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How to select fine art photographic prints

How to select fine art photographic prints

How to select fine art photographic prints

How to select fine art photographic prints



It never fails to excite when one sets out to select fine art to decorate a space, whether it is for your home, business, or place of leisure.

At Pietro Pazzi Gallery, we often have customers that initially find it daunting, being amongst so many beautiful pieces of prints, to select fine art that would best fit the space they’re keen to decorate.

Having guided many customers to select fine art pieces, we thought it an excellent idea to devise a few tips to help anyone choose perfect fine art photographic prints. In this article, we’ll be considering the following:

  • Fine Art of the right quality
  • Creating the right mood with your fine art prints
  • Considering the space itself and how its lit
  • Selecting the right art size, colour, theme, style and theme

Quick Tips For Selecting Fine Art Photographic Prints

First, a few words of encouragement when you set out to select fine art.

  • Trust your taste and follow your intuition when looking at art pieces. The media, popular opinion, friends and family may strongly influence our selection, and their views might have their place, but art is personal. It’s what it evokes in you that counts most.
  • Invest in the art that you love. After all, you want to enjoy its beauty and the feelings it conjures up for as long as you own it.
  • Although professional decorators have tools and techniques to select art that may fit your space, they are not equipped to choose art that fits your heart. Shop for your art in person. Do your research online or use a professional to do it for you, but go out and feel the art yourself.
  • It is one thing that has an image of the space you want to decorate in mind; however, with the continuous availability of mobile devices, take snapshots of the rooms you want to decorate. And why not take measurements while you are at it? When the time comes, it will ease your decision-making and allow the gallery to provide professional and personal advice.
  • Whenever possible, get to know the artist. The artist’s story and demeanour are what lives on in the art. It gives it a bit of a personal connection when you experience the artist first-hand.
  • Do not hesitate to acquire an art piece when you find it. Act fast and avoid missing out.

Select Fine Art Photographic Prints of the Right Quality

Assessing fine art is art itself. The reason is that artists express themselves in many different ways. One thing is for sure it is challenging to evaluate fine art online. Pietro Pazzi Gallery has a physical gallery where one can view the exceptionally high quality of the artists’ work. We have found that once customers appreciate the quality of the art, they often follow on with online purchases.

However, here are view pointers to assist you when assessing the quality of perfect fine art photographic prints.

  • The reputation of the gallery and artist.
    • It is much easier to ass the reputation of the gallery and artist when one can physically visit and chat with them. Google reviews may assist the process when not able to see.
    • The originality of fine art. Signed and numbered fine art prints, accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity, goes a long way to establishing the artist’s reputation. For example, at Pietro Pazzi Gallery, all fine art prints, no matter their size, are signed, named, and numbered and receive an A4 Certificate of Authenticity bearing the signature and embossed seal of the artist.
  • The medium upon which fine art photography is printed is one of the primary indicators of its quality. This is followed by the printers and inks used. All images at Pietro Pazzi Gallery are printed on the highest quality fine art German papers – Schindler and Hahnemühle.
    The printing is all outsourced to a professional printer using state-of-the-art printers and non-fade inks. The combination of paper and ink makes our prints archival, meaning that when not exposed to direct sunlight, they will retain their quality in perpetuity.
  • No matter the materials used to produce the prints, they must be free of fault, blemishes, ink spots or missing ink spots.

What to consider when you select fine art to suit a particular space

Whether you’re looking for art to decorate your home, business, place of leisure, or anywhere else, you’ll do well to take a bit of time to consider the following few essentials:

  • The mood you’d like to create.
  • The colour of the art.
  • The theme of the art.
  • The substrate or medium the art is on.
  • The style of the art.
  • The size and format of the art, with and without borders and frame.
  • The space and how it’s lit.

Mood Sets the Foundation when Selecting Fine Art

It all starts with the mood you want to create in your decorating space. The room and mood dictate the other elements e.g. style, theme, size, colour and lighting.

Consider the feel you want to create. Are you after a light and airy feel? Perhaps with a modern, minimalist feel. Or do you want to make a dynamic, vibrant sense? Abundance and richness? Maybe a more vintage look. The options are varied, but vital that you have a clear idea, or options, of the mood you want to establish.

Some things in the room may be challenging to move or remove. These objects may influence the mood you’re trying to make. You may be required to mitigate these items or reconsider the air that is right for the space. For example, although relatively easy to change lighting for practical reasons, it may be complicated to do so. Naturally, the room in which you’re creating the mood is essential.

Think about the colour when you select Fine Art

The other central element is the colour scheme, or more precisely, the accent hues. Often a given space contains furnishing, colour on the walls, curtains or blinds of a particular colour etc. Selecting fine art that compliments the existing colours is essential.

A good starting point is to pick a colour or two in the space you will carry into or emphasise with the art. This establishes consistency and bestows the room with contemporary, cohesiveness, and sophistication. Bring depth by experimenting with the shades and tones of these colours.

A good idea would be to use the artist’s colour wheel to guide your selection of the colour that should be contained in the art to a greater or lesser degree. Another approach is to pick a colour that compliments your colour scheme. That is the opposite colour.

Alternatively, your space may be a blank canvas ready to be decorated with any colour. In this case, find a work that speaks to your heart. Then, do exactly as described above, but this time, employ the approach to select the colours of your furniture etc.

Importance of Theme when you select fine art

Your home, office, or place of leisure may have a particular theme. Usually, a specific space or room may be decorated to a theme. It goes without saying that when you select fine art to theme this theme.

In our gallery, we refer to themes as themes. These are varied but include themes such as wildlife, canyons and gorges, desert dunes, oceanscapes etc. However, the other aspect that can create or enhance a theme is the general subject or content of the fine art. For example, wildlife may enhance a country/bush style or a study.

The theme also refers to vibrant vs subtle tones, warm vs cool, light vs dark etc. For example, the subdued colours of a sunset over the ocean would work well in a beach cottage as opposed to a night shot of a busy city.



The style of the image aids in evoking the feeling you want to create. Modern spaces often benefit from large black-and-white fine art. Apart from black and white, colour, duotone or monotone fine art, we also include classical, abstract, aerial, collage, composition, impressionistic, painterly and vintage styles in our galleries.

Framing, too, has an impact on the style. Often when art does not feel quite right in a space, a change to the frame may bring in the missing element that ties it all together.

For more on framing and displaying your fine art, read this article.

Substate and Medium

Nowadays, art can effectively be applied to various substrates while ensuring longevity. Closely related to style is the substrate or medium the art is printed on. Substrates include paper, metals, wood, plastics, glass, DiBond, canvas and textiles.

It is essential to consider the paper’s quality. Most fine arts are presented on paper. Ask whether the art has been printed on archival paper to ensure longevity. We only use the best fine art paper produced in Germany, Schindler or Hahnemühle.

Very often, metal prints add an element of ruggedness. Brushed Aluminium adds a painterly look to an image which reflects the image differently when viewed from different angles or as the light angle changes.

On the other hand, wood prints are less “blingy” and work well with natural subjects such as wildlife. It lends a more earthy feel to a space.


Size and Format

Some rules of thumb when considering the size of your image:

  • The larger, the better when creating a focal area.
  • When grouping art, consider medium-sized prints, similar colour or hue, style, or the same artist.
    • 3 is a dynamic number and tends to work well with medium-sized images.
  • Employ design concepts, e.g. keep the proportion.
    • Typically fine should be either 2/3 the size of your sofa or bed or overhang by ¼ on each side.
    • Consider the height of the ceiling. Maintain a minimum height of at least 15cm above furniture.
    • The middle of the wall might work, but perhaps just below the middle line works best.

Fine art size (length) categories.

  • Mega – 150+ usually; these are panoramic and work well on longer empty walls.
  • Extra Large – 100-150cm ideal for creating a focal point when not competing for attention with other art in the space.
  • Large – 80-100cm as with extra large sizes, these work well to create focal points in medium-sized spaces or a grouping of 2 or 3 art pieces on a large wall.
  • Medium – 50-80cm as with large sizes, these work well in smaller spaces, our grouping of multiple on a larger wall.
  • Small – 35-50cm is excellent for smaller spaces between furniture, windows, and multiple grouping.
  • Mini – 15-35cm

Acceptable art Formats include:

  • Horizontal / panorama. The typical proportion is 3:4, but it does vary.
  • Vertical / portrait. The usual ratio is 4:3, but it does change.
  • Panoramic. Length is typically much longer than height.
  • Square. The balance is 1:1 or close to that.
  • Round

More about displaying your art

Read this article for more on displaying your fine art, including the lighting in the space, lighting of your art, hanging systems, single or grouped display, etc.

Also, check out our wall mock-up visualisation service.

Why select fine art photographic prints?

Not only is fine art photography on the rise today, but experts reveal that it is an art form that holds its value. Fine art photography is not factory art; it is entirely original, and often only limited prints are available. Fine art photography is timeless and brings a sense of luxury to your space.

Fine art photographic prints are increasingly popular, making them one of the fastest-growing art forms. Apart from the beauty of the art, it is rarely going to be a bad investment which should yield a good return.

Pietro Pazzi Gallery has a wide range of fine art prints to select from. We have over 100,000 raw photos, 10,000 chosen for printing, a couple of thousand for viewing on the portfolio page and about 300 in our online store.

If you cannot find the image in our store, browse our portfolio and tell us what you need. We can customise images to suit your exact colour and look requirements.

If still not what you want, commission us to create the fine art piece perfect for your space.

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