Virtually Display Artwork in a Room (Updated)

Back Side of the Moon, in Situ

Revised and updated from original post of May 10, 2015.

I’m once again experimenting with different ways to display my artwork in a room for a potential buyer.

My artwork is designed digitally to be printed on metal or acrylic panels and then sold online. This is still a bit of a new experience for some collectors who are accustomed to purchasing artwork in person.

Sometimes people see a piece of art they like online, but don’t know how it will look in a room, so here are some ideas.

Auld Lang Syne
Auld Lang Syne, in situ


There are several mobile apps for this, such as e.g. Fine Art America, ArtSee, and iArtView. The ones with the best reviews are for iPhone only, and I’m an Android user. Similar apps are typically rated very low by users on the Google Play Store, with lots of complaints from disappointed customers. So far, I’ve had to give this option a hard “pass.”

If you are an Apple user, and would like to try this for yourself, go to the Apple Store and try searching “preview app on a wall,” or “art in situ”.

Fire and Rain in Situ
Fire and Rain in situ

Virtual Reality

I few years ago, I was more active in the virtual world Second Life, (I still use this option when I need a model for my figure art), and because at the time I had my own virtual gallery, I was able to put together vignettes to display artwork in a room.

This a fun option for someone who already enjoys working with pixels (and/or mesh), but there’s a steep learning curve if that’s the only reason you’re interested in venturing into virtual worlds.

DIY Mockups

There are also room mockups you can purchase online (some options are even free with attribution).

This option requires a good deal of skill and talent with editing software such as Photoshop or Gimp to get the lighting, shadows, placement, and proportions just right, and this can be very time-consuming. You also need to be very careful not to infringe on anyone’s copyright by using their room designs to sell your own work. However, once you get the hang of it, creating your own mock-ups this way will give you an almost unlimited array of options for rooms.

Processing In Situ
Processing in situ

Here are some artists who have written great tutorials on how to do this.

Online Room Demos

This last option is for those of us who like “free and easy” approaches to life.

There are some browser-based options hosted by print-on-demand companies that have decent options. The images are specifically made available to potential customers who want to see their artwork in a room, so there is much less of a chance of infringing on anyone’s copyright. The images are free and software is installed to automatically size your image correctly in proportion to the room.

These are my current favorites:

So, these are just a few ideas. I would love to hear from others who might have used virtual displays in selling “real life” products – what works, and what doesn’t?

5 thoughts

  1. I like them Jenn, excellent work as always. Not that familiar with virtual displays but I’ll let you know if I come across anything. Falling through the floor, sounds like some of my experiences on Second Life 😸.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I took a look at your inworld gallery – don’t know how I’ve missed it before, since I’ve explored the Sim comprehensively in the past!

    It’s remarkable how even a virtual ‘space’ can dramatically change the observer’s perception of a piece. I was surprised at just how much of a difference there was between seeing your work displayed inworld, and the images here in your blog – there’s a depth and a dynamism to the inworld pieces that simply doesn’t translate to a two-dimensional presentation, and being able to walk around and get a real sense of the images really does make a difference. (I really love ‘Elixer’ by the way!).

    As for trying to replicate real world scenarios with virtual equivalents… I’m not so sure. What the artist sees in their work doesn’t necessarily replicate what the observer perceives, and whilst envisioning how we imagine our work will be displayed is very much part of the creative process, I’m not sure that’s always the way it works out. By all means explore your vision – it can only serve to enhance the raison d’etre that underpins what we do, but I think there comes a point where any form of art has to take wings and find its place in the visions of others. For your part… just do what you do so well; enjoy it, and don’t worry about where it goes from there!

    When it came to meshing the real world with the virtual – for me there simply wasn’t an ‘off-the-shelf’ solution. The space I needed had to feel right, and in the end the only option was to build my own gallery from scratch. It’s certainly not perfect, but it is ‘me’, and as a result the juxtaposition of real life and the virtual feel right. And I think that really is the bottom line, if it feels right, then simply follow your heart. My own opinion is that art has nothing to do with pleasing others, it’s all about finding a way to scratch that itch that nothing else can reach – it’s a very personal thing, and I think that most artists – if they’re honest – couldn’t give a damn about what others think of their work, as long as it works for them.

    Your art is extraordinary – I love it, and it speaks to me about things that sometimes I can struggle to articulate, I find myself captivated, occasionally challenged, and – at times – frustrated, even tormented by it… but isn’t that what art is all about? this is stuff that shouldn’t sit easily with the creator or the observer… it’s visceral, it’s emotional and it can be painful, and if it isn’t, then something is missing.

    I’m not really being helpful here. 🙂 My gut feeling is that you should play around, experiment, do what feels right. But, don’t get bogged down with aesthetics… just do your thing, and it it doesn’t work out, it’s no big deal, at least, that’s how it seems to me.

    Wow… I’ve probably rambled on enough! I guess the message is, don’t get too caught up in the ‘how’, just keep on doing the ‘what’, because you do it terribly well. 🙂

    s. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the very insightful remarks, Seren – and yes, this was helpful. Actually, I have been getting a little overwhelmed by the “how” and forgetting to enjoy the process. Also – thanks for visiting my gallery…come back any time!


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