Top Tips

CHOOSING YOUR PAINTING

  • A painting is a totally unique object. It is hand-made, the original work of an artist who has spent years learning how to make it; days, maybe weeks, and lots of care creating it. 
  • You are going to be in the company of this artwork for some time, so think about what you really like.
  • A painting should neither clash with your furnishings, nor totally blend in. Allow it to speak for itself, and be a point of interest.
  • It can complement the things around it, their style or statement.  It can relate to other points of colour in the room.  However, it need not be an exact colour match,
  • Your furnishings, even your home, may very well change before you alter your art collection. If the painting you like doesn't work with your room, it is best to change your room.
  • Paintings are the kind of unique purchase that stay with you for a long time, and even get passed down through families, charged with memories. 
  • When you have decided what you are happy to spend, look at paintings in that price range first.  If you like something that's a little larger or more expensive, consider asking the gallery for special payment terms, or whether they can offer lay-by or Art Money, a system of paying in monthly installments.
  • Know the dimensions of the space where you would like to hang a painting before you start looking.  When browsing through artworks, notice the dimensions supplied for each one. You will then know immediately whether it is suitable (without having to run home and grab a tape measure)..
  • As a general rule of thumb, a painting needs some breathing space around it, and ideally should take up half to three quarters of the width of your chosen area or furnishing arrangement.  Any smaller and it might look lost, any bigger and it might feel crowded.


HANGING YOUR PAINTING

  • Generally speaking, but not always, a painting is best hung in a way that centres it at eye level.
  • Try to have it fit in a relaxed way into its space, with some room around it. 
  • Where smaller works are concerned, they are great for narrower spaces, hanging over furniture, sitting on shelves or cupboards. They also work well arranged in a line if you have several the same size, or grouped in a pattern if they are varying sizes (known as a 'salon hang').  They may also be hung around larger works to give them balance. You will find lots of ideas for hanging on Pinterest.
  • Hanging systems can be a wonderful solution to arranging artworks. Suspending works from a rail just below ceiling level saves you making holes in your walls, and allows you to move works around very easily. They are also excellent for larger works, where you can suspend both ends of the painting from the rail, rather than from a central hook, adding stability and strength to the hang.


CARING FOR YOUR PAINTING

  • When travelling with it yourself for a short time, make sure is carefully wrapped, perhaps in acid-free tissue paper, certainly foam wrap or bubble wrap
  • When moving house, it should be boxed with good reinforcement to prevent damage from other objects.
  • When storing paintings on stretched canvas, take care that nothing is leaning against the canvas, or denting the canvas from behind. Wrap it well in a covering that is not likely to trap moisture or interact with the paint in any way. 
  • Paintings on stretched canvas, like stringed instruments, do not like changes of temperature, excessive dryness or humidity. All of these conditions can warp, swell or shrink the stretchers, and result in cracking or blemishes on the painting.  Bathrooms and kitchens are not ideal.
  • Paintings, especially oils, do not like constant exposure to sunlight or very bright lights, these can fade or alter the pigments in the colours. Try to place them in a position where there is indirect sunlight.
  • Where cleaning, repair, or re-varnishing is concerned, it may be best to take the painting to an expert. A light dusting with a very soft fan brush, if necessary, should be fine.
  • Take good care of your painting, and it will be a source of enjoyment for you for a very long time!