by Paul Signac. Original from Barnes Foundation. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

Jean Bernard

Standing pig in the grass (1805) by Jean Bernard (1775-1883). Original from The Rijksmuseum. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

Standing pig in the grass (1805) by Jean Bernard (1775-1883). Original from The Rijksmuseum. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

Hermann Esser

Ornamental fonts from Draughtsman's Alphabets by Hermann Esser (1845–1908). Digitally enhanced from our own 5th edition of the publication.

Ornamental fonts from Draughtsman’s Alphabets by Hermann Esser (1845-1908). Digitally enhanced from our own 5th edition of the publication.

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