The Real Deal

You've finally reached a point where you've got the spare dosh to spend some of your hard earned money and start decorating your dream home with some quality artwork. When shopping for wall art, you need to keep two things in mind. First, you need to have a good idea about the type of art you like. Second, you need to know what traits all good quality pieces of wall art share.

How is the Composition?

When you look at the image, you should know exactly what the artist wants to show. The composition of the painting should be very precise. You shouldn't feel like the painting is too busy, or find yourself wondering what the main subject is.

There are 7 elements of composition to which high quality paintings adhere. They are:

  • Movement – The painting should give an impression of gentle movement, like wind through the leaves or a flowing river.
  • Unity - When you look at the artwork, you should get the impression that everything belongs.
  • Rhythm - The artist should have used recurring colours or shapes to help pull the image together. You'll want to repeat the colours and shapes in each piece of art you hang in a room.
  • Contrast - You shouldn't have any trouble seeing the difference between light and dark.
  • Focus - The main subject of the artwork should be very clear.
  • Proportion - The artists should have made everything proportionate to their main image. Cars shouldn't be bigger than houses or apples bigger than trees (unless, of course, you're going for abstract art).
  • Pattern - Everything in the image should fit together nicely.

It Should Be Balanced

Determining if a painting is balanced or not can be a tricky thing, especially since some artists choose to paint the main subject of the piece to one side of the canvas. This works if the rest of the image is simple, but fails to impact if there's a lot happening in the painting.

The best way to determine if the painting is balanced is to take a couple of steps away from it and let your eyes go slightly out of focus. If you get an impression that the image is lopsided, it means you need to walk away. A badly balanced image will make your entire interior decorating scheme feel off-kilter.

Talk to an Art Expert

Unless you've had extensive art training, you shouldn't assume that you have an eye for discovering great art. If you want quality pieces of original art, it's always best to seek a professional opinion. Not only will the professionals be able to tell you if the painting or print you're considering is good quality, but they will also be a great source of advice about other issues as well, including:

  • How to frame your selection
  • Tips for choosing complimentary pieces
  • The best way to display the wall art in your home

Take Your Time

Don't try to rush the process, especially when selecting original art. Take plenty of time and look at several different pieces of wall art. Just because you've found one or two paintings that you like, you shouldn't purchase them right away. Walk away for a few days. If you can't stop thinking about the paintings or prints you should purchase them. If your forget about them the minute you walk away, your subconscious is telling you to keep looking, sooner or later you'll find something that perfectly suits your unique tastes.

Richard Tarrant - Bio

Richard Tarrant - Founder and CEO of PictureStore Pty Ltd
Richard is founder and CEO of PictureStore and has worked since October 2000 to make wall art accessible to all Australians. Google+

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