Hard and Soft Line Collage

Ellie in matchsticksLines – bet you’ve never really thought about them. They’re everywhere, and when it comes to mark making and drawing, lines are very important.

Letters and numbers are all made up of lines, and drawings are mostly a bunch of different lines – straight, curvy, fat and thin – all put together and often coloured in. Lines describe the edges of things, can show the direction of movement and an outline depicts the shape of a thing.

When you see a picture with a lot of vertical lines it feels energetic and pacey whilst a picture which has horizontal lines is calming. Diagonal lines also give a feeling of movement and by putting them all together you will create a really dynamic image. Skilled artists know how to use lines to help create the mood and energy they want you to feel in their work.

You can use all sorts of materials to introduce children to line. Obviously there are pens, pencils, crayons, chalk etc. But there is also collage and if you want to work on a large scale you can use ropes, scarves, ties etc. Outside you can use sticks, poles and even shadows to explore and discover line.


So with all this in mind I thought we could introduce working with lines using collage. I wanted some materials which were solid and couldn’t be manipulated and others which were soft and could be made into waves, circles etc.

Line collageI gathered together:
pipe cleaners
craft sticks
PVA glue

Ribbons and string on blue backgroundAs usual, the children could choose their colour of card and materials they wanted to use. Then they settled down to their gluing and sticking. They loved it. One little girl made three pictures and most children would stay with the activity for around 15 minutes.

Some of the mums and grans helped their children and one little girl just experimented with the glue – she even tried tasting it. Yum!

It is so important when working with children that the materials you use are safe to get on their skin, and even to be eaten, as you never know when that brush will slip into their mouth or they will lick their hands. And you know where you can buy the safe stuff? From us, of course!

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