How Big Should A Painting Be? 

How do you know what is the right size of painting for the spaces you have available? Whether you are hoping for an attention-grabbing feature piece for your living room or a painting in a void space in your hallway, choosing the right size can be just as important as selecting the right piece. A painting that is too small will be dwarfed by the space it was meant to fill and a painting that is too large – assuming it of course fits on the wall – can be overwhelming.

Artists will create work in a variety of sizes depending on their styles that can vary from a large full wall-length painting to a small tea coster sized piece of work. Both of these sizes of painting have the power to change a space – so how do you choose what is the right one?

Bigger Paintings are Safer Than Smaller Paintings 

Often, people can be overly conservative with the size of painting they choose for a space on their wall. You may have measured a space and just decided anything that would fit within those dimensions will work, but buying a painting that is too small can avoid the painting having any real impact on the space. Restricting yourself to allow “space” for your painting will leave void gaps between the areas that the painting sits within. You know the maximum dimensions you can fit – so get as close to those dimensions as possible. There is little more anticlimatic about buying art than placing your new art piece on your wall only to discover its impact is neutered.

Consider the amount of furnishing within a room and how much of a presence a painting will need to have to fill the bare spots. Modern and contemporary art are particularly good choices when selecting a larger piece of artwork and abstract pieces will particularly capitalise upon the drama of a large piece of artwork.

Deciding between Portrait and Landscape Orientated Paintings 

The wall selected for the artwork will have the biggest influence on whether the painting should be wider or taller. A narrow, high ceilinged wall will complement a taller painting very well, while wider walls will definitely benefit from a much broader landscape orientated piece. Anything that sits above a piece of furniture, for example, should definitely be considered as better for a landscape painting, while a space that runs from ceiling to floor uninterrupted will appear even more impressive with a vertically orientated painting.

Allow your chosen art piece to fill anywhere from seventy to eighty per cent of the space you believe you have available. If selecting a piece that will sit above a sofa or a sideboard, try to make sure the painting is no smaller than three-quarters of the width of the furniture it sits above. 

When it comes to deciding the height to hang a painting – if it is above another piece of furniture then you can allow for a small border of up to a foot, but remember to not be so confined with ensuring there is a nice neat border around your artwork.

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