Picture Frames: Elements that Give Visual Impact

26th Dec 2016

Picture frames do not simply house photos or artwork. A well-selected picture frame should make an amazing piece of artwork shine even more. On the other hand, if you put a piece of artwork on a poorly selected frame, you will end up detracting from the beauty of the masterpiece.

Now, it can be useful to remember that there is no single frame design that fits all requirements. You will need to exercise your creativity and aesthetic instincts to choose the right combination of artwork and picture frame. It can take some experimenting, but with some patience and creativity, you can present your artwork in all its glory and beauty.

Here are some of the elements that will add to a piece’s visual impact:

  • Color. Remember, the picture frame is an accessory, and the main focus should be the artwork. Choose a frame color that will complement the artwork. Your choice will really depend on the theme and predominant colors of the artwork. For instance, antique silver picture frames can best complement traditional oil paintings or watercolors. On the other hand, the same frame will look awkward when used with an edgy modern black and white cityscape. Take note of the following tips when choosing the color of your picture frames:
    • Order some color samples from InLine Ovals. These are picture frame arcs or corners that you can use to hold against your artwork to see how well it matches. The sample set provides a $50 refund to its purchase price when your picture frame purchase exceeds $100.
    • Light or casual artworks work well with light-colored frames while classic works are best complemented by dark frames (which look more formal).
    • Gold and silver work well for both traditional and modern work, depending on the style of the frame.
    • You should also choose a frame color that has a high level of contrast to the wall color.
    • If you opt for some matting layers, the colors of the frame and the mat that is closest to the frame should be different.
  • Scale. There should be some proportion in terms of the width and size of the picture frame in relation to the size of the artwork. A picture frame that is too thin will look flimsy while one that is too wide can end up overpowering the artwork. Adding a layer of matting can be a great tool to add perspective and a sense of balance to the overall work. The matting works to provide some “breathing space” between the frame and the artwork. Another consideration will be the overall weight of the picture frame package – the width and the structure of the picture frame should be strong enough to support the whole package.
  • Style. A particular type of work will call for a certain style of frame. For instance, a contemporary piece will call for a simple, uncluttered frame. Meanwhile, a Renoir or Monet (or even just a replica of these!) will call for an ornate and even gilded silver or gold frame. For a landscape photo or a painting of the sunset at the beach, you can consider getting a picture frame that is not too fancy or too plain.
  • Textures. Wood finishing, metallic gilding or a chrome finish – these all suit a certain kind of look. Wooden finishes that are weathered or distressed work great for antique picture frames that hold a painting of a day at the beach. Meanwhile, gold leaf finish connotes luxury and classic formality. You can also incorporate texture in your matting boards. The textures can exude a casual look and feel or a dramatic look that contrasts the picture frame and the art.