Explore Artists

Use Lines to Paint

Use lines to paintToday we visit two artists who use lines to paint portraits and figures. The names of these contemporary artists are Ephrem Kouakou and Ted Gordon.

Find a new style of painting where lines and patterns are used to create dimension to the painting.

But first a little more on the artists.

Ephrem Kouakou

Ephrem Kouakou (born 1962) is an African American artist who currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland. He uses bright colours to portray African indigenous figures. He then blends these African mystical and other spiritual motifs with western creative style.

Theodore Gordon

Harold Theodore (Ted) Gordon  (born 1924) is an artist from Kentucky, USA. He paints male faces which are often said to be his “self-portrait‘. His unusual lines on the faces bring dimension to the face. He is a self-taught artist who started creating his unique piece of art after his retirement. He leads a very simple life quite isolated from all the attention that he earned from painting these portraits. Unlike Ephrem Kouakou, he uses fewer colours and has many paintings that are black and white.

Art project

Here we leave the children to choose from drawing faces or full figures. See how the lines and contours give the illusion that something is round. This is particularly noticeable in Ted Gordon’s portraits. 

Use an A4 or even A3 size paper. The painting should be large so that you can space your lines. First, draw and then use a permanent liner to draw your lines. Here we are adding lines to give perspective. Use different lines and shapes to fill the entire area. Once the lines have be drawn, use paints to fill them. I have used watercolour to fill the figures.

There are different styles that artists use to paint portraits. Each of them has distinguishable feature. You should try to create your own style and technique to create the portrait.

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