You've done it, you are officially an art owner!
Damn, that feels good.
You have chosen the art that speaks to your soul, selected the wall it will hang on, and now there's just one thing left - FRAMING
Here are my top 5 tips for framing pastel artwork. I hope to give you some clarity, knowledge, and confidence on this final but important step.
Pastels are such a glorious material to work with. Soft, yet detailed, and vividly rich in depth and colour. The only downfall is they can smudge and dust fragments may fall.
Having your artwork matted when framing provides a gap between the frame and the artwork minimizing both concerns as it will not rub against the glass, and the dust particles will fall behind the mat and out of sight.
How many matt boards you choose is up to you, I recommend between 2-3. Picture your art piece as a cheesecake - it's delicious we all know, but add some beautiful toppings (matting) like caramel sauce and berries and it is brought to another level.
Often the hardest decision to make is the colour of the matting and the frame.
The primary goal is to enhance and protect the beautiful piece of artwork in your home. I love pulling colours from the main subject matter of the artwork for the matting, this will not only create harmony with the piece but also draws the eye to the subject matter of the artwork itself. My GO-TO is taking a highlight and a lowlight for the colours.
With the frame, there is the added step of taking the feel of the overall piece into consideration. If the artwork has a country feel I perhaps would choose a frame with wood grain showing, if it is a classic and elegant piece, I would go with a more modern and simple frame. You DON'T want the main focus to be the frame itself, its job is to compliment and protect, not be the main feature.
Never be afraid to simply ask the framers their opinion on the matter. They do this for a living because they are good at it. Ultimately remember the decision is always yours, these are simply opinions.
Let's talk facts. The sun is warm, lifegiving, full of goodness, and, unfortunately, colour bleaching. Having a UV filter on the glass is very important. Also, you are framing a piece that can be smudged and damaged by dust, insects, and pollution, protect that beauty!
When it comes to the quality of glass, I'm just going to say it - buy the best. Do you want to see the artwork or the reflection of yourself and your home when you look at the glass? (Although I'm sure both sights are just as beautiful). The frame shop usually has small glass samples on the counter but I would recommend seeing an entire framed piece with the glass- they should be able to show you proper examples as it's their business.
I recommend choosing museum-quality non-reflective glass which is the ultimate choice and also provides the best UV protection. I would avoid non-glare glass as it takes away the sharpness and dulls the artwork's detail and vibrancy due to how it is made.
A short but serious list
Do NOT place your artwork in direct sunlight. Just like fabrics and furniture direct sunlight can and will bleach out colour over time.
Do NOT permanently mount the art piece on a backboard. No process should be done that cannot be reversed for your one-of-a-kind piece. Instead, conservation mounting should be done, such as acid-free corner pockets or hinges, this allows the piece to be re-framed if ever needed without causing damage and is recommended for works of value.
Do NOT turn or rest a framed pastel art piece face down, this could cause dust particles to fall onto the matting and inner glass.
Yes, choosing the finishing touches can be difficult and you feel pressure to get it right.
Believe in yourself, I know you are going to do a beautiful job!
Take the tips you have learned here and walk into that art framing shop with your head high, your artwork protected and let the anticipation build.
There is something so magical about that phone call from the framer when your finished piece is ready for pick up. Giving yourself a stunning gift that will last for a LIFETIME!
I am so incredibly happy for you, you amazing art owner! Thank you, for your support of my artwork and for making the world a more beautiful place.