I gave a webinar/workshop a few weeks ago where I spoke about the energy that you can create in your paintings using line and colour. Today I’ll talk about vertical lines.

What do vertical lines mean from an energy standpoint?

Here is an image that show vertical lines in a painting that I created.



A vertical line has greater energy than a horizontal line, as a horizontal line is the most peaceful and calm of all the line types.

The vertical line represents poise, majesty and dignity. Think of tall stately trees. Here is the image of the full painting, and indeed these particular lines do represent trees.


"Sunbeam Through Trees" Commissioned Oil Painting, by Lora Frost


In the first image, the lines fill the whole frame, from top to bottom. Because of this they appear to have a lot more energy and excitement than the second image where the lines don’t reach the bottom or the top of the image.

Also in the first image, the lines look straighter and closer together. In contrast, the lines in the second image are thicker and are slightly wavy.

To recap: to have a greater energy with vertical lines, use thinner lines that reach from top to bottom of your painting. To have a lesser energy and to capture the majesty of the vertical line, you can use thicker lines and you don’t need to use the whole canvas. You can stop your line before the top or bottom, or both!


What do you prefer? The higher energy of the first image, or the lower energy of the second image? Tell me in the comments below.