Helpful Info :

How do I select the right painting?

"Head start, heart stopping"
Looking at artwork in a gallery, exhibition or on a website, your head will look at the practical details. For your heart it’s the emotional impact. So start by looking at the physical features and practical details of the painting. Consider the Subject, the Materials, the Size, the Colours and the Style, and where these will work well in your home.

Now, let your heart take a look at the whole and consider the content. Let your vision take you around the whole painting. Look at some of the details. Now step back and think:

  • What emotional reaction do you get from this painting? Do you love or hate it? Are you horrified or fascinated? Is it stimulating or relaxing?

  • Do you like the colours? Are they: calm, muted and subtle. or vivid, intense and 'in your face'?

  • Is the subject close to your heart? A favourite place; someone you admire; an activity you enjoy?

  • Can you imagine the painting on your wall? Have you already thought about where it could hang?


PRO TIP: Double check the size: a painting that seems small in the gallery may look very big on your wall at home

  • Do you LIKE the painting? Remember: you are going to see this painting in your day-to-day life!


Everyone has a different view about their favourite artwork. Finding out what you like and don’t like about a specific painting will help you make the best selection for you.

The most important thing is ‘you like it’. So, choose mostly on the reaction of your heart, not your head!

To remind yourself, think HEAD START; HEART STOPPING

Look at my other FAQ for advice on hanging your painting or my Seen in Situ service.