Welcome to The Helpful Art Teacher, an interdisciplinary website linking visual arts to math, social studies, science and language arts.

Learning how to draw means learning to see. A good art lesson teaches us not only to create but to look at, think about and understand our world through art.

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Friday, February 13, 2015

A garden of rhythmic lines

Illustration For Lady Of The Lake by Aubrey Beardsley

Rhythmic Line Design Instructions

1)   Start at the edge of the page or at a line you already drew.
2)   End at the edge of the page or at a line you already drew.
3)   When you get to a line you already drew, stop and go under it and then continue on the other side. DO NOT go over or through anything that you have already drawn. Going underneath instead will give your picture a beautiful sense of depth. It will also make your picture look like you cared about it and took your time.
4)   Repeat each line six times, putting each line next to the previous one. If you do this correctly your line designs will look like little roads. They will move together in a rhythmic pattern but they will not touch each other.
5)   Fill the page.
6)   Vary the width of your lines. If you put thicker lines in some areas and thinner lines in other areas your picture can take on a stunning 3-D effect.
7)   Take your time over your work and create something that you would be proud to hang up or to show your parents and teachers. The longer you take over your work and the more detail you include the longer people will take looking at your work and the more they will enjoy looking at it.

When you are done creating your rhythmic line design try drawing a magical imaginary garden, densely packed with different types of rhythmic, repeating lines.

Below are some of the imaginary gardens I have created using rhythmic line designs

 Here are some vintage illustrations of Edgar Allan Poe stories by the artist Harry Clarke. How many different types of rhythmic lines, patterns and textures does he use? When he repeats a line pattern over and over, it gives his drawing unity. When he uses many different types of patterns, lines and textures, it gives his pictures variety. To learn more about this artist, click on the link below:

Below is a fantasy drawing filled with rhythmic lines
 by Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

Illustration For Lady Of The Lake by Aubrey Beardsley

How to create a rhythmic line garden of your own:

Some animals for your garden: 
Create a spring snake using rhythmic lines



  1. So THAT's what you call your technique! It's magical!

  2. So THAT's what you call your technique! It's magical!

  3. Thank you so much for this blog! It's so helpful!

  4. Hey, I really like your Aboriginal Art paintings. Your artwork is so unique and genuine. I am following your blog from a long time. It is a great source for new painting ideas for me. Keep it up dear!