Leaping lines

Levels 3-6

Draw an animal with lines that leap off the page inspired by the bold use of line in Haji Abdullah Wakil Zadhah and his family’s storyteller chirehs.

Learning objectives

  • Identify how artists use different types of line to create effect
  • Experiment with the effects of variation in line width and density
  • Create a bold, linear animal drawing

Workshop instructions

Resources & materials

  • Grey lead pencil
  • Eraser
  • Thick ballpoint pen or marker
  • Thin ballpoint pen or marker
  • Paper of any colour or size
  • Animal photograph


  1. With a thick ballpoint pen or marker, draw the bold outline of your chosen animal’s head then add its eyes, ears, mouth and nose. Use your animal photograph as a guide.
  2. With a pencil, draw faint lines to create sections and guide where your thinner lines will be drawn later. In this example, guidelines have been drawn for the lion’s face and mane.
  3. With your thin pen, draw lines inside the outer sections. Alternate the direction of these lines as you draw each section. This example uses long straight lines.
  4. Now, choose an area of the face and draw within the guidelines using a different style of line. This example uses short, evenly spaced curved lines.
  5. Change the style of your line once again to draw specific features of your animal. Here, short staccato lines have been drawn in a downward direction within the ears and around the nose.
  6. Erase the pencil guidelines, wipe off the rubbings.