Framing Art - How to Frame Paintings & Drawings

I get many emails with questions about how to frame the artwork once it’s finally at home. This information is usually well known among artists and we sometimes forget about that people don’t know about things that are matter of course to us.

I also think it’s important that people who commission my custom painted portraits take properly care of it, because even though the artwork isn’t in my possession anymore I’m still emotionally attached to it and I want it to be in safe hands.

When you receive your portrait, you should consider getting it framed as soon as possible to prevent any damage. If you don’t have knowledge about framing your self (which is common), bring your portrait to a professional framer.

Of course it is hard to know the difference between a good or bad framer, but the choice is made by you when it comes to it. Good framers have sense about composition and colours, are very finicky and accurate.

Many times you can’t see how they work before you see the final result, but good framers should be able to give you advice and answers about things you are wondering about.

Finally you will be able to judge the framers work by the quality he provided to you. Most good framers have a huge range of Mounts/Matts and frames available; choose a frame that suits your home and the painting according to your personal taste.

Framing Artwork in Different Mediums

Oil Paintings

Oils don’t need to be framed under glass; in fact I don’t believe it’s suitable at all. The reflection from the glass destroys the matt and soft colours of the innate surface and makes no justice to the painting.

An oil painting needs to be framed by a professional framer. There are many different levels of quality Mouldings to choose from. My advice would be to tell the framer about your budget, personal taste and let him tell you which frames are available to choose from.

He shod be able to give you a quote of price as son as you made up your mind. A framer has many sample corners that can be viewed and added next to the painting for you to have a presentiment about what the final result could look like.

There are even plastic and other low quality frames to buy, but I wouldn’t recommend them.

Paper-Based Artwork

Usually the artist decides on composition of the painting or drawing, but if you still want to crop the artwork, don’t crop too much because there is no turning back.

Mounts are pieces of white or coloured cards that are placed around the pencil drawings or any other paper-based artwork, before they are framed under glass. These frames are usually thinner then the frames used for framing oils and are once again available in various qualities, styles and colours.

There are usually at least two types of glass to choose from for framing artwork. However, never frame a paperbased portrait directly touching the glass, always use Mounts/Matts before you frame the artwork.