Pictures make their appeal in various ways-form, color, pattern, subject matter-each and all have the power to stir the imagination. Subject matter does not make a picture good or poor.
Oil paintings ordinarily should be framed close.
A mat should be used on prints and water colors. A mat will give a pleasant rest space between the picture and the walls if the walls have a slight pattern. Mats will enlarge a picture that might otherwise be too small for the space it is to occupy.
Ordinarily the most satisfying mat is somewhat darker than the lightest tones in the picture.
If the light tones appear in the picture only in very small amounts, then a slightly darker shade mat might be chosen.
Sometimes a decorative effect is gained by a mat that contrasts with the coloring in a picture. For example, a dark green colored mat could be attractive on a print in which warm or shades of green color is predominant.
Light pictures usually are best hung on fairly light colored walls and dark pictures on dark walls or in dark corners, except when, for balance, one hangs a dark picture over a dark piece of furniture.
For the sake of shape and harmony, tall pictures should be hung on vertical wall spaces and broad pictures on horizontal spaces. Pictures may be grouped with other objects or so hung that two or more will give a horizontal or a vertical effect to harmonize with a given wall space A painting that shows a broad, bold technique should not be placed next to a fine and delicate one.
Scale is the next consideration when hanging pictures. It is easy to see that small pictures are out of scale on large wall spaces or when hung near large pieces of furniture, unless they are merely a part of a decorative group.