Choosing the right sized painting for a room October 19 2014

This is a question most often asked too late, while you are out shopping at a gallery, an artist's studio or at an art event. This should be decided first, while you are considering an art purchase. If you have the correct size and format orientation before you shop, you will be less likely to make a significant mistake, saving yourself and the artist heartache and disappointment.

Think about the orientation first. Would a square, horizontal, or vertical orientation work better in the room? If it is a large wall, would a pair of squares make a nice grouping side by side or stacked rather than one painting? Do you prefer an unframed contemporary style with panels or deep gallery wrap paintings? Do you prefer traditional wide framing? If you will be framing the work, allow for an additional 4-6 inches in width for the framing in each direction when planning the size on the wall.

Now that you have made these decisions, it's time to test out your desires before you shop. Go to an office supply store and buy a roll of brown craft paper and a roll of blue painter's tape. Use a measure and pencil to cut out painting sizes (don't forget to add the size of the frame). Tape the paper where you plan to hang your painting, then step back and see how the size and format will look on the wall. Try more than one to make sure you choose the best possibility. Now you can shop for paintings with confidence and be less of an impulse shopper.