To frame or not to frame shouldn’t be the question.
While you may have seen galleries displaying unframed canvases, as a private art collector it is better to frame your paintings. When you buy an artwork, either as an investment piece or for enjoyment, you need a frame to ensure that the painting lasts long and is protected from dust and moisture. Here, we spill the beans on how to frame artwork. You’ll learn everything you need to know about how to choose the perfect frame based on colour, material, and design.
Colour and Material of Frames
When it comes to choosing frames, the sky is the limit. From heavy wooden frames to frames made of plastic and fibre - there’s a staggering range of materials to choose from. Wooden frames are classic, but they might look heavy and outdated for some modern and contemporary paintings. Fibre and plastic frames in unconventional colours and designs may also be considered for certain types of artworks.
A framer shouldn’t be afraid to say out loud when a painting doesn’t require a frame. Ensure that the painting is mounted properly and has the right depth and shape to sit on the wall it’s meant for. The medium of the painting is also crucial in determining the type of frame and the accessories used. For prints, simple frames in solid colours may look best. Black and white photographs and artwork may look best with simple black frames. For coloured photographs and artworks, you might match the frame with the dominant colour of the artwork.
Drawings, illustrations, and delicate watercolours should always be mounted on a mat before being framed. The mat provides a gap between the painting and the glass and prevents the painting from rubbing against it.
Oil paintings have been around for centuries, much before large glasses were produced in commercial quantities. The oil on the painting reacts with air and changes colour through oxidation. It might even take an oil on canvas painting several years to completely dry! As such, extra precautions should be taken to preserve an oil painting. Always opt for thicker, sturdier wooden frames. Some experts believe that glass should not be used on an oil painting, as the glass traps moisture. If you are putting your oils within a glass cover, make sure you regularly clean it dry cloth to remove dust.
Design of Frames
Depending on the nature of the painting and the aesthetics of the work to be displayed, frames come in all sorts of design variants.
- Gallery frames are the ideal frames for paintings. In these frames, the picture is placed on an elevated mat that creates a frame-within-frame effect. It also protects your prized picture or painting from touching the glass cover, creating a space for the painting to breathe.
- Minimalist frames are best for abstract art and photography. These frames are sleek and come in solid colours. They allow the artwork to take the centre stage.
- Floating frames use acrylic or glass instead of paper as a mat to protect your painting. The painting is held together by two transparent acrylic sheets. This gives an invisible feel to the frame. Floating frames can be used for statement pieces.
- Deep-set frames appear like leaves out of a book. These have thick mats surrounding the photo that are relatively smaller than the mat and the frame. Deep-set frames are ideal for showcasing small sketches, travel photographs and candid shots from daily life.
- Canvas frames stretch the canvas on a frame that brings the artwork out of the wall. This adds depth to the artwork and a 3D-like effect. Use these frames sparingly, only for photos that you want to pop out. Wedding photographs, portraits, etc. work best for these kinds of frames.
- Tabletop frames come with detachable metal stands that help you to take artwork from the wall and put it on the countertop. These photo frames are perfect for family photographs.
If you are planning to invest in an artwork, do consider framing it. A frame will protect your artwork and will ensure that it is enjoyed by future generations. Terrain.art brings you the list of top frame makers in India, who will help you choose the perfect frame for your precious works of art.