Tips for Choosing Feng Shui Paintings and Art

Updated March 16, 2022
feng shui art Chinese painting with birds standing on bamboo

Paintings and art contribute to the overall energetic flow and feel of a space. General feng shui principles apply to wall art and paintings. Use the bagua to determine the ideal placement of feng shui paintings and art in the living room or elsewhere for auspicious chi and to cultivate specific energy such as prosperity. Choose your art based on the elements it depicts and the energetic frequencies it promotes.

Wall Art and the Feng Shui Elements

Choose paintings that feature one of the five elements of feng shui in order to contribute more to that elemental energy. Likewise, elements depicted in paintings can strengthen or weaken other elements.

  • Paintings of trees or driftwood, forest landscapes, and similar images depict the wood element. Wall art made from wooden materials may reflect the wood element.
  • Wall art depicting water landscapes, rivers, waterfalls, lakes, or other liquids depict the element of water.
  • Art featuring candles, fireplaces, or other fiery things depict the element of fire.
  • Landscapes and wall art with mountains, plants, crystals, and similar items depict the element of earth.
  • Wall art containing things like cars, coins, or silver grooming sets all depict elements of metal.

Feng Shui Colors in Paintings and Art

You can also look for the predominate color in the painting to determine its element.

  • Objects with red, orange, or purple strengthen the element of fire. Wall art with these colors reflects joy, vibrance, passion, and warmth.
  • Art with brown or green strengthens the element of wood. Paintings containing these colors are considered colors of prosperity and spur renewal.
  • Images with blue or aqua strengthen the element of water. They are associated with tranquility and peace.
  • Paintings and art with brown, beige, yellow, and earth tones strengthen the element of earth. Earth elements are associated with stability, grounding, nurturing, and receptivity.
  • Items in brown, black, white, gray, and metallics strengthen the element of metal. Metal represents energy moving inward, productivity, rational thought, and intellectualism.

Use paintings with these colors to help tone down areas where you have too much of a certain type of energy using the cycle of destruction with water weakening fire, fire weakening metal, metal weakening wood, wood weakening earth, and earth weakening water.

Seasons in Paintings

feng shui art winter landscape

If the painting depicts a certain season, then these are also related to elements and can be placed according to the bagua. Art that shows:

  • Late summer is related to the element of earth
  • Autumn is related to the element of metal
  • Winter is related to the element of water
  • Spring relates to the element of wood
  • Early summer relates to the element of fire

Feng Shui Paintings for Wealth

Symbols of prosperity are popular subjects for feng shui art, in both paintings and wall reliefs. The auspicious paintings for prosperity often depict lucky flowers and natural features, while wall reliefs most often depict lucky animals.

Animal Reliefs

A popular choice of wall art for enhancing feng shui is an animal relief or carving. These can be made out of metal, wood, resin, or other mediums. There are many auspicious feng shui animals, so you have many options to choose the one you relate to the most, as your personal lucky painting.

Wealth Ships

One of the most commonly used symbols of wealth, especially by savvy business people, is the wealth ship, which was inspired by ancient merchant ships. Wealth ship wall art should be mounted on your wall so it is sailing into your home, never away. Most wall art of this type is a high-relief style and has places where you can add various Chinese coins, gemstones, gold ingots, and other symbols of wealth as though loading cargo onto your ship. Most wealth ships are colored gold to symbolize this metal of great wealth.

Koi Fish

The carp, better known as the Koi fish, is another symbol of wealth and good fortune. Koi fish are associated with prosperity. Therefore, these paintings can help to boost wealth and abundance, particularly in the money corner of your home. While most people are accustomed to seeing these in aquariums or ornamental ponds, there's no reason you can't use this symbol in wall art. A silk folding screen designed for the wall makes an excellent choice of high-design and feng shui authenticity.

Feng Shui Tips for Paintings

feng shui art tiger Chinese painting on a plum blossom background

Finding the right painting for your feng shui home offers many options and fit almost any style of decor. Choose the type of painting that fits into your decor and color palette, paying attention to which feels the comfortable to you, as feng shui is all about encouraging positive energy.

Pay Attention to the Energy of Lines

Lines are also important in feng shui and this includes those in paintings and art.

  • Straight lines and sharp angles are considered unfortuitous or negative, because negative energy travels in a straight line. While paintings can have straight lines, these need to be softened with curves and arches, as well.
  • Curved lines are considered fortuitous because positive energy travels a curved path.
  • Circles depict balance and cycles of energy and nature.

Choose Positive Feng Shui Paintings

The following images in paintings may contribute to positive energetic conditions:

  • Paintings of bamboo are said to bring luck and prosperity.
  • Images of Buddha (whether statues or in a painting) bring good luck. However, this is only true of the Buddha painting is a gift someone else has given to you, as you cannot purchase luck.
  • Paintings of positive images, such as beautiful scenery or celebrations, bring good energy throughout your home or office.
  • Many other pieces of artwork, including paintings, can be placed in areas of your home to support different energies.

Avoid Negative Chi

Some paintings may create less beneficial energies according to feng shui.

  • Paintings of disasters, wars, storms, unhappiness, loneliness, or similar negative incidents generate negative energy.
  • Having paintings of water in the bedroom could cool passions, as water suppresses fire according to the cycle of destruction.

Painting Sizes and Materials

In general, larger pieces bring more energy than smaller works. Likewise, watercolors may have a softer energy due to their less vibrant colors than those done with oils or acrylics. Consider framing material, as well, noting which element it depicts. Feng shui paintings for the living room can be larger than art in other rooms, and because of the dynamic yang energy of the room, your colors can be bolder, too.

Choose What You Love

Choosing art and paintings with feng shui in mind is important in how the chi energy circulates in your home or workspace, but be sure to choose wall art with more than feng shui as an objective. It's also important that you choose pieces you love, as you will be looking at them for many years to come. Figure out what types of wall art you need for each area of the home, and select the feng shui art you truly enjoy.

Tips for Choosing Feng Shui Paintings and Art