Framing Artwork

14th Nov 2016

Framing art is more than presenting your artwork in the best possible light, like surrounding a diamond with an exquisite gold setting. Framing is one way that your work will endure, ensuring that your clients enjoy it as long as possible. The protection that framing affords also contributes to the preservation of your artwork, so that it maintains or even increases its value over time.

As an artist, you can help your clients by making the initial decisions on how the piece can be meaningfully presented. Here are some considerations.

Wood vs. Metal. Is your work contemporary or classical? What feelings would you like to evoke – romance, tranquility or a sense of energy? The choice of picture frame material will be important in imbibing the look and feel you want to achieve with the painting. Metal chrome is more modern while black metallic frames will suit contemporary pieces. A classical painting will need a timeless vintage wood frame while an antique portrait will look its best with a vintage oval picture frame. Wood looks classy yet can be very affordable. Meanwhile, metal is easier to repair when damaged. InLine Ovals offer a wide selection of antique picture frames in a variety of designs and finishes.

Proportion. Frames with wide moldings are ideal for larger artwork, since you can provide a sense of proportion to the size of the artwork. However, if you use wide moldings with smaller artwork, you can use some matting to prevent the frame from overpowering the artwork.

Framing options. Basically, you can choose whether to have a floating frame, a frame with matting or a frame where the artwork is framed up to the edge.

  • Framing to the edge. This type of framing allows the edges of the artwork to either fall just at the edge of the mounting board.
  • Floating. This style of framing makes the artwork look like it is floating behind the glass. The artwork/canvas is usually wrapped around a mounting board or attached to a foam core lift. The mounting board or foam cord is hidden from view but is mounted to the back of the frame or to a supporting matting board.
  • Matting. In matting, the artwork is behind the matting board. The matting board acts like a frame within a frame, adding a sense of depth to the overall look of the artwork.
  • Additional ornamentation. You can also add functional and ornamental accessories. For instance, when framing an oil painting, you can use linen liners to add dimensions to the painting, while also serving to provide “breathing space” between the painting and the glass. Another option is to add gold or metallic fillet for an added accent. Fillets are thin moldings that can be placed in between the frame and the artwork or between the matting board and the artwork.

Framing Works on Paper. Pastel drawings, photographs, watercolors and charcoal work that are set on paper need to be mounted before they are framed. Use conservation methods to ensure that your artwork is properly protected and preserved. These include using corner pockets and acid-free materials.

Use of glazing. To protect the artwork from the elements, you should consider adding glass to your framed work. The most common option is regular glass, which prevents dust and pollutants. You can also opt for acrylic glazing, which is lighter and shatter-resistant and can also come with UV-protection and non-glare properties.