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Label: framing

Wednesday 15th October 2014Framing Your Work

As artists, we are often completely obsessed by our own work. It's a bit embarrassing to admit, but most of us are extravagant showoffs - that's part of why we're compelled to create in the first place. It may not be immediately obvious, but at some level, that's what drives us to share our views, our experiences, and our reflections with the rest of the world. But there are many steps beyond the actual creation of our artwork that can have a huge impact on the way they are received by our hopefully adoring public. Depending on what medium you're working in, framing can be one of those critical elements that can take a great piece of work to the next level or completely ruin it for the viewers, so let's take a quick look at some of the basic principles behind framing your work.

Obviously, the idea scenario is not having a frame around your work, so that nothing will distract from the piece itself. This is extremely easy to do if you're a painter who works with stretched canvases, but much more difficult if you're a photographer. It's possible to get your prints made in the style of a stretched canvas, but the expense is often prohibitive, especially when compared to that of a decent frame that will provide an acceptable background.

The most important thing to consider is how the frame will change the way the viewer perceives your work. If you're recreating the works of the European old masters, a richly carved gilt frame may help create the right sense of baroque gravitas, but it isn't likely be as effective on any kind of more modern artwork (though as with every rule, there are bound to be plenty of exceptions). Generally speaking, the more neutral the frame the better, as it will have less of an impact on the work. A thin frame was a popular style in past decades, but often seems a bit cheap and tacky today. A width of at least an inch is a good general rule, although your tastes may vary depending on the size of your piece and the effect you want to achieve.

Choosing the matte surrounding your work is equally important, and typically follows similar general principles to choosing a frame - keep it low key in a neutral colour, and pay careful attention to the balance of the widths in relation to the size of your work. A large amount of matte can combine nicely with a smaller image to increase the visual weight of the image itself, and too little matte can make it seem like a poorly planned afterthought.

So experiment with various combinations before you make a final choice, and you'll be another step along the way to getting the adulation your masterpieces truly deserve.

Posted on October 15th 2014 on 08:14pm
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Labels: framing, tips
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