How to Hang a Painting

by Lisa Doherty 7. March 2018 11:59

If you’ve invested in buying real art, then you want to make sure it stands out and always catches the eye when hung on a wall. And, although the actual process of hanging a painting is straightforward, how to frame, place and get the right measurements for maximum impact is a different thing altogether.

Here are our top tips on how to hang a painting and get the most out of the art you love.

What frame to choose

A lot of paintings on our site have already been framed, but it is standard practice to expect a canvas to arrive without one, which gives you more scope and flexibility to buy the frame you want.

To make that choice, it’s best to look at the style of painting first and work from there. The key to framing success is to make sure the art does all the talking - the frame simply helps bring that out.

Gold or gilded

Ideal for a simple still life, abstract painting or a clean and uncluttered image. If you’re going for a more classical look, then gold keeps to that tradition.

Black gold II by Birgitte Hansen
Black gold II by Birgitte Hansen The Toy Boat by Stephen Clark
The Toy Boat by Stephen Clark


A frame that uses the same tone as the dominant colour in the painting. This complements the painting, enhances the image and merges the frame with the art into one whole.

Girl in a blue dress ( framed original ) by Christopher Gill
Girl in a blue dress ( framed original ) by Christopher Gill

Natural Wood

A versatile and popular choice, which is great for natural scenes, such as landscapes, portraits, still life’s and photography. They also work with contemporary art and can enhance a minimalist or mid-Century painting.

Starman by Sara Sutton
Starman by Sara Sutton

White Wood

Another popular choice for retro posters or paintings bursting with colour. If you’re hanging a painting against a dark wall, then a white frame can really stand out and show off an image.

Lights in the sky (large) by Paresh Nrshinga
Lights in the sky (large) by Paresh Nrshinga


Black metal is the go-to frame for photography and can be bought in a wide-range of thicknesses. It also comes in a wide range of colours to work with nearly all styles and genres.

Sunset over a Scottish Loch by Louise Cairns
Sunset over a Scottish Loch by Louise Cairns

Choosing the thickness of a frame is purely a matter of preference, but the rule of thumb is that thinner frames take less attention away from a painting than a thicker one. When choosing a metallic frame, it’s always worth veering towards a matte texture to avoid shine taking over the painting.

Selecting the right wall

If you’re hanging a small painting, the it’s best to hang it on a smaller wall or space, a larger area will drown-out the image. If you do want to hang it on a larger wall, however, then smaller painting hangs well next to a bigger image or a cluster of paintings, like a gallery wall.

A painting needs light to show it off, but not too much that it affects the canvas or photo, so look for a bright space that isn’t in direct sunlight. If the wall you want to use does have strong sun, then you can buy anti-fade glass from a framing specialist.

Art should always be hung at eye level, so placing it too high will leave you straining your neck too look at it. the rule of thumb is that the midpoint of a painting should be between 50 - 60 inches from the floor.

Hanging over a bed, sofa or mantelpiece

There is a different rule when hanging a painting over furniture or a mantelpiece. The whole idea of hanging a painting over a bed or sofa is for the painting to work with the furniture and almost be an extension of the interior design.

Basically, there should be a connection between the two, as opposed to an image floating on a wall. To make this work, the bottom of the frame should be 8 to 10 inches above the piece of furniture.

If you’re going for a more relaxed or eclectic look, then a painting also looks good simply leaning against the wall on a mantelpiece.

Buying the right hanging kit

Most multi-purpose or hardware stores sell a wide-range of picture hanging kits for all types of art. A small piece can be hung simply with a nail and picture hanger, but a larger, heavier piece will need hanging wire or strong string for a more even distribution of weight.

Make sure you use nails that are around 1inch in length as anything over that will be too long and will leave the painting sticking out of the wall, and anything less will be too short.

If your walls are made from brick or plaster, then it’s more advisable to use a screw and rawlplug to secure it in place. Always make sure you use screws with a small head.

In all, there is a lot to consider when hanging art, but it’s worth going through the process to have a knockout painting that brings a wall to life, and leaves you feeling it was worth every penny spent!


Buying Art | Exhibitions | The Art World

Malvern Theatres - Autumn Show

by Humph Hack 15. October 2017 17:15

It is rare for a successful artist to paint in many different styles. The public will easily recognise a Monet, a Freud or even a Hockney. As ever it is the exception which proves the rule. So, for example Picasso is known for multiple styles, but even he had periods where all the work being produced at any one time was stylistically similar.

The three artists opening the new show at Malvern Theatres are all recognisable instantly because they all paint in a practised and recognisable style.

Amanda Dagg is amongst the best sellers from the online gallery from which all the works on show are chosen. She relishes in the freshness of nature although her work does not attempt realism in the traditional sense.

She hails from South Wales and as well as producing an amazing quantity of work, she helps run a community led gallery in the area. She has successfully shown in the Theatre many times over the last few years.

Victoria Stanway’s works explore the female psyche. Her humorous paintings are much sought after, not just by women, but by anyone wishing to celebrate and understand what makes “girls” different. Victoria is based in Bicester and has not shown here before.

The third artist is Steven Shaw who hails from Solihull. His works – almost photo realist, are supreme examples of the genre. The works in this show are mainly animal studies, apart from two plates of biscuits; good enough to nibble with your cup of coffee in the Bistro. This is also Steven’s first show at Malvern. Artists queue up to be seen in this great venue.

The show runs from Monday 16 October until Saturday 25 November.


Exhibitions | Malvern Theatres | The Art World

Ery Burns - Special Promotion

by Gordon Smith 18. April 2017 09:00

There was excitement in the gallery this Friday as up-and-coming artist Ery Burns was being filmed for a new special promotion (more details coming shortly). 

Ery's style is an energetic mix of pop art/abstract and have a wonderful dreamlike quality. 

Ery Burns art

Ery Burns art

Mineral Garden by Ery Burns
Mineral Garden by Ery Burns


Artists | Exhibitions

Imagination Rules OK - Malvern Theatres -- February - March 2014

by Humph Hack 9. February 2014 14:48

One of the delights in arranging exhibitions in The Malvern Theatres, (so called because there are 2 theatres and a Cinema as well as a good Restaurant) is the opportunity to bring in artists who have never exhibited in the area before. This "new" talent is the life blood of any thriving centre for the arts.

The title of this exhibition was chosen because, whereas, all three artists have taken some inspiration from reality, they have manipulated reality in presenting us with very personal images.  In all the works on exhibition, imagination trumps reality, but not so fiercely that the result is so abstract as to be incomprehensible.

Kris Hardy's cityscapes are a delight. His large canvases demand attention. The images are of places we half recognise.  The buildings are statuesque. They loom out of the gloom and haze of the Metropolis. They are as impressive and imposing as the tower blocks and skyscrapers from which Kris draws his inspiration. 

Hazel Thomson's paintings may initially seem almost photographic, but closer inspection reveals a quirkiness intended to amuse. They are sharply focused, highly skillful representations of ideas rather than mere two-dimensional representations of the natural world. Hazel's multi-seasonal works are a particular delight.

Humph Hack has always been interested in architecture. Only recently has he begun to study the architectural and structural qualities of trees. This interest has led to a new series of paintings of specimen and heritage trees.

The exhibition is open every day until 30 March


Exhibitions | Malvern Theatres

The Knapp Gallery, Regents University, Regents Park, London - January / February Exhibition

by Humph Hack 20. January 2014 12:56

The two artists on show in this exhibition are both inspired by the City. Keith Mcbride celebrates the vibrancy of the capital while Katie Minoprio is enthralled by patterns made by people as they cross the plaza.

Keith Mcbride was born in South Shields in 1978. His love of London began when he moved there from the North East at the age of only 10.

He has achieved an international reputation for his amusing and quirkily iconic images of the capital, its people, architecture and environs.

He enjoys working quickly and freely with acrylics because of their versatility. Each line is intuitive. The resulting fun-filled paintings, deliberately loose in treatment, superbly capture the vibrancy of the UK capital.

Keith is among the top best-sellers of the over 3,000 artists on the site.

Katie Minoprio is a self-taught artist living in Kent. She has shown her work in galleries in London and Kent since 2005 in both group and solo exhibitions.

She recently achieved a First Class Honours degree in the History and Philosophy of Art. This period of study has had a profound affect on her attitude to painting and her chosen subject matter.

She is a very new member of the family. We look forward with interest to her new work.


The exhibition continues throughout January and February. Visitors making the short walk from the nearest bus or tube stop, will be well rewarded.



Exhibitions | Knapp Gallery

Martin Rolt - The ONE Show

by Aileen Mitchell 1. January 2014 09:00

As an Artist, we are continually searching for the opportunity to display and exhibit (and maybe sell) the work of which we are most proud, in the anticipation that this will be the show that makes the difference.

The show that sets us on the path to recognition and greater future success. Constantly searching for new openings. The galleries......the rejections. “Am I not good enough.......what are they looking for, what do they want?" Swiftly followed by hours (sometimes days) of rejection flashbacks and despondency. And then the recovery....."what do they know anyway, do they not recognize borderline genius when they see it?" kicks in......and on to the next. Because the next could be 'THE one'.

Then there are the endless hours spent at the solo and collective exhibitions. Very occasionally bringing great financial reward, sometimes small reward and sometimes/often no reward at all. But always rewarding at a human level, with plentiful and interesting conversation with admirers, fellow artists and 'would be' customers. Contacts abound and friendships are made and renewed. This may sound familiar to other artists...."few or no sales at all, just about covered my costs or maybe I didn't quite manage that either"......but hey, I met some great people. And next time could be 'THE one'.

The Art competitions. Why did my work not get chosen as a finalist?.......and THAT did? Aaaaaarrrgghhhhh......on to the next.

Splashing out on Prints, Cards, T.Shirts and other great ideas to promote my work. Someone is bound to recognize the potential genius in me....aren't they?

Websites. I have my own, haven't we all. But is anyone looking? And why should they? I guess not too many potential art lovers and buyers are sitting at their PC or laptop right now and thinking to themselves "I need to search for art.... I know, I'll randomly search under Martin Rolt Brighton Artist'. You get my drift?

And then there is this alleged credit crunch, sent to test our resolve................Aaaaarrrggghhhhh.!

Technology, not my strongest point, but I make an effort.

Some of these on-line galleries and sites look pretty cool. Do they work though? Do people really invest in paintings they have never seen before other than on a 12 inch PC monitor ? Are they 'Artist friendly'?

Some of these sites appear to be a short cut to the promised land. Fantastic!! Offering much to the artist and for just a 'relatively' small fee you too can join in and be part of the fun. Future riches, recognition and fame awaits. Sounds good, I'll give it a try. sales, no interest, no enquiries. So, the site has my 'relatively' small fee up front, now, why on earth do they need to promote my work. Hmmmmm.....never thought of that.

Do they not realize that we humble artists, walking the financial tight-rope without a safety net, need a bit of a leg up now and again. It would appear not.

And then I happened upon the website. Nice presentation, all UK artists and custom, fancy tools to enable customers to visualise the painting on the wall at home or in the office. This looks more like it...!! and even better, other than some time and effort in producing good quality photographs of your work, showing it at it's best, with varying angles, close ups and in situ, uploading onto the site, it's totally free to the artist. No up front costs. That's what I'm looking for, someone sympathetic to the artist, yet presenting great and affordable work to all art lovers out there in a secure and trustworthy environment. Benefiting all, from the artist to the art collector to the occasional and even the new art enthusiast.

The site has fantastic artwork from very talented UK artists, covering the whole artistic spectrum of style, colour and size. All of the artwork can be viewed online, each artist having his or her own individual page where the paintings can be seen in situ from photographs at differing angles and close ups where you can see the paint and media textures. Or using the clever website tool which allows the viewer to see the painting and how it would look in the home or office. You can even change the colour of the walls to match your own, to see the full impact that the soon to be acquired masterpiece will have and how it will enhance the ambience of the room in which it will hang.

For me, and call it beginners luck if you will, within a few weeks of submitting my work and being accepted as a worthy 'site' artist I had countless hits (and continue to do so) plus two sales to my name. One of my buyers I had the pleasure of meeting at the point of sale also. So taken was he with my painting 'Rise and Shine' on the website that he made special arrangements with the site owner and made the extra effort to travel, see and collect the painting from myself. It is always rewarding to see and hear a persons reaction and pleasure at first viewing of a painting. Something that has been a labour of love to yourself, these reactions are the antidote to any pain previously felt, and previously mentioned. In this case, my second sale was to the actor Adrian Lester who starred in 'Hustle', 'Bonekickers', 'Primary Colours and 'The Day after Tomorrow' to name a few. So as you can imagine, this came as something of a pleasant surprise when I eventually realized who I had met and who had bought my painting.

Adrian kindly penned a few lines for me to use on my page on the website :

Hello Martin, I wasn't sure I wanted to buy a painting until I saw Rise and Shine on the web. I checked the picture over using the Artgallery testing website and really liked what I saw. The picture as shown on the web is vibrant. But, In reality it is even more so. It seems to pull the viewer in. I'm very happy with it and every intention of picking up some more in future. Yours, Adrian Lester

So you see, for me, this really could be 'THE one' show. The show that makes the difference. 'The future is unwritten'......Joe Strummer once said. But you have to make your own future through time and effort (maybe a hint of self belief and borderline genius), in order to steer a course and path that someone may happen upon, who really can help along the way, to finally make that difference. So, watch this space......and watch this site.

Martin Rolt's art gallery »


Artists | Artists Corner | Being an Artist | Exhibitions

The 2014 New Year Exhibition - Malvern Theatres

by Charlotte 30. December 2013 15:19

Julia Everett

Julia graduated in Fine Art at Brighton University and has successfully exhibited in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Southampton and New York.

Her studio is by the Thames in West London, a location that inspires a lot of her work. Her use of vivid colours combined with the influence of music produce vibrant and dynamic paintings.

Her paintings are expressive colourful abstract landscapes. She is moved by the sky and sea and captures the uplifting feelings one can experience from being in a wild and dramatic landscape or watching the sun set into the water.

 She always listens to music when painting and feels that this has a strong influence on the finished work. Many of her paintings are named after song titles and lyrics.”


Michael A Hardwick 

Michael trained at Chelsea College of Art and moved to Wales from Surrey in 1984 when he decided to concentrate full time on his painting. 

He uses light, colour and brushstrokes to affect solutions in achieving a dramatic style.

His paintings have been published in "The U.K. Master Painters Showcase" for the magazine "The International Artist". 

Work is held in private collections and has been exhibited in many U.K. gallery solo and group exhibitions. His international reputation is based on dramatic works in both watercolours and oils that capture the mood of stormy skies over the coastlines of Wales and Cornwall.

Richard Britton 

Richard has been a full-time professional artist for 44 years. He works from his home in Worcestershire where he has a studio and gallery. 

Richard’s early tuition took place at the Birmingham School of Art.

After National Service as a commissioned officer he became studio manager of a major commercial art studio and subsequently worked in advertising and public relations before embarking on a painting career.


His work has been exhibited by The Society of Wildlife Artists, The Society of Equestrian Artists and The Pastel Society. Publishers of his work include Rosenstiel’s, Venture Prints, Solomon & Whitehead, Royles and Medici.

Richard is happy to accept commissions. 

Humph Hack


Humph Hack curates exhibitions at Malvern Theatre and occasionally shows some of his own work there.


The exhibition is open, 7 days a week, every day until 9th February. 


Exhibitions | Malvern Theatres

A Joyous Riot of Colour at Malvern Theatres

by Humph Hack 17. November 2013 21:38

Hester and Arie Coetzee are exhibiting in the Malvern Theatres for the third time; brought back here by popular demand.

Hester won last years “Artist of the Year Award”, chosen by a public vote from a field of over 3,000 artists all of whom sell their work through the on-line gallery.

Her highly personal, intense paintings are a reflection of her approach to life in general.  Her use of vibrant colours and bold brush strokes, reflects her outgoing personality. Her inspiration is creation itself. After 40 years of teaching, she retired to become a full time artist, since when she has become among the top-selling artists in the UK and is building a reputation across Europe. Her paintings bring much joy to other people’s lives.

For Hester, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Arie’s inspiration is the exuberant colour of yellow wheat fields, blue rolling mountains, the emptiness of the countryside, the wide open skies filled with thunderous summer clouds and the friendly people of South Africa.

All this is visible in his work.After winning his first prize in a local art competition at the age of 11, it became a life long dream to be an artist. Throughout his education and later as a teacher, he worked in various painting styles, printing and sculpting to discover the genre in which he would be most comfortable. 

After several small exhibitions, he developed a more expressive and impressionistic style. His work, employing emotionally charged thick brushwork, takes inspiration from the simplicity and naivety of Van Gogh, and from Rembrandt’s exquisite use of light and shadow; bright colours streak energetically across the canvas. Some works adopt a calmer, subtler use of colour but the richness of pure pigment and heavy application is often uncontrollable. 

The exhibition runs until 29th December


Exhibitions | Malvern Theatres

A One Man Show at the Knapp Gallery - Regents University - London

by Humph Hack 17. November 2013 19:57

Gena Ivanov is a Russian artist who might be described as a Renaissance Man; his expertise spans a number of very different subject areas. Unusually, we have chosen to give over the whole of the gallery space to a single artist; but what an artist! In the past Gena developed his interest in Modern Dance, he trained as an artist, served in the Russian Army as a military artist, and has also worked as an interior designer. On arrival in England he set up his own studio and gallery and studied to achieve an MA in Fine Art at Norwich University. He writes poetry as well as paints and his eclectic range of styles means that his collectors are never going to be bored.

Many of his works are on a grand scale but just as enthralling are his "Mystery Landscape" series which deserve close scrutiny. The abiding memory of a visit to this exhibition at the Knapp is of a joyous mixture of colour, vigour and whimsy.





The Exhibition runs through to January.


Exhibitions | Knapp Gallery

The Autumn Exhibition at Malvern Theatres

by Humph Hack 6. October 2013 15:36

This exhibition features the work of 3 artists new to Malvern Theatres.

Sally Lancaster produces startling images of horses. She is a Full Member of the Society of Equestrian Artists (SEA).

She has won numerous awards for her fine, highly detailed oil paintings including the prestigious ‘Ex Arte Equinus II’ Director’s Award in 2008 and Editor’s 1st Runners Up Award in 2010. She regularly exhibits in London as well as various galleries around the UK.

Characterised by fine brush strokes on subtle backgrounds, Sally’s focus is always on the beauty of the horse itself, often observed from an unusual angle. She is fascinated by detail, capturing every expression, movement and subtlety of the subject.

In 2011 she was commissioned by Racing Post to paint one of the 10 horse sculptures on display around Cheltenham town centre for the Cheltenham Horse Parade.

In 2012 she was commissioned by Princess Ameera Al-Taweel to produce a painting for Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to commemorate him winning the FEI World Endurance Championships.

Her work is breathtaking.

Jessica Abbott is making a name for herself as a successful artist producing sensibly priced original paintings. She offers artwork created to reflect the fact that every home is special and unique. She produces work which reflects this difference.

Having mastered the technical aspects of drawing and painting in a traditional style, she has gone on to explore and develop expertise in contemporary art.

She discovered a gap in the market for bespoke and individual paintings at affordable prices; her aim is to satisfy this need. She creates art that reflects the environment in which it is hung

She has taken part in many group exhibitions across the country and she takes commissions for both domestic and commercial settings.

Her work is as restful as the subjects from nature she portrays.


The third artist, Linda Tennant's artistic journey began when she joined a small informal art class.

Upon discovering that people enjoyed her work, she began to sell and exhibit in her local area and has gone on to open her own studio and gallery in the West Midlands in 2003.

She paints in watercolour, acrylic and oils. The wide range of subject matter she takes inspiration from, include landscape, animals, flowers and architecture. Although she also produces abstract pieces, the work in this exhibition has it's roots in the natural world.

Her work is held in private collections across Europe, America, Canada and Australia.



Whatever part of nature you enjoy, there is something in this exhibition to delight.

The exhibition is open every day until November 17th.


Exhibitions | Malvern Theatres

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