10 things I’ve learned about framing.
Framing your art for success.
Framing doesn’t have to be expensive to look good. There are many options for making frames look fantastic without spending a lot of money. Below is a list of 10 things to consider while making decisions about how and why to frame your work.
- Framed art always outsells unframed art. These days the trend is to paint on the gallery-wrap canvases to avoid framing costs, but ironically, even when adding the cost of the frame into the price it will sell faster than something unframed.
- Paint on standard size canvases. Custom framing each piece because they are different sizes costs you more money. When you stick to standard sizes you can rotate your frames, fitting them onto different pieces, reusing them and cutting your framing bill. Standard size doesn’t mean boring.
- The liner to cap ratio is important. The larger the liner the smaller the cap should be. The smaller the liner the bigger the cap. 1/3 cap to 2/3 liner, or vice versa. Having the cap and the liner the same size looks boring and takes away from the artwork. This holds true for watercolours and pastels as well.
- Glass vs. no glass. There are many options for glass. "Clear View" glass is virtually invisible and a very cost effective way to showcase and protect your artwork. Watercolours painted on board don't need to be framed under glass. With the proper varnish they can now be framed like oils and that opens up a whole new world to framing possibilities.
- Stacking frames. Liners cost a fair amount. One way to reduce cost is to stack mouldings. Using two caps instead of a liner can cut costs and look really great too. Stacking is a great option if you are traveling from show to show with your frames. Liners don’t travel well. They get dirty very easily and need to be handled with care.
- The louder the painting the quieter the frame and vice versa. A busy painting usually needs a quieter frame. Having a busy frame and a busy painting is overwhelming, while a quieter painting can handle a much more ornate or busier frame.
- When in doubt go for the gold! Gold is a chameleon frame. It transitions well into any room with almost any art. When you're just not sure gold is a safe option.
- Darks shrink and lights expand. When choosing caps be sure to note what’s happening to a piece. Dark frames can surround a piece and make it look warm and inviting but can also close-in a piece and stifling it. Light frames can expand and make your art look bigger than it really is but it can also make a piece look lost. Keep you eyes on the prize!
- Plastic frames break. Injected mouldings are the newest thing in framing. Though an inexpensive option, these frames damage very easily. If the join breaks, the frame is irreparable!
- Protect your frames. Use cardboard corners and buy loads of plastic stretch wrap (Zippy Wrap) to cover your frames. A good frame shop will give you corners for your paintings. Keep them and buy more when you run out. They are a cheap way to keep your frames from getting damaged.