What happens when you place a pen, a pencil, or other drawing tools on paper and complete a full piece of artwork without lifting your tool from the paper? Students in Mrs. Florine's Drawing 1 class found out last week as she introduced them to the continuous line technique.
According to Mrs. Florine, "I introduced the continuous line technique to my Drawing 1 students on Monday and started them off with objects. Tuesday, I challenged them a bit more by asking them to try self-portraits using mirrors". To enhance the lesson even further, a local artist Nikki Ponce, completed a lesson with the students.
Nikki began by having students sit across from each other in class and without looking at the paper, draw a portrait of their peer sitting directly in front of them. Students were also not permitted to remove their pen from the paper until they had completed the portrait in the allotted time frame.
After the peer-to-peer portraits were completed, students were then given mirrors to use the continuous line technique to complete a self-portrait.
There are multiple benefits that the continuous line technique brings to students. Florine states, "Using this technique is a great way to improve hand-eye coordination. As our world turns more to screens and kids grow up tapping on tablets rather than manipulating things with their hands during play, their fine motor skills suffer. Continuous line drawing helps students see the shapes, curves, and details of things better. When we see better, we are able to draw better. It helps students develop muscle memory for the physical movements of line and mark-making that will benefit them in all of their artmaking going forward."
Florine reminded students that it is ok for their drawing not to be perfect or even anywhere close to perfect. She wants them to appreciate the funky-looking drawings because according to her, "they know the process that was used to create them."
In closing, Florine says, "It's pretty amazing that a person can draw anything resembling a human being when they aren't allowed to look at the paper and they have to use a single line to do it."