Original Small (under 20 inch) Paintings

Not all of us are fortunate enough to have sprawling houses with large wall spaces to put up subway poster-size masterpieces. Many of us, in fact, live in small studio or one-bedroom apartments in the city. If you have a small space, does that mean you cannot decorate your apartment with paintings? Of course not! By using small paintings, there are many ways you can utilize your cozy space to make room for beautiful artwork which can brighten and even open up the room, making it appear larger than it really is. The first thing you will need to consider when deciding on a small painting for a room is whether there are any windows in the room. Windows let in natural light, which can illuminate and change the hue of a painting throughout the day, as the sun passes overhead. Taking advantage of natural light will aid you greatly in choosing a painting. When you have picked out the one you like best, move it to different areas of the room at various times of the day to observe the way the sunlight changes the mood and hue of the painting. Then choose the location where the light strikes it best. Keep in mind, also, that oil paintings and acrylic paintings fare especially well in direct sunlight, as they will not fade or crack.

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If your room does not have a window, or does not receive direct sunlight, there are still a couple of ways that you can utilize your small painting and brighten your space. Simply choosing a bright and intense work of abstract art with a bold color palette and broad strokes can draw the eye and make a room appear full of light. Similarly, luminous artwork with a reflective color palette, such as a pastel painting, will maximize ambient light from lamps or overhead lighting and produce a soft glow. Another trick of the trade is to add a mirror to a room along with your small painting. A mirror will reflect ambient lighting and give the illusion of a bigger space.

Low ceilings and cramped corners can prove to be additionally challenging when choosing a small painting, however, they can also work to your advantage. Low ceilings work best with vertical artwork. Choose a portrait-oriented painting, rather than a landscape-oriented one, to draw the eye vertically and create the illusion of height, distracting from the low ceiling. Vertically-oriented artwork can also work wonderfully in corners. Choosing a piece of abstract artwork that is bold, bright, and unique will draw the eye from across the room, and the viewer will be able to easily appreciate the art from a distance, rather than having to stand facing the corner to admire it.

If these tips and tricks do not work for you, another style you might consider is the salon-style hanging. A salon-style hanging is an assortment of very small works, such as paintings of assorted sizes, framed postcards, mirrors, and photographs, clustered tightly together on the same wall. Salon-style hangings can take up a section of the wall, such as centered in the middle, or over a low piece of furniture, or it can be a sprawling collage that takes up the wall in its entirety. This is very popular in small spaces due to its ability to draw the eye to many assorted colors and textures at once, effectively distracting from the size of the room.

Note that another trendy way to hang small paintings, especially in rooms with high ceilings or narrow walls, is to nest them. Nesting paintings means to hang several paintings of the same size vertically, as if in a column. Nesting between three to five paintings creates a natural, symmetrical center, and is quite pleasing to the eye. Always remember, however, to measure the space between each piece, and keep that number the same.