Choosing a painting- So you want to give someone a painting…

local galleries

Choosing a painting- So you want to give someone a painting…

Choosing a painting to give as a gift can be difficult. A painting can be a great gift to your friends or loved ones. Whether they are avid art enthusiasts or they just look at art casually, the painting that you give them could become the treasure that they would cherish for a lifetime. However, your gift could end up gathering dust in the attic if you make the wrong assumptions about the recipient. Here are a few considerations to make sure that you are giving the right painting to the right person.

Preference of the recipient
The first things to consider before you buy a painting for someone else would be the subject matter and the painting style. You might not want to give a boring still-life painting to someone who is very lively and intense. If you’re giving a portrait, make sure that it is someone they know or admire. The recipient might not be thrilled with a portrait of an unknown 17th century Duke or Duchess unless the subject is very attractive. Abstract art might seem like a safe choice but there are people who do not like it, so you must find out whether the recipient is one of them. Whatever style or subject you choose, it has to speak specifically to the person that will receive the painting.

Cornelis van der Geest
This is the portrait of Cornelis van der Geest by Anthony van Dyck. Geest was a wealthy merchant during the 17th century but to a casual observer, he is just some old guy. Unless it is the original, it would not make a great gift.

The space for the painting
You probably already have a room in mind for your gift but you still have to make sure that you pick the right size for the available space. Measure the space where you think the painting should be placed. Your painting should not occupy all the available space but it should not be too small either. Consider giving two or more small paintings if one small piece is too awkward for the available space.

Match the color theme and decorations of the room
The painting style and its colors should blend well with the colors of the upholstery and other decorations inside the room. Modern art is probably not a good fit if the room is decorated in the Victorian style but frames can serve as a bridge between the painting and the decor of the room. The best thing to do is take a photo of the room and paste images of different paintings and frames to see how well they blend in.

frames as a style bridge
Frames can blend the colors scheme of the room with your painting

The artwork must be special
Your present will not be so special if it is too common. Leonardo’s Mona Lisa or Van Gogh’s Sunflowers would seem like a lazy choice. If you want your gift to be unique, you can try visiting local galleries and buy original works of local artists. Or, check on our sites for ideas – we have over 100,000 paintings and some of them have really interesting back stories that may be relevant. If really you want to go all out, you can ask for great photos of the recipient and turn that photo into a painting. This gives them a chance to effectively CREATE a work of art! This can include paintings of family members, but even landscape or scenic pieces, perhaps from a photo taken at a favorite location or holiday.

local galleries
Pay a visit to the local galleries and check out the artworks that are available for sale


Choosing the right painting
All these might seem like too much work just to give a painting to someone else but going through all this effort suggests how much you care about the recipient. Your friends or loved ones will surely think of you when they look at the painting that you gave them, so picking the right artwork is very crucial. Don’t be afraid to ask us for help, either – we’ve a lot of experience and would be more than happy to help with some suggestions.

One of the best things about giving a painting is that you give a reminder of their importance to you at the same time. Unlike many gifts such as food or consumer items, a work of art will last a lifetime and retain its meaning over the years.

father and son on holiday
Father and son – a painting from a photo taken on holiday


two rescued dogs
Two rescue dogs – a gift for an animal sanctuary that had rescued these dogs and taken them from death’s door (other charities had recommended putting them to sleep) to the picture of health we see here. Painting from photo.


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