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Single Line Drawings as Therapeutic Exercise

A single-line drawing from the sketch book I inherited from my great uncle Bert

I was first introduced to the concept of the single line drawing through the artwork of my late Uncle Bert. He was a painter and a jewelry maker, and although he passed away before I was born, I’ve always feel close to him because I grew up surrounded by his artwork. His single line drawings always had a particular affect on me. I remember as a young girl tracing the lines with my eyes, up, down around and seeing how the lines played with negative and positive space to create a figurative image, and finding the starting and end points.

I’ve found myself doing them more and more over the years. I find the exercise to be extremely therapeutic. When working on the single line drawings, ones hands are in constant movement and it’s impossible to hesitate–you just have to forge ahead.

I really enjoy doing faces. Below, watch me in action.


Here are some of the faces I’ve done this year. I like to go in after the basic single line is done and add additional lines with a thinner pen to add more detail. 
 

If you are a person that is very heady or if you’re feeling stuck in a creative rut, I find that the single line drawings can really help. Give it a try! All you need is pen and paper!

Justina Blakeney Justina Blakeney

Designer, artist, stylist & mama. Founder and CCO at The Jungalow. Crazy for color, pattern and plants!

4 responses to “Single Line Drawings as Therapeutic Exercise”

  1. rebecca says:

    I love your single line drawings on instagram! I would purchase these in an instant!

  2. Melissa says:

    Wonderful drawings and so crazy to come across this article this evening. I used to love doing these in high school (which is eons ago) and I was just daydreaming this afternoon that I want to start doing these portraits, first of my two boys, but also of others. I started thinking about where my old portfolio was to pull my old work out, and how I wanted to get some watercolors to add to the contour drawings. Just so inspired to see this post by you and the universe telling me to do it!

  3. Deb OReilly says:

    I love this Justina, thank you for sharing, keep me posted with more please
    Deb🙏

  4. Jean Gogolin says:

    Love, love, love! Going to start doing these again today!

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