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You’ve made or bought the piece, now stand back and look at it. Sometimes the work is detailed and upstanding enough that they look better WITHOUT a frame. Some works done on a canvas have a continuation on the edges of the canvas and a frame would hide it, and ruin that illusion that the artist created.
So before buying or getting a frame for the work, actually sit back and consider if the frame would add or remove from the intention and visual aspects of the work.
The place you would want to display your work would heavily factor into what frame you should go with. If the placing of the piece resides in between things, or is a filler for empty space, you may want to stray away from a big, heavy frame. That would have a tendency to make the space look cluttered and rather unkempt. A lighter frame would allow for the work to shine without making your space look unkempt and haphazardly thrown together.
If the piece will be hung on a empty wall with not much else on it or near it, go for big heavy frames. A lighter one may leave something to be desired, not completely filling out the space to its full potential. A heavy frame would look purposeful, meant to be there and give a ‘completed’ look to the space, without making it too cluttered.
Is the piece in pasteles, pencils, oil paints, acrylics, watercolors, or in ink? The answer to this question should be known by you whether you’re the artist or the buyer. The reason it’s important to take the medium into consideration when framing is because some mediums allow for an art piece to look better without a frame, while others do not.
If the work is in watercolors, pastels, color pencils or any other medium that leaves a ‘dry texture’ it’s best to display them with a mat, and a picture glass in front of them. This allows for the work to be protected from any external damage and smudging and also allows for the work to stand out even though the aesthetics of it are generally muted.
If the work is in oil paint or acrylic paint, you wouldn’t really need a picture glass when framing. Acrylic and Oil paints are a lot more sturdy and don’t smudge once dried, so the protective layer of glass is not required with those works. While with watercolors, color pencils and pastels you would opt for a ‘lighter’ or less thick frame so that the work is not overtaken by the frame. When it comes to oils and acrylics, you can use a more ‘heavy’ or thick frame, without a mount mat because the piece is usually vibrant enough to stand on its own.
There are quite a few things to consider when framing your art, but these three should give you a rough idea of what to look for and what to watch out for. At the end of the day the art you display is excellent, whether you are the creator or the buyer, it means something. The frame of it is simply an extension of its story and would help you showcase its meaning in a way that would captivate everyone who looks at it.