Have you ever had the experience where you have just completed a wall, you step back, only to notice that one piece is 1/4" off? Nudge it all you want, you can’t change the mathematics and you may end up settling with artwork that is askew. You find yourself hoping that no one will notice but, you see it every time you look at that wall.
Here are a few tips to help avoid this scenario.
Two Techniques to Determine The Positioning The Art
1. Let’s make an outline of the wall dimensions on the floor with painter’s tape. Usually there are several pieces in different sizes, so I start by moving them around until I have a balanced layout. It’s like solving a visual puzzle. I decide whether I want the frames to line up on the top or the bottom or, should they intersect at the middle point. If we’re planning a grid styled layout, I like to give equal spacing between the artwork. I like to place the layout on the floor and then transfer it to the wall. Why do I do this? Because I can see it as a whole and I can do it fast.
2. Create a layout by using drafting paper (or brown paper) and drafting tape. Outline your frames on the paper, cut them out and tape the paper to the wall into place. Once you decide your layout, you can use this as a guide for the final installation.
Note: If the artwork already has hardware on the back, be sure to measure the drop from top of the frame to nail.
The scale of the work in conjunction to the space is very important! The most common mistake is placing small pieces in large areas where there is too much space around the art. You would also want to avoid not placing large pieces in small areas. Learning to see the space as part of the layout is key to understanding scale and creating a great presentation of the work.