How to Properly Size Art for Your Available Wall Space
The right-size artwork is proportional to your wall and surrounding furniture or fixtures. When selecting a new piece of art for your environment, size is nearly as important as the composition and quality of the art. An improperly sized piece of art can either overwhelm a room or allow the room to overwhelm the art, neither of which is aesthetically pleasing. In this article, I will give you the tools to help determine the size of the finished art that you need for your space. If you still have questions, feel free to email me and I am happy to help.
Step 1 - Measure the L and W of Available Wall Space
Measure the length and width of the wall where you want to hang your new art. If it is going over a sofa, bench, couch or any other piece of furniture, only measure the open wall space, from the top of the furniture to the ceiling rather than from floor to ceiling.
Step 2 - Anything Else Already on the Wall?
Step 3 - The 3/8 Rule
Step 4 - Calculate Space for More Than One
Tips - always work with finished sizes. For canvas, metal and acrylic artwork, the finished size is the size of the image. For fine art prints, there is almost always a mat and frame which must be accounted for in your size calculations. The height of the piece is more flexible than the width when choosing the correct size artwork for your space.
You can follow the three-eighths rule (step 3), although deviations from this are more forgiving with the height of a piece than they are width. To see what will look best, make cardboard cutouts in several heights and the predetermined width. Tack these against the wall to see what looks best.
If you really love a piece of art that isn't working for your current available space, then consider rearranging a room or whatever you need to do so the art will work for you.
Follow me on my St. Francois Mountain Pure Platinum Print Project where I am photographing the St. Francois Mountains that were formed by volcanic and intrusive activity 1.5 billion years ago. By comparison, the Appalachians started forming about 460 million years ago, and the Rockies a mere 140 million years ago.
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