There’s no better way to surprise a friend or loved one than with the gift of art. Whether you’re looking for a Christmas present, a birthday surprise or just a way to say thank you, a piece of art will provide years of joy and will add a splash of colour and character to anyone’s home. From classical realism to contemporary impressionism, there is a huge selection of different styles of art to choose from which means you’ll never struggle to find something that will brighten your friend’s day.

There are some issues that crop up, however, when buying art for another person. Everyone has different tastes which means it can sometimes be a difficult and stressful task trying to decide on the perfect piece to gift them. If you know that the person you’re buying for enjoys art and would love a new addition to their collection but you don’t have much experience in buying paintings, these top tips will help you in the process and offer you some things to consider before making your purchase.

Find the right size

It’s important to remember that the size of a painting can have a big effect on how well it sits in someone’s home. You may find that if you buy a huge canvas- although it may be beautiful- if it is too big to fit on any of the walls, it may be more of an imposition to the person you’re buying it for. That being said, there’s nothing wrong with going big if you are familiar with the house it will be going in.

If your friend or loved one has a room with a large wall that could use a splash of colour, a big canvas could serve as a unique feature that will bring the room to life and serve as a talking point for guests. The key is to be aware of the space your friend has and look for a piece of art that is suitably sized.

Colour matching

Even if you don’t know the ins and outs of the artistic process and you’re not brushed up in the different styles and movements within the art world, you can still choose amazing art that will match the surroundings of the recipient’s home. Choosing a piece of art based on the colour will ensure that, at the very least, it will fit with the style and theme of the room in which it will be hung. If the person you’re buying for isn’t an art expert, giving them a colourful painting to use as a decorative feature is sure to make them happy.

Match their taste

If you have a friend or family member that you know loves art, it can be exciting and stressful at the same time trying to find a painting they will like, especially if you don’t really know anything about art yourself. If you’re unsure of what kind of painting to go for, a great place to start is in the home of the person you’re buying it for. Take note of the types of artwork they already have and try asking questions subtly to get a better insight into the styles and artists they like.

If the person you’re buying for lives far away or they don’t actually own a physical collection, try checking their social media page or taking a trip with them to a local gallery to get a better idea of what will make them happy.

Use your instinct

Sometimes it is much easier to trust your gut and choose a gift that you yourself would love to receive. Overthinking the decision of which painting to buy can make the whole process more stressful and will leave you worrying about whether the person will like it. If you know that you both have similar taste, the best thing to do is choose a painting that would make you smile. Go with your instincts and think outside of the box when choosing your artistic gift.

Ask for advice

If you have other friends that have great taste in art and know more about the different styles than you, don’t hesitate to ask their opinion about what type of painting to buy. If other friends tell you that they would love to receive your chosen painting as a gift, you know you’re on to a winner. Asking for advice from art dealers and gallery owners is also a great way to put your mind at ease and make the buying process a lot less stressful.

Have a backup plan

If after everything you’re still unsure whether you’ve made the right decision, it’s always good to make sure you have a backup plan. When shopping around, be sure to ask the dealers and sellers about returns policies and try to find somewhere that will allow you to return or exchange the painting if your friend doesn’t like it.


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