Do’s and Don’ts of artwork hanging
Hanging artwork may seem a tough task, but as we’ll see it is easier than most people think. Simply follow the rules:
- First, and most important – hang at eye level! The eye level (your horizon) is the distance between the floor and your eyes. Depending on the physical characteristic of the nation you belong to you can use different eye level, from 57″ to 62″, and even less or more, if necessary. Pick the distance you think is appropriate and and align all of your paintings with it. It should coincide with the vertical line that divides in half the painting. Don’t worry if the artwork you want to hang differs in size – just make sure the half-height line lies on the eye level and your artwork collection will look orderly.
- Choose the star of the show. If you have a favorite picture you should hang it on a central place to draw attention.
- Leave proper space between the pictures. Artwork on a similar subjects can be very close to each other, while unrelated works should have enough space “to breathe”. Consider frames – framed artworks naturally draw the eye and can stand closer to each other than unframed ones. Also, pay attention to dark corners – if you put works there you should leave more room between the (about twice as much as if they were on a bright wall).
- Don’t put portraits in the corner - it will look like you’ve chased the person away and want to get rid of his/her image. If you do, just don’t hang that picture.
- Lighting is important to better display artwork. But it should not be too bright, as it may be reflected by the picture, produce glares and even dazzle the viewer.
- Balance is everything – try to arrange works in a balanced way. Don’t pile everything on a single wall, it will “weight it down” and will disturb harmony.
- Size matters – don’t put large picture on a small wall or the contrary. If you don’t have a big enough painting to hang on a big wall, you can group several smaller artworks in a group – for example 4 small same-size paintings in a four-square or 1 big and 2 small paintings on each side. If you don’t have a big enough painting you can use a large mirror.
- Avoid unnecessary holes by planning your arrangement. You can use simple paper patterns with the size of the artworks you have and find the best placement before you take the drill.
- If you don’t like screws and hooks you can avoid them. Who said pictures are for hanging only? You can rest your artwork on wall-hammered shelves or on a wrought-iron or wood easel.
- If you do like screws and hooks, well use them lavishly! Pay attention to the weight of the picture – for heavier ones use bigger hooks and for really heavy ones use 2. You can also enhance the display of your pictures with decorative eye screws, picture nails, various knobs, ribbons and interesting wire.
via Pottery Barn
And if you don’t have any artwork – just the frames will do too!