• Rose-Marie Marshall-Jane

The Importance Of A Good Frame

We always stress to our clients and students that a good, quality frame will make any piece of art work seem like a masterpiece. Whether it's a sketch, colouring in book piece or an oil painting of the Lake District if you take the time and can afford to frame your art it will truly take your work from 10% -100%.

Now, some may think that "any old frame will do" but no, any old frame will not do. That is the worst thing you could possibly do to your art. Previously, a few members of a former art class have popped along to the local charity shops and picked up framed photos and reused the frame (which is good for recycling but really bad for your art) or brought cheap plastic frames with perspex glass and stuck their art in it saying "you don't need an expensive frame", whilst that may be true, you don't need a super expensive frame, you do need a trained framer to help you pick the right frame, mount and glass. Perspex won't cut it. It'll reflect every bit of light around your setting and make your work seem really cheap, it will also offer little to no protection from UV light meaning your paint, pencil etc will fade a lot more quickly. The same with those horrible plastic frames from IKEA, yuck! They're okay for photos and posters but your art? Respect your art, don't let it sit in awful plastic frames that are bad for your pieces and bad for the environment.

There's not a general size for art pieces, yes you draw on an A3 or A2 etc. but your art maybe slightly smaller than the general size so you need a frame to crop it down and fit it perfectly.

Don't frame every thing that you do.

There's no need to frame every single piece of work that you do, including the simplest of sketches and that doodle you did at the bus stop. What we have is a wallet portfolio where we keep the doodles, sketches and other non framable pieces in. It keeps them in place for easy reaching and also keeps them safe. We frame the pieces that we intend to sell and commissions. All our clients prefer us to frame them or at least offer our suggestions towards framing.

I get it, framing can be expensive. Depending on who your framer is and what deals you have with them framing can cost from £15 up for A4 depending on mount and frame options. Real wood frames like oak and walnut will cost a lot, there are some very good cheaper alternatives in the style of oak that looks just as fabulous. It's worth asking your framer for their options and how they see your art framed. They're trained in the art of framing, they know what they're talking about.

I am forever stunned by how good of a job our framer does, we can go in with a piece of paper and end up with a piece of art fit for royalty! He's that good.

Are you a hobbyist or an artist.

Hey, being a hobbyist is absolutely fine, there's nothing wrong with dabbling in the art of art but the difference between an artist and a hobbyist is that a hobbyist will often think less of or value their art less than an artist. Hence why most hobbyists will lean towards cheaper options for frames and all artists will value a good framer for their art.

What we use.

Generally, we double mount all the pieces. It creates a subtle border within a border and helps it to really frame the art, we try to keep the colours of the frame and mount complimentary to the colours of the drawing and the paper used. For example, Yvonne draw a pink bunch of flowers on a grey background so the mount was a complimentary pink and the frame was black. Lovely.

Non- reflective glass is the way to go for our drawings and paintings. Our studio is light, bright and with white coloured walls inside and across the road normal glass reflects like hi-vis jackets so we mostly go for non-reflective glass to counteract the reflections and also add a little more quality to the art. Trust me, you'll notice the difference.

Daphne and Dennis

Our framer has a saying in his shop that I admire each time we are there, it goes a little something like this:

"That is the mark of a good frame, it affects the way you see it without you seeing it" - Helen Lewis

Never have truer words been spoken about a frame.

So let me sum it up: Yes, you do need a good quality frame for you to value your art properly. Give it a go! Find yourself a good, friendly framer and spend the time chatting and familiarising your framer with your art. Pick a mount, chose a frame and marvel at how good a quality frame will enhance your art.