A wooden picture frame with chalk writing
So, you’ve bought the artwork, now what?
 
You may be a big collector or a small-time art lover, but framing options can be rather confusing and if, like me are you are downright indecisive this can feel overwhelming. Sadly, framing cannot be avoided as we all know framing is key to making your artwork sing and can add another dimension to your finished piece.
 Regular questions I’m asked by my customers are;
”How do I know what frame I should buy?” and that is typically followed by; “where should I go to get it? “
Well breathe, let me take the stress out of it for you, I will share with you a little bit of framing knowledge I've learnt along the way, to make the process a little less daunting.

In this months blog I have put together a list of things to think about when framing your art.

A basic guide to framing.

 Frameless Art. 
 I wouldn’t recommend going without a frame unless your art is on stretched wrapped canvas or cradled board. These are usually oil or acrylic paintings. Remember you must be happy to see the edges of the artwork.
 
Mounting your artwork.
My top piece of advice for enhancing paper-based artwork, such as drawings, watercolour or photography is with a mount. A mount acts as a border between the edge of the artwork and the frame, but also lifts the artwork away from glass.
Do it yourself: Mounts of popular sizes can be bought online individually or as a bulk order from online mounting and framing companies. Make sure you measure your artwork accurately to ensure your mount fits. I have made the mistake of measuring a millimetre out, my artwork didn’t fit properly, therefore slipping out of the mounting aperture.
Leave it to the pros: visit your local framing company with your piece of art and they can make you a mount to suit your taste and the artwork. They will give you many colour choices and the option for double mounting to add a flash of colour which can accentuate the artwork even more.
Framing.
Framing your artwork and choosing the right frame for you is an art form in itself. Remember, framing in general is subjective and depends on the piece of art and your own preferences. But here are a few thigs to consider when choosing the frame.
  • Consider the medium and surface on which your artwork has been produced. The choices in framing oil and acrylic paintings are endless. Keep in mind that oil paintings can take years to dry properly, and it is advised to not frame with glass, as it can trap moisture and cause the canvas to rot.
  • Think about how a frame can present the work most effectively. Consider if the art piece is busy, if it is, you may be better off selecting a simpler frame.
  • There are no set rules for choosing the right frame, but the best piece of advice I can give is to pick a frame that makes your artwork the focus!
 
Framing on a budget: You will not be short of choice; the key is to know where to look for a frame that fits your budget. Try to be open minded and, most of all, trust your instincts. One of my favourite places to shop for unique frames is Home Sense, part of the TK MAXX group, there you can find simple, monochrome frames – particularly for gallery walls.  You will not be short of choice from retailers like Ikea and Dunelm, where you can find a wide range of sizes that usually also include a mount. 
A poplar framing style now is to mix contemporary art with classical framing. I have had a collector buy artwork from me unframed and has really made my artwork sing by using a frame they picked up from antique shop.
Framing with a professional framing company: Framing choices are wide-ranging and choosing the right frame for you and your artwork is a personal decision. Frames are made in a variety of materials, classically in wood, metal, or resin. White frames are particularly popular right now, especially with contemporary art.  
Glass for paper-based artwork
Glass (Regular) is an affordable option and is generally less susceptible to scratching, making it easier to clean, but it is a heavy option compared to acrylic (keep this in mind when you are thinking about hanging your artwork)
 Art Glass is used in the same way as regular glass, but it has some added perks, not only does it help to protect your artwork from UV rays and environmental damage, it is also anti-reflective and appears virtually invisible. It is a little more costly than normal glass, but in my opinion, well worth the cost (talk to your local framer about this option).
Acrylic is a perfect alternative to glass, but not all acrylics are equal, so look out for anti-reflective, anti-glare and anti-UV ray options to protect your artwork. Acrylic is ideal for larger items to hang as it is lightweight. Acrylic is also perfect for shipping as a gift since it is shatterproof. It’s the perfect option for you if you want to hang your art in a place where health and safety is in mind i.e., kids’ playroom.  The only downfall to Acrylic is it can get scratched much more easily than glass.
Whatever the material, it is key that it has been treated to protect from UV rays.
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