Picture frames for artwork

Picture frames for artwork

Posted by Sophia Peters On 18th Nov 2019

When many of us come to select picture frames for artwork, we are often worried that we are not doing it correctly. It seems that framing art can be considered as much of an art form as the piece of art itself.

Of course, you can visit Memory Box to select frames, which takes all of the guesswork out of it.

But just exactly what is the secret? We aim to outline the main points for you below to make it easier for you to choose the right frames for artwork.

Choosing the right frame for your artwork

Make sure the style reflects the artwork

The perfect frame isn’t overpowering or distracting from the actual artwork itself. Ideally, a good frame will have the right components within it that will naturally highlight the main features of the piece.

It should reflect its character, whether that is traditional, modern, abstract or minimalist, for example. You could consider whether you want to pull out a key colour from your artwork and match that to your frame, or how you think it might enhance its presentation.

Sometimes, when it comes to decor, you don’t know why something just pulls it all together but it just works.

Perhaps you might try out a few different frames and then simply be inexplicably drawn to one in particular. It could be that the design reflects the general feeling of the piece, be it abstract or highly detailed, simple or traditional.

Choosing the right material

When choosing the right frame for your artwork, you might want to opt for a frame made from natural materials and in a raw and rustic style. This could be particularly suitable if it is artwork depicting a landscape in nature or wildlife.

Or, alternatively, it could be that you choose an elaborate metal or chrome based frame to accentuate the features of a bold cityscape.

You could, for example, be drawn to modern frames for oil paintings that are full of broad, dramatic brush strokes and colour.

We don’t often think about how the material our frame is made from can tie into the theme of the artwork, but it can make a great deal of sense to think about this. It definitely shows that you are in tune with the piece and what it is about, so that you can translate this through your framing of it. Check out our gold frames selection for the very best in unique or custom, handmade pieces.

Gold frames for artwork

Consider the protection of your artwork

Frames are also there to protect a picture, not just to make it look good. Therefore, you should do your research and look into whether your frame will provide adequate protection from scratches, dust and fading.

It will need to act as a shield from damage to your picture as well as a beautiful statement that complements your work. So, do check what materials it is made from, plus the craftsmanship to ensure that it is a tight, strong and efficient frame, too.

Think about the setting

There is a lot to consider when it comes to framing - including its final location. So, whether you are choosing a frame for a display in your home or for an exhibition, for example, this will have a big sway on what you end up picking.

If it is for the former, then you will want to ensure it fits with the style and decor of the rest of your home. Whereas if it is for the latter, you will want it to highlight your artwork to its absolute best to increase its chances of making an impression within a gallery or, ultimately, a sale.

For this reason, you will also want the frame to reflect the value of the piece - you don’t want it to affect your profit but you also want it to do justice to your work.

Stay true to your personal style

For a lot of people, the decision on which frame to have also comes down to it reflecting their personal style and taste or the current trends. For example, if you like to have a bit of opulence and ornate furnishings, then you will certainly want a frame that it is keeping with this.

However, if you are someone who prefers to keep their decor low-key and very simple with straight lines and only one or two colours at play, you will want to reflect this in your choice of frames.

Whether you yourself have created the artwork or if you have chosen it because it appeals to certain aspects of your personality, you shouldn’t forget this. The same reasons you love the picture should be poured into your frame selection, so be sure to pick one that has the same attributes - be it fun and colourful or calming.

Think about how it impacts the artwork

You could also be considering, as part of your choice, how the frame will affect the way in which the artwork appears.

Take, for example, children’s artwork frames. A popular modern way of hanging pieces for a child’s room or nursery is with a box frame. This immediately gives the picture an openness, without any reflection on it and much more simple and informal.

It is important to consider how your frame choices will impact how the artwork is displayed and how it will hang. This is because it could potentially change the whole focus and appearance of colours within the piece, depending on how it hangs on the wall and how that affects the light on it.

One of the main jobs of a frame - which is not something most people think of - is that it disconnects the picture from its surroundings.

This means that it separates it from the space around it so that you are helped to focus more on what is inside it and are drawn to it, rather than being distracted by what is around it.

How to measure your artwork for a picture frame

Now that you've decided on the right photo frame for your artwork, it's time to measure your artwork for a photo frame. To measure your artwork, you'll need a tape measure and something to jot down your measurements on.

Before you get started, it's important to remember that for the frame only (no mount), frames are measured using the inside dimensions, width and height. So if you have a 20 x 30 cm image, you need to order a 20 x 30 cm frame. However, if you have a mount, you'll need to take the measurements of the width and height of the area you'd like to frame and mount.

Should you frame a canvas painting?

Really this comes down to personal preference. If you have a stretched canvas and you're happy with how the sides look, display it unframed. However, canvas paintings can be highlighted beautifully with a simple frame which complements both the style of the art and the setting it is going to be displayed in.

Framing a canvas also has preservative benefits that shouldn't be forgotten about. A frame not only protects the edges and corners of your piece, but it can also shield against structural warping - this is especially important if you plan to display your artwork for a long period of time.

Should acrylic paintings be framed under glass?

You don't need to frame acrylic canvases under glass, but again you can do so if you want to. It's usually best to create a small space between the glass and the canvas by using strips of plastic or wood. Some people also report acrylic paintings on paper sticking to glass, which can create an unattractive visual effect. However, a mount may help to prevent this, as will matting.

For more information on how to choose frames for artwork, including modern frames for oil paintings and cardboard frames for artwork, please contact us at Memory Box today.