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How To Choose A Piece Of Canvas Art

Updated on March 19, 2009


Are you walls looking a bit empty? Re-styling your home or office? Canvas art is an affordable way of adding some personality and 'Wow' factor to any room at home or at work. In this article I'll hopefully give you some advice in how to choose your canvas so you get exactly what you want.

(A well chosen canvas can make a huge difference)
(A well chosen canvas can make a huge difference)

Choosing the right accessories to go with an interior is as important as choosing the colour of the walls. Getting the right image can help add personality and character to an interior space. Get it right and you can transform a room by creating a focal point in the room.

This article will deal with the 3 most important things to think about when considering a canvas:

  • Style and Subject
  • Size and Shape
  • Colour

Style and Subject

Style and subject starts off with personal taste. If you don't like it, don't buy it. If you want to feel relaxed and comfortable, you don't want a piece of art on your walls you don't like. However, don't just jump at the first image you like, and if you don't find something you like, there are many ways to customise a canvas.

Think about what the main purpose is for the room and who will use the room. As a guide, kitchens work well with nature and floral images, so a large kiwi or chili works better with the surroundings than a pop art MK1 Escort.

(A Custom 2.5m Soaring Cityscape)
(A Custom 2.5m Soaring Cityscape)

If your adding to an existing palette within a space, try not to deviate away from it. If you have a room with stripes and blocks of colour, have a look at the block retro images. The use of bright, bold colours work well with some more subtle wall colours.

At the moment, here at WHoArtNow were seeing a huge shift towards stencil art and its proving itself more and more.

Big on entertaining? Why not consider a huge focal point for your living room by having a photo to canvas or photo to pop art. turning a photo of you or your family into a piece of modern contemporary art can add so much depth and personality to a space. But don't think you must use a photo, if your an artist we will happily make your own art into a one off piece of canvas art.

Size and Colour

After you have an idea of what you want on the canvas, its time to think about size and shape.We stock a large selection of stretcher bars including 10", 16", 24", 32", 36",42",60" and 72". The largest width we can accommodate is 36" so if you want something big, we can go as large as 72" x 36" (a massive 6ft x 3ft!) so you'll be spoilt for choice on sizes!

(48" x 24" canvas works well on long walls)
(48" x 24" canvas works well on long walls)

Don't pick a canvas that will overpower everything in the room. Try not to hang on narrow walls or in alcoves. Instead consider hanging on the largest wall (usually opposite your main window) or above a fireplace.

The canvas wants to be kept about 16" - 24" from any other wall or ceiling to give it a border and its best to keep the middle of the canvas at eye level (5ft6 is about average). Don't be tempted to hang it high if your tall, consider everyone.

Got a large wall but don't have a fortune to cover it? The most cost effective way of getting a powerful imposing piece of canvas art is to go for multi-pics. These duo-pic, tri-pic and quad pic arrangements combine together to make 1 much larger image. If you go this route, you'll want to leave about a 2" - 4" gap between each canvas.

(Quad-pic of Get Carter, 4x 24"x24")
(Quad-pic of Get Carter, 4x 24"x24")

The shape of a canvas is mainly down to personal preference, however, if your not sure about what shape to go for, it's a best bet to go for a square canvas. If you have a long thin wall, why not consider something custom on a 60" x 10" canvas? Or a small 32" x 32" square canvas or the shorter wall.

One of the most popular places to hang a canvas is above a fireplace. This can add a lot to a room as its an instant focal point. I'd always recommend using a similar ratio for the canvas as the fireplace. If your fireplace is 3m wide, and 1.5 m high, stick to that ratio of 2:1, Therefore a 72" x 36" would work very well in the space.


Choosing the colour scheme is always important, not just of your canvas art, but also the whole space. Certain colours are good for certain things, and some colours have definite no go areas. All colours have their own energy and personality so choosing the right colour is key to creating a successful interior space.

The colour list below is not just handy for choosing canvas art, it works for anything, even your car. Get some sample colours and experiment, and don't be afraid to ask friends and family for advice, they may think of something you hadn't even considered.

(perfect colour match in this interior office space)
(perfect colour match in this interior office space)

Red: is a great colour for passion and warmth. Deep bold reds need to be broken up with something softer.Avoid in the bedroom as red is linked to nightmares.

Orange:is a great stimulating colour. Helps with concentration and is also a mood lifter. Works well in kitchens and offices.

Yellow: is similar to orange but works best using the softer pale yellows over the bolder shades. Works well in bathrooms and hallways.

Green: is a strong natural colour. Helps promote healthy living and 'eco' lifestyles. Deep woodland shades need breaking up with lighter shades of off white.

Blue: is the clean colour. Fresh lines and a hygienic feel. Its a cold colour which is best suited for bathrooms and kitchens.

Purple: is the big glamour colour. Use with violets and blues for a very sensual warm feel. Its seen a huge increase in popularity in the last 10 years and is no longer classed as a feminine specific colour.

Pink: has had a similar increase in popularity in recent years, especially in the fashion world. more and more males are choosing to dress and decorate in pink. Works well with reds, blues and purples.

White: is the most common colour used in the UK, but mainly as a block colour. Consider 3 white walls and a focal colour wall. Great for kitchens and practical neutral spaces such as office and study space.

Black: on black was the big 80's theme, and its back in 2008/09. Mix black with metallic colours such as gold and bronze. Be daring and black will reward you endlessly.

Brown: like green is a good nature colour. Earthy tones are great at creating warm and cosy spaces. Works best with light browns contrasted with small amounts of darker browns.

As well as the full colours, there are 2 types on canvas you can get not mentioned above.

Sepia and Black and White: are fantastically subtle. Can work with bright colours and off whites. Powerful images create a focal talking point. Consider a custom image of one of your personal photos.

Multicoloured and Pop Art: takes all its ideas from the great Andy Warhol. Bright contrasting colours are fantastic in a plain room and of course, there totally customisable for pretty much anything you want.

 (Sleek black and vibrant pink work well on this cult classic)
(Sleek black and vibrant pink work well on this cult classic)

With so much choice available to you these days, personal choice is key. Most importantly, don't be afraid to experiment with your living and working space and be confident in your style.

If your not happy with a room, how do you expect to relax in it?


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    • aleida_77 profile image


      8 years ago from Los Angeles

      These are great suggestions for finding the perfect artwork to polish off your room design. Thanks for all of the great information.

    • RosWebbART profile image

      Ros Webb 

      8 years ago from Ireland

      Great hub. thanks .

    • kartika damon profile image

      kartika damon 

      9 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

      This is excellent because most people have a lot of trouble hanging art and choosing large canvas pieces!

    • WHoArtNow profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Leicester, UK

      Thanks Heather, yeah red is not good for bedrooms, go for a pink or purple instead.


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Wow, I never knew red was bad for bedrooms! Great article. Thanks, H


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