Lines express moods

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Can a line be expressive? It’s the game we played with the 6th graders wondering if it was possible to express sensations, moods or emotions with the simple use of LINES. We first tried to understand if lines are capable of communicating sensations to us: looking at some works of art, we tried to find common moods. We agreed together that the HORIZONTAL lines for example convey a sense of peace and calm, while the VERTICAL ones communicate a sense of ascent, energy and power. The OBLIQUE lines convey a sense of agitation, movement, dynamism, while the CURVED ones are more relaxing and soft.

We looked at many works of art and movie posters to understand how artists and graphic designers use LINES to capture our attention and COMMUNICATE moods. We too have tried to communicate moods and convey sensations using only lines, and together we have found many adjectives for our EXPRESSIVE lines. Here some example, but you can find many more!

  • happy line
  • smoky line
  • sad line
  • tired line
  • jumping line
  • furious line
  • drunk line
  • fragile line
  • dangerous line
  • capricious line
  • bored line
  • dirty line
  • soft line
  • angry line
  • horrible line
  • nervous line
  • scary line
  • tidy line
  • undecided line
  • explosive line
  • mad line
  • repetitive line
  • swirling line…

This exercise was a lot of fun and together we understood how it is possible to communicate without recognizable drawings and without words, with a universal language that is understandable to all which is that of art. Here below our expressive lines: I wrote the translation but you can guess the mood even without words!

explosive, jumpy, indecided
vomiting, angry, fragile
drunk, liquid, dangerous
repetitive, melted, smoky
nervous, soft, tidy
hairy, noisy, swirling
powerful, dirty, tired
mad, cloudy, horrible
explosive, rocky, electric

Here the sketchbook page with the exercise. In the worksheet we found some common mood for vertica, horizontal, diagonal and curved lines. The title is “EXPRESSIVITY OF LINES – THE LINES EXPRESS FEELINGS

  • VERTICAl lines express tension, powerful, ascent, energy…
  • HORIZONTAL lines express calm, peace, boring, slumper…
  • BROKEN and DIAGONAL lines express action, movement, dynamism, strenght…
  • CURVED and WAVY lines express softness, tenderness, happiness, relaxation…


Small museum of fallen leaves

Ceramic 2022


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