Line Designs

6x + 5

It’s handy to have a few methods for creating designs at one’s fingertips. Three Tuesday evenings during the month of July at my local library I’ll have a chance to work with people on producing images that are part recipe, part personal. I’m describing the workshops as being focused on making patterned images based on curves and lines. Go ahead and click on the link in the first sentence here if you want too see some of the curves that we’ll be looking at. This post is about the lines

Starting with w parallel # lines
Starting with w parallel # lines Click HERE for PDF of this page

I’ve been working on this system of connecting dots. People will get this nearly blank paper and will choose a pattern of numbers to write across the top. In the image below the pattern 5,3,1,9,7 repeats 4 times along the top, then the numbers are connected with a straight edge to the corresponding numbers on the bottom. What results is a pattern of intersecting lines that can be colored in an infinite number of ways. Here’s just one of those ways (oops, note that the paper, and thus the numbers, has been turned upside down as I like the image better this way):


The drawing above shows all the criss-crossing lines, but if I zoom in on just one area the resulting image has a different sort of look.  In other words, something that looks like this (whose repeat pattern was  5,7,9,1,3) :

linear mod 6

….can be cropped to something like this:

Starting with two parallel line
Starting with two parallel line

My thought is that it’s possible to make many cropped images from the same “master” image, and thus end up with numerous designs that can stand alone, but that still go together.

I’ve been trying out different mediums to color these in with. Pencil, colored pencil, and markers all seem fine. I’m not having much luck with crayons or watercolors, but that may just be me. Here’s one that’s all pencil (the repeat pattern here is 5,3,1,9,7 : these numbers are visible at the bottom of the drawing, which I’ve turned upside down)

Pencil drawing
Pencil drawing

The image below is done entirely with markers. It differs from the others in that the spacing of the lines is twice as wide all the others here, and the pattern of numbers written across the top only repeats twice (3,1,5,1,7)


I’ve made so many of these, but they are all so different that I don’t feel like I’ve made enough. I’m interested to see what the participants in these upcoming classes do with this way of working.

number pattern 3,6,9,2,5,8,1,4,7,0
number pattern 3,6,9,2,5,8,1,4,7,0 turned upside down. To me. this image looks like two butterflies or hummingbirds on opposite sides of a flower.

I hope to be posting photos of images made by workshop participants during the course of July.

My plan, by the way, is to basically hand out the number patterns that I’ve come up with, so it really will be a connect the dots kind of activity, at least until the coloring begins. If anyone is interested in where these numbers come from and likes reading about linear equations, I put a post up on Google Plus to explain all.

Wish me luck in running a fun workshop!

7 thoughts on “Line Designs

    1. AS soon as I put the announcement up for it on Facebook the phone at the library started ringing! We were all (pleasantly) surprised by the response form this small community. I am looking forward to getting started with these workshops, and having photos to post of other people’s work.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi, we’ve been together on Blogging101 this summer and just now I came around to have a look at your blog. I love it! How interesting to use numbers to coordinate lines and then fill them in. I’d really like to start something in our local library too. It’s wonderful how so many people can work together with the same method and then create so many different variations.

    Liked by 1 person

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