Making an Interesting Arrangement of Pictures

Right, Center, and Left Directed Action

Center focus is an Ideal

All pictures, photos, paintings, mirrors, etc have a Natural Directed Action/Movement. By Natural Directed Action I mean, the way the painting, photo, etc moves your eye along from one place to another. There are only three naturally directed actions. They are Left Directed Action, Center Directed Action, and Right Directed Action.

Look at all the pictures that make up Illustration 1. All of the images have Right Directed Action/Movement. They move your eye in a right direction. In 1A the front facade of the house is turned facing right. In 1B the Horses and Riders are running in a right direction. 1C is a right profile, and in 1D the subject’s body is facing forward/straight on, but the head is turned to the right, and her eyes are looking right. In both 1E and 1G, the waterfall and the landscape, the action starts high left, falling off to low right. The High to low action directs the movement (right). In 1F the pitcher’s spouts are pointing right. In 1H the clipper ship is coming forward, but angling to the right. ALL the Right Directed images, that make up Illustration 1 should be hung on the Left side of a mass grouping, or Left side of a room.

Illustration 2 is all about Center Directed Action/Movement. All the pictures that make up this grouping are looking straight at you. They are not turned slightly to either the right or left. Images like these are placed in the center of a grouping, and can be placed also throughout the grouping on both the left and right sides, because they direct you eye straight out from the display.

Illustration 3 is composed of pictures that possess Left Directed Action/Movement. They all are really reverse kinds of images that appear in Illustration 1. These images show people, landscapes and things that are facing, and directing your eye Left. Look at illustration 3B. The lady’s body is facing right, but her head is turned left and her eyes are looking left. She directs your eye backwards to the left side of a grouping.

When making a Large Grouping it is all about Center Focus. You want to position your artwork (etc.) so its natural directed action brings the eye to the center of the display. You don’t want your images to lead your eye off of what you have created. Your objective is to place images with Right Directed action (movement) on the Left, Center Directed action images in the Center, and Left Directed action (movement) images on the Right. Illustration 4 shows a large grouping of different sized images showing Right, Center, and Left directed movement.

Finally, look at Illustrations 5 and 6, the drawings of the living room. Illustration 5 shows the artwork not center focused. Look at how the horse and waterfall picture in illustration 5 are bringing/directing your eye right into the left corner of the room. Remember me saying Left directed action images should be placed on the Right side of a grouping, or room? Also look at how the landscape in illustration 5 is leading your eye into the right corner of the room.

Illustration 6 shows the same art objects using center focus. What a difference shifting a few images can do to improve the look of a room. Notice how all the images direct your eye to the center of the room’s main focal point, the fireplace.

When making groupings, first lay them out on the floor. Shuffle them until you get a pleasing display, before you mount them up on the wall. Remember to line up edges as I wrote about in my 6-29-2011 post titled “Hanging Pictures, Photos, Mirrors and Paintings, Part I: Groupings”.

Companion Post ..
It’s Easy to make a Grouping of Pictures 6-29-2011,
It’s Easy to Hang Pictures up on the Wall 7-17-2011,
Hanging Pictures Around a Room 8-3-2011,
Picking and Hanging the RIGHT size Picture or Mirror over your fireplace 6-23-2011,
Step-by-Step Instructions for Hanging a Gallery Wall 2-15-2015,
It’s Easy to Decorate a Room with a Tall/High Ceiling 2-3-2013.


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.

2 Responses to Making an Interesting Arrangement of Pictures

  1. MrsJennyK says:

    Oh my gosh – This was like a light bulb explosion moment for me! I struggle with this so much and I’ve never understood why things don’t quite look right on my walls. I am going to tear through my house and rearrange all the photos and artwork! Seriously!

    • Hi there Mrsjenny, have fun, go slowly and read the other picture hanging posts I wrote before doing the project, you might find some other ideas for hanging things after reading through them. Look at categories on the right side of the screen Under it is Interior Decorating Principles, I’ve covered a lot more topics there, and this might be just the start of you restacking, hanging and arranging everything in your house ;-} Hopefully you won’t have to go that far, but there might be topics that interest you. Thanks for your comment.

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