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Preview any artwork on your wall before you buy it

Buying art is both a personal and an important decision. The art that you choose to decorate your home should create or support the theme and the atmosphere of the room in which it hangs. Today, I'll provide you with my approach to visualising the artwork in situ, and at the correct size without having to actually buy the artwork...

Size matters

When looking to buy the artwork, it is very important to ensure you have the right sized piece in mind from the very beginning. If you have a smaller space, such as a unit, or you are looking to place the artwork on a small wall section, it is vital to get the ratios correct. Similarly, if you have a large space then the ratios are equally important.

Let's say for example that you have a 4-meter linear wall. Placing a small 60cm x 60 cm painting would look awkward unless you were intending to create a feature wall with several small pieces. And if you had a 2-meter linear wall space then adding a 150cm landscape-oriented painting would look too busy.

In situ

To get a sense of how a painting will look on your wall, I recommend using low tack masking tape, or blue tack. Here's how. Measure out as closely as possible the dimensions of the specific artwork that has caught your attention. For example, if you were looking at a larger 90cm x 120cm painting, you can stick a 90cm piece of low-tack masking tape along an imaginary top edge. Then measure out 120cm and attach that to your wall as a side edge guide. Repeat on the other side, and the bottom edge. This works well for larger paintings. For smaller works, you can simply attach balls of blue tack to mark the outer edge corners according to the dimensions of the painting.

Once you have your dimensions marked out, take a front-on photo of your wall ensuring that you capture the areas marked out for the painting to hang. Then, upload that photo (or photos) to your computer. Now simply use your photo editing software (Paint, Photoshop, gimp... etc.) to take a screenshot of the artwork that you are considering buying. Crop it, and copy/paste it onto the photo of your marked-up wall. Adjust the screenshot painting so that it covers the blue tack, or masking tape and, voila! You will have an in situ view of the painting virtually hanging on your wall. Share this in situ image with your family and friends and get their thoughts on your interior design/art curator skills.

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