The patterns of heatlines reported in this paper illustrate for the first time the true path of convective heat transfer through a saturated porous medium. Heatline patterns are reported for the following fundamental configurations: the boundary layer near an isothermal wall, the boundary layer near a wall with uniform heat flux, and the two-dimensional porous layer confined by two parallel plates. Emphasis is placed on the convection features that are being visualized for the first time by the heatline method, i.e., not by traditional methods such as the use of isotherms. It is shown that the heatlines of a flow in which the wall serves as heat sink are unlike the heatlines of the same flow with a wall that serves as heat source. The seepage flow with slip at the boundary is visualized by heatlines that leave a hot wall at an angle. The wall heat-flux distribution is visualized by the density of the heatlines that intersect the wall. The heatline pattern in fully developed flow of a pure fluid through a parallel-plate channel is also reported in order to emphasize that the pure-fluid pattern is not exactly the same as the pattern in the corresponding two-dimensional space filled with seepage flow through a porous medium. © 1994.