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 4…A 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