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Top tips for buying art, from the UK's leading online auction house.
4 Mins

Top tips for buying art

Ben Smith
Ben Smith

There is no finer way of stamping your own style on a space than with a piece of art hung from the wall. Whether it’s a huge, striking canvas that dominates the area and demands to be looked at, or something smaller, elegant and subtle, perfectly balancing the décor of the area it lives in, bringing further harmony to an already beautiful room.

Perhaps you want to turn a large dull living room wall into a gallery that fizzes and zings with personality, or maybe you’re looking for a way of turning a bathroom into a tranquil, calming zone in which to unwind at the end of a tiresome day. Or you could be looking for something inspirational for an office wall at home or work. There is something out there for all tastes, all desires and all needs and you can do no better than buying art online. Grab a bargain or pick up some hard-to-find, up-and-coming young artist, it’s all here to be discovered.

That unalloyed choice can prove daunting so here are our top tips for buying art online:

Think about the space

It might sound obvious but think where you’re going to hang that new purchase. There are practical issues to consider – will it fit? Or even the opposite – will it be lost on a huge empty wall? How about the lighting? Or even are you going to constantly knock it off its spot as you climb past?

You might find that the space you’re working with would suit several smaller works grouped together to form a larger display. Or it could be one large, sweeping canvas on a showcase wall is just what you need.

What about the décor?

If you’ve already injected your heart and soul into the room, then you’ll probably have an idea for what kind of art is going to work. But you still need to think about what else is in the room. Will it compliment any other art or will it clash?

You might be looking for something that nicely compliments your existing collection, but perhaps also think about contrast. If you’ve already got a fabulous sweeping landscape piece, consider a smaller more detailed, intimate work. If you prefer a meme – an inspiring quote on a beautiful image – then think about if it works with the other memes you’ve got. Don’t worry though, there’s no wrong art, it’s all a personal choice and the perfect opportunity to celebrate your personality.

Consider your style 

If you don’t have a preferred taste in art then now’s your chance to get out there and find out. Visit galleries, watch a few tv shows or read a magazine. Just find out what you enjoy and relish the experience. There’s a huge variety in styles, techniques and movements out there to explore. Good art will provoke an emotion – something that’s always worth bearing in mind. A dark brooding piece might look fantastic in a gallery but if it invokes moody thoughts, it’s perhaps not ideal staring at it every morning over a bowl of cornflakes.

Do your research

Once you’ve found an artist you love, learn all you can about them and their work. There’s a story behind each piece of art and knowing that tale will really make that personal possession a treasured one.

When buying art in an online auction, remember you won’t get to see it in real life until you’ve purchased it, but all our vendors write detailed descriptions and include detailed photographs of the work.  

If you’re still unsure about a piece of art, just get in touch using our Live Chat function. We’re a friendly, knowledgeable bunch here at William George and we want to help.

Take the plunge

Found something you love? Don’t miss out, get bidding! Follow your instincts and scoop up that gorgeous painting before someone else does.

Take a look at our Fine Art Feature Collection and see what grabs your attention.