Fundamentals of Art and Design 3(1+2)

Lesson 02 : Elements of art


Line is a mark drawn with a pointed moving tool. It has width as well as length, but the width is very small compared to its length. Line is an important element of art in home planning and furnishing. Lines have positive emotional significance, depending upon their direction and their quality. Line can be horizontal, vertical, dotted, zigzag, curved, straight, diagonal, bold or fine. Lines can show direction, lead the eye, outline an object, divide a space, and communicate a feeling or emotion (Fig.2.1).

Effect of line:

Lines can communicate an idea or express a feeling. They can appear static or active. Lines define objects. Lines may be used to create harmony or contrast as the need may be. They compel our eyes to follow them.

Types of line and their effect in interiors:

  1. Vertical lines
  2. Horizontal line
  3. Diagonal line
  4. Curved line
  5. Zigzag line
  • Vertical lines:
  • Vertical lines are masculine in effect which suggest life, activity and dignity. Vertical lines create a feeling of height. The vertical pictures, table lamps are the examples for creating/addition of vertical lines in interiors. (Fig.a)

  • Horizontal line:
  • Horizontal lines naturally suggest rest or repose, steadiness and duration. Low lying table, sofa, bookshelves etc, are the examples for horizontal lines in home furnishing. (Fig.b)

  • Diagonal lines:
  • Diagonal lines suggest decided movement and force. In the home, they appear in staircase and in the diagonal plaids of fabrics or patterns on wall papers. (Fig.c)

  • Curved lines:
  • Curved lines are graceful, feminine in effect and are subtle, carefree, youthful and flexible. These lines are found in the tie back curtains, graceful carvings of furniture, table lamps etc. In architecture, curved lines are found in doorways, circular designs at ceiling. (Fig.d.)

  • Zig-Zag lines:

A wide variety of lines are used to create different effects. These lines are forceful and also sometimes disturbing.

In interior decoration straight lines are considered intellectual rather than emotional, classic rather than romantic and sometimes severe and masculine. Curves are used to achieve a more joyful, subtle and rich effect, but they must be carefully designed and well used or they tend to produce an appearance of weakness and instability. Diagonal line is too active to be used much in the home, for they express decided movement and restlessness.

So, a variety of lines are used in interiors to create different moods and effects depending on the aim and purpose of the users and designers

For eg: to create a masculine effect more of vertical lines can be used. Similarly to create feminine effect more of curved line can be used with curtains and draperies arched doorways etc. To create special effects for movement and direction the zig-zag lines can be used with a good proportion of colors.

Last modified: Saturday, 11 February 2012, 6:22 AM