How To Find The Right Frame For Your Wall Art, Painting ?
Whether you are framing a canvas painting from an acclaimed contemporary artist or crayon wall art from a small child, the type of frame that you choose can have a significant impact on the way the artwork is viewed and how well it holds up over time.
The first decision you have to make, of course, is whether you even need a frame. To frame or not to frame is now very much a question, especially with modern canvas paintings. As a general rule of thumb, if you have a contemporary, gallery-wrapped painting and no staples or tacks are visible on the edges, then you do not need a frame. However, if you have a flat painting (such as on a board or a piece of paper), then you definitely need a frame.
The choice of frame is based on one major consideration: the frame should not overwhelm the artwork. That might sound simple enough, but you’d be surprised at how some people try to use an ornate frame to enhance a simple artwork.
However, you want the viewer to focus on your beautiful wall art, not on the frame. There are a lot of different considerations to take into account. The conventional wisdom is to choose a frame that’s complementary to the style and the texture of the artwork.
For a painting that’s classical in nature (say, for example, an Impressionist-style painting of a lily pond or a portrait), it’s best to opt for a frame that’s also classical in nature. But for a contemporary acrylic painting, you’d want something more sleek and modern-looking. Where things get really interesting, of course, is when you purposely juxtapose two contrasting styles in order to pull out some theme within the art itself!
Notice that there has not yet been any mention of matching the frame to the décor of the surrounding room, or even of matching the frame to other paintings or wall art in the room. There’s a good reason for that – the more that you try to match the art to the surrounding room, the more you will fail to complement the underlying artwork. If in doubt, stick to white, black or natural wood – these are all “safe” choices for framing an acrylic painting or canvas painting and make it easy to move the painting from room to room (or even house to house) without needing to be re-framed at any time.
If you are framing a work of art on paper (such as a charcoal drawing or a watercolor painting), you will also need to consider using matting. A mat board is essentially a thin board with a cutout window that is laid over the painting and is used to prevent a glass cover from touching that painting. There’s also an aesthetic value to the mat board, as very minor details – such as a thin trim around the mat – can add markedly to the value of the painting. Just one pro tip here: If possible, try to ensure that all materials used are 100% acid-free. This is to prevent discoloration or other damage to the artwork at a later date.
The last consideration is the type of glass that you will use to protect the painting from dust and other air pollutants. For most pieces of artwork – such as a watercolor painting from one of your children – regular glass is perfectly OK. However, if you are framing a particularly large piece of art, you might want to consider Plexiglas, which is much lighter than glass and is near-shatterproof. If you have a true masterpiece on your hands, you might want to consider the most expensive option: “museum glass.”
If in doubt about how to frame a work of art, the best advice is to head out to a local art gallery (or museum) and see how the curators have chosen to arrange the artworks. You might be surprised – a single wall of the gallery might contain a vast array of different frame types. You’ll most certainly walk away with both a deep appreciation of the art, as well as the unique art required to frame a gallery-quality painting!