It’s Easy to make a Grouping of Pictures

Groupings of Pictures, Heights and Widths, Lining up Edges

Balance Visual Weight, Vertical Groupings, Natural Lines in an Environment

Hanging up artwork, pictures, framed photographs, and mirrors can be easy, once you know a few decorating basics.

Look at Illustration 1. What do you see? Do you see the similarity of the silhouettes of the different images? If not, what you are looking at are three different groupings, that are the same height and width. 1-A is an image that is the same height and width as the two images that make up grouping 1-B. Both 1-A and 1-B are the same height and width as the 4 images that make up grouping 1-C. Notice how the horizontal top and bottom edges of the 3 groupings line up with each other. Also look at how the vertical side edges of groupings B and C line up with each other.

The lining up of edges, if they run vertically or horizontally, and how they direct the eye in one smooth movement, from one object to another, is what Natural Lines in and Environment is all about.

Now look at Illustration 2. Notice how I lined up the outside edges of the collection that represents a mass grouping of picture frames, with each other. I drew some arrows between each silhouette so you can see how the eye is directed from one frame to another, in either a vertical (upward), or horizontal (across) movement. When edges are lined up, no matter how large a collection of items is, there is a kind of controlled feeling (calm), not a chaotic display.

Illustration 3 is an exaggeration, but you might be inclined to make an arrangement like this. Look at how the two smaller pictures (top left) line up with each other, though they don’t line up with the larger picture between them. Look at how the bottom edges of the pictures in the middle of the display line up with each other. Also notice how the three images at the bottom of the illustrations line up with each other, even though there are large spaces between them.

Illustration 4A and B are all about visual weight. When hanging up two pictures, one above the other, the Larger one, or Darker and more visually heavy one goes on top. The Smaller one, and/or more visually lighter is hung below it. The smaller and lighter one acts as a pedestal holding the Larger and Heavier one up in space. If you put the heavy one at the bottom, the eye will be drawn Downward to the heavy one, and your grouping will be Bottom Heavy.

Illustration 5 is about hanging a picture in a space that is Taller than Wide. In this case it is on the right side of a window. When you have a taller than wide space, the Natural Action of that space is Upward. In illustration 5A you have one horizontal format picture that’s Natural Directed Action is wider than tall. In a way, its horizontal shape is fighting/cutting the Upward Movement of the Vertical Space alongside the window. Try not to hang things this way!

Illustration 5B shows one Vertical Format image (taller than wide), in the Vertical Space. Its shape echoes the Upright shape of that sliver of wall space.

Illustration 5C shows how two horizontal format pictures combined, become one vertical format grouping. Their combined height is taller than wide. This is a solution for making two wrongs one right, in this situation.

Illustration 6 shows twin chests flanking a fireplace. Above the chests, on both the right and left side of this illustration, you have what I discussed in Illustration 1, in this post. The two groupings are composed of different sized items, but they are the same height and width. Notice how in this illustration, the round mirror hung over the fireplace lines up with the width of the fireplace surround. For more information about hanging artwork or mirrors over a fireplace, read my June 23, 2011 post titled “Picking and Handing the RIGHT size Picture or Mirror over your Fireplace.

Finally, when making groupings of pictures to hang up on the wall, first practice laying them out on the floor. It is easier to shuffle them laying flat, than having the problem with moving them once hooks are hammered into the wall.

Companion Posts
Making an interesting arrangement of pictures 7-8-2011,
It’s Easy to Hang Pictures up on the Wall 7-17-2011,
Hanging Pictures Around a Room 8-3-2011,
Step-by-Step Instructions for Hanging a Gallery Wall 2-15-2015,
Hanging a Collection of Plates / Dishes up on the Wall 1-19-2013,
A Bridge unites a Tablescale and Wall Decor 6-10-2011,
Picking and Hanging the Right size Picture or Mirror over your Fireplace 6-23-2011,
It’s Easy to decorate a Room with Tall / High Ceilings 2-3-2013,
Interior Decorating is All about Equal Balance 2-27-2011
Arranging Living Room Furniture so Sofas talk to Chairs, like the Pros do. 9-7-2012,
Arranging Furniture TWELVE Different ways in the Same Room 9-15-2012,
Arranging furniture around a Fireplace in the corner of a Room 9-29-2012,
The Right way to Hang Curtains and Drapes 5-3-2011


About fredgonsowskigardenhome

Your eyes deserve to view beauty. I hope Fred Gonsowski Garden Home helps to turn your vision, into a reality.
This entry was posted in Hanging Pictures and Mirrors / Arranging Knickknacks and Collectables, Interior Decorating Principles. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to It’s Easy to make a Grouping of Pictures

  1. Fayne says:

    Hi Fred,

    May I pin your blog to my Pintererest page which will give credit you full credit? If you ever get your book rolling I’m in. I think you should approach Sunset Publishing. Their publications feature offer sound advice and usually increase in value with time. I tried to find one of their basic cookbooks online for my step son, i found it selling for $98. Thanks for sharing your passion and knowledge with us.

    • Hi Fayne, I have been pinned tens of thousands of times by the WONDERFUL people who post on Pinterest. You though are the first to ever comment to me. I really appreciate you note, and say pin away. I have a new post going up in a day or so, that I have got written and made the drawings for. I say be the first one to post it. It is all about arranging furniture. Also, go back through my articles, you might see something in the Interior decorating principles or other topics under Categories that also attracts you. My next article will be my 91 post.

  2. Jamie B. says:

    I stumbled upon your site and have learned so much from every post I’ve read! I can not wait to read more and more, please keep posting!

    • Hi there Jamie, as I have the time to write more articles, and time seems to be limited for me now, I will post more things on different topics. Not getting paid for this, and it being a hobby for me, I have to and do the best I can. Hopefully I will have extra spare time in the near future to write more. Thanks for your comment.

  3. MJ says:

    If one was considering making an art/gallery wall, how high, low and far across “should” one go on a wall? I’ve seen pictures of them where they even go floor to ceiling and wall to wall, and they seem to look very nice to my untrained eye; but, I would like to hear your thoughts on the matter, as I very much value your knowledge and opinion.

    Thank you for your ever excellent ideas.

    • Hi there MJ, I would say lay your art pieces/photos, etc out on the floor first and come up with a combination of pieces that looks good to you. Then trace the framed pieces on paper and cut them out and tape the silhouettes representing the different pieces up on the wall (number the pieces if you have many items). Step back and see how the grouping looks to you. You might want to place the different pieces closer or further apart at that moment, or eliminate some of the things. Just because you see something up on the wall in a photo, it might not look the same in your home, or on your wall. The wall in the photo might be higher and longer, and that will effect the final display, and what you have to hang will probably/most likely not be the same things that you are seeing in the photos of the room you are viewing. Also you, to a degree, have to think about what is on the wall opposite the wall where you are going to create the gallery wall. You want to have a grouping of things on one side of the room that counter balances the things on the other side of the room. If one wall has a fireplace and two windows on it, you would want to build with pictures (artworks, etc) something about the same size on the wall opposite it. Read this post I wrote, it might get you thinking about things. Good luck with the gallery wall.

  4. Great blog you havee here

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