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Focal point Design. Line-tangles.

Principle of Design: Emphasis

by JuliannaKunstler.com

Learning objectives:

  • Use of Line as a focus Element of Art
  • Principle of Design: Emphasis
  • Abstract thinking
  • Critical thinking
  • Contrast
  • Emphasis
  • Repetition/Patterns
  • Eye-hand coordination


What can you use?

  • lines

What kinds of lines?

  • solid
  • interrupted
  • thin, thick, combined
  • curved and organic, and/or straight

What medium?

  • Ultra Fine Sharpie
  • and/or black ball pen for details

Principle of Design: Emphasis

We are using an Emphasis Design Principle in this assignment.

Click on the image to view detailes.



You will create a free-form design using lines as your primary Element of Art.

Free-form designs do not have a defined structure, but you still need to plan it.

Your design should include:

  • Emphasis - Focal point of the composition - use contrast: make it lighter or darker, more simple or more intricate, or different type of lines and shapes than the rest of the design.
    Focal point does not have to be in the center of the design!
  • Supporting elements can guide (lead) viewer's eye to that focal point - psychological lines
  • Design should be intricate, detailed, and dense
  • The design should fill the entire space

You will be graded on:

  • Use of Line Element - line quality, clean line weights, smooth, consistent lines
  • Craftsmanship, details, and aesthetic quality of the design
  • Clear focal point!!

Step 1

Start with a research.

Explore what's out there for inspiration and reference.

Look for "zentangles" and "zantangle patterns" as a start.

Note and copy patterns that you like. See if you can incorporate them into your future design.

Zentangles is a fancy and relaxing form of "doodling"

You can use these examples.

Step 2


You don't need to sketch out the entire design, but have the main layout concept.

Think where you are going to position your focal point.

Step 3

Use a ruler and measure a 1"" border on all 4 sides of your paper.

Use pencil to draw the lines.

Outline the border with a black pen.

Please note: use 2 measurement marks per side before you draw a line.

Step 4

You focal point should be contrasted to the rest of the design and/or the rest of the design should lead viewer's eye to it.

Start with the focal point. It does not need to be in the center of the composition.

Mark the main layout shapes (areas).

Step 5

Plan out the rest of the design. Use the image library that you saved as a reference.

Carefully start with bigger shapes, then fill in all gaps with smaller, more intricate elements.

For the most part, draw as you feel like. Lines and shapes can be mostly curvy and organic or angled and geometrical, or a combination of both. It's all about the mood and emotion you want to share.

You can fill in areas with a uniform design;

Design can change and evolve.

Make your patterns as detailed and intricate as you can.

Adding simple elements will help you achieve the result.

Add interest inside larger areas by creating "flowing" lines and elements.

Thin about organic/nature shapes and lines.

Fill in the entire space.

Adjust your designs to fit.

You can use a pencil for important lines before you start finalizing it.

Make sure you use very fine light lines that are easy to erase.