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How to hang a painting

Collectors often ask me questions about how best to hang a painting. Yesterday, a gorgeous lady who is commissioning a bespoke piece of art to brighten her bedroom asked, “What height should a painting be hung at, there seems to have differing views??”

The key here is differing views. No painting hangs in the same spot. However, the general rule for hanging pictures is that they should be at eye level. But what does eye level mean? To me, I like my painting edge to align 1’3rd down from the height of my eye. But sometimes other factors influence how and where to hang a painting.

Because the painting my client is commissioning is for her bedroom some things she may wish to consider include:

  • How the painting will look when she is lying in bed
  • How it will look when she is walking past the painting
  • Where is her eye drawn to
  • What is the distance from the ceiling and floor and other walls – will the painting look in proportion?

For example, when hanging my painting Pretty Gorgeous, the ceiling and floor height dictated how high and how low the painting could hang. I also had to consider the ‘knock-on-effect’ of a kitchen cupboard which opens outward. One of the many joys of commissioning a painting is being able to customise the size and dimensions to suit the room.

Pretty Gorgeous

For a smaller beeswax work in the scullery, I had the same issue with an opening cupboard. I would have liked to hang the painting higher but had to work around the limitations of the space. I wanted to centre it so I placed it where it is, rather than move it to the left.


For my new collector, she had a couple of pesky light switches in the way of where she wanted her painting to hang. For this reason, a standardised, off-the-shelf, canvas wasn’t going to work. Her 600m x 980mm canvas will work perfectly.

Sometimes you find the perfect painting and then you scurry around and find the perfect spot to hang it. This was Donna’s experience. She came to my gallery and fell in love with this fun and slender beeswax artwork.

Dance With Life
festival and 100 x 100
Festival of Colour

Festival of Colour fitted perfectly in a new collector’s recently renovated home and enjoyed a party.

Here Comes The Sun

Here Comes the Sun flew all the way to London and reminds this homesick family of The Bay of Islands every day.

Commissioning a truly bespoke painting

I was super excited to receive these photos recently from Annika and Tony, new collectors who commissioned two paintings to celebrate the renovations of their Kerikeri home. The large painting pictured here is beeswax and pure pigment fused by fire. The second painting is an abstract landscape. Both are inspired by the view from the kitchen and living area which leads out to sea and bush views.

They both have loads of warm, cosy vibes in loved- up colours… Perfect for stormy autumn nights and approaching winter days.

When considering where to hang the painting, and also the final size, I mocked up the sizes in brown paper and suggested they ‘live’ with the paper painting for a while, tack it to the wall, and make adjustments as needed.

Annika and Tony

Mocking up to get a feel for size and scale

Apple Tree Bay
Knowles Commission
Apple Tree Bay
1800 x  1200 mm
New Zealand beeswax and pure pigment on board

Sometimes I like to use a special artroom app to help clients visualize the size of the paintings that are considered and possible looks as to how and where to hang them. Often I ask clients for a photo of the room where they would like the artwork. Where possible I visit them at home.

Ray and Di Knowles visited my gallery and saw Annika and Tony’s commission piece and wanted to buy it from me. I had already visited their home and I knew the colours needed to be different to really compliment their furnishings and their feel-good vibe and unique personalities. Plus, I would never sell a painting that someone had commissioned from me!

Look how different they are! I always take a brief before starting a new piece. In this case was to create a truly original and totally sensual beeswax artwork that worked with existing paintings, captured the vibe of their sea and bush view, evoked the beauty of hydrangeas—and above all, oozed joy.

Beautifully layered with sensuously sultry glazes of New Zealand beeswax, Apple Tree Bay embodies the new energy of flow, optimism, hope and renewal that our souls ache for after more than two years of pandemic restrictions and this tumultuous, confining time.

I was delighted when the couple came to view the finished work in my studio Art@Rangitane and it was love at first delight 👩‍❤️‍💋‍👨❤️🐝🌈.

In this video, I share Di’s reaction.

Sometimes you change your mind

Sometimes it’s not until you hang a painting that you get a feel for what’s right. In the image below, the painting was too high. What told me? My intuition. It just bothered me. I’ve now hung it 20 centimetres lower and it ‘feels’ right.


Co-Create a painting with me

I love to create bespoke, customised work and create with a range of mediums, including oil paints, acrylic, encaustic, watercolour, gilt and more. I adore the mesmerising colours that come from natural pigments enabling an alchemical relationship between nature and the painting. There is a joy and immediacy to my work too and a direct and absorbing relationship with each piece that is really exciting. Plus my clients love co-creating a painting with me that fits them perfectly. Learn more about the commission process here>>

Posted in: Blog

How to hang a painting

The Joyful Artist

I am an artist, storyteller, intuitive guide, mentor and Reiki master. All my creations are infused with positive energy , inspiration, and light. I believe in magic and the power of beauty, joy, love, purpose, and creativity to transform your life. My greatest joy is helping your realize your dreams. That makes my soul sing!

P: +64 (0) 21 873 833
E: hello@thejoyfulartist.co.nz


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