5 Ways to Display Small Paintings

Small art — typically 12 inches or less on any side — often takes a back stage to large statement paintings (I paint on many canvas sizes). Even so, small paintings displayed well can stand out in any home. Here are five ideas that can give small art the limelight it deserves. 

  • Fill a narrow wall or awkward space. Some tight wall areas could use a visual boost. The right piece of art can make a nook wall or narrow space between two doors very appealing.
  • Showcase a shelf. Small artwork is an opportunity to rearrange and refresh bookshelves. Use a shelf at eye level to make it easier to view and be sure to check the lighting to avoid deep shadows. Like a shelf, you can consider installing a picture ledge and display other art as well.
  • Position it on a table. Small artwork can stand on its own with the right frame. flat-edged style frame style. Another option is to use a decorative display easel.
  • Lean it against a wall or backsplash. Art in the kitchen or bathroom can add a finished look or lend a special interest in an unexpected way.
  • Create a complementary grouping of art and photos. Chances are that the small artwork you just acquired complements your collection. Consider a grouping of paintings, prints or photographs that tie together well — perhaps a similar theme, colors, or framing.

A final thought: Consider a double or triple purchase of small artwork — diptych or triptych — that "hangs" together by size and theme. In that way, all items can be arranged as a series. Need ideas? See the Small Paintings gallery!