Lovely Lines in Art

Lines in design, art,

I love to see a balance of directional Lines in my compositions, photos, drawings and watercolor paintings.  The 3 directional lines are: Horizontal lines, Vertical lines and Diagonal lines. See if you can find these in the 3 images I’ve featured.

Lines in design, art,
Cobwebs and Lines


Design Element Lines

After the previous post on the watercolor  3 basic types of Edges and creating depth,  I was inspired to jot down some notes on the 3 major types of Directional Lines for design.

Each of the 3 major types of Lines serve a distinct function and can be a great use in your compositions if you plan for just a second or two.

Wonderfully expressive and useful,  Lines can become one of the artist’s  greatest tools.




Vertical Lines in Design  

These are upright lines which will create a bit of energy to the image. They are great to use to create some tension and break up a design that is too heavy on the horizontal side.

In the landscape, verticals could be…. telephone poles, trees, skyscrapers, waterfalls.

If done too repetitiously throughout the image, Vertical Lines can become very ‘imprisoning.’

Take care not to overuse them and soften the edges,  especially near the perimeter edges of the paper.

This will help bring the viewer’s eye back in to your artwork.   Very Important. 




Horizontal Lines

Lines that direct your eye in a horizontal movement are calming.  They promote peacefulness, serenity, relaxation.

If you are wanting to unwind…. choose a dominantly horizontal design to reinforce the feelings of calm and relaxation.  Horizontals could be…. ponds, rivers, lakes, oceans.

Do add in a small diagonal or vertical,  just so that the viewer doesn’t fall entirely to sleep!

lovely,bold lines in design,
Bold Lines




Diagonal Lines 

These are highly energetic, and say “Lets GO!”

They need to be placed thoughtfully. Sometimes in an expanse of flatness to offset the all that energy is a good balance. Often just in small doses. Less is more.

In a landscape, a diagonal could be … a Mountain, a sky/clouds, tree, branches, or rooftops.

Try to have the diagonals end before the edge of the paper  to keep the viewer’s eye in.


Diagonal lines will lead the eye, somewhere.

Be careful it isn’t out of your picture and over to another artist’s painting hanging just next to yours.  Their painting, could be the one sold instead!

It happens.

Well,  it happened to me one time. That artist thanked me too!




teal lovely lines,
Teal Lines


Sometimes you can utilise the format of the canvas as your vertical or horizontal, if needed. I’ve often done that.

Usually,  I try to include  my 3 directional lines within the image where possible though.




Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at and,

20 thoughts on “Lovely Lines in Art

    1. Thank You, Sharon. Your work is always very skilled and masterful with Lines! We each, have a natural leaning I guess. It is interesting. maybe its time for me to Play with Lines for a wee bit. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. very interesting. I need a book from all your tips. Wonderful examples, dear Debi. Have a nice day, we have snow and mud, it’s dark grey…. sigh

    Liked by 1 person

      1. yes, you could paint a picture with me screaming, because I hate snow. But I was in my thrift shop today and found another autographed printing from my favorite artist which was supposed to cost Euro 69,00 and I got it for 15,00! I really love it and it’s worth much more.:)

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Lovely creative digital design skills and implementation; wonderful early onset risk taking philosophy; delightful creative balance; productivity; …. your brilliant new SHOP!
        well, I could go ON you know!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh what an interesting find your blog is > I’m always taking in the different lines and how they can create dynamics. It can stop me in my tracks anywhere and inspire me to take in the scene and maybe take a photo. I am a great fan of invisible lines if that makes any sense. Right >>> Time for a wander around your blog! Cheers Debi!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love invisible lines. I call them in class, ‘inferred lines’ so they can relate better. Fun lines. Thank you Andy for stopping in and for your wonderful comments! Cheers, Debi

      Liked by 1 person

    1. my pleasure and I’m pleased that you liked my TEAL image 🙂 I’ve been thinking of having an entire Page, devoted to nothing but cobalt teal blue. lol Wishing you a marvellous weekend Eva!

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