Now that you’ve bought a lovely watercolor painting, you may be wondering, “What the heck do I do with it?!” Time to become familiar with custom conservation frames. Whether you purchased it from a local artist, painted it yourself, or found an artist on Etsy or another small business platform, you should put your watercolor on show in a magnificent manner.

How do I Pick a Frame and Matboard?

It’s time to begin framing your watercolor painting when you’ve finished it. The most crucial step is to measure your art first. We advise performing this portion on your own so that you can verify its accuracy. When you have the measurements, you can enter this as the Art Size in our Frame Designer.

Finding a frame that goes well with your piece is the next step. While your artwork should be a major attraction, you don’t want your frame to be overlooked. You want the colors of your painting to stand out. There are really no rules when it comes to custom frames; do whatever you believe will look best, in our opinion. While gold and silver can also complement your item and give it the pop it needs to become the showpiece, black and white are still simple to work with.

A matboard offers your item a decorative touch, highlights your artwork, and gives your frame a polished, modern appearance.

If you visit a museum, you may observe that the matboards are white, cream or beige in color to avoid drawing attention away from the artwork. While picking those hues is acceptable, you can also add some color if you want. Look over your work and decide which color will stand out and enhance it—it might be a dominant hue or one that is more subdued and present throughout. You should pick a hue that just pulls everything together rather than one that clashes with your piece or draws attention away from the main subject.

Time For Framing Your Painting

It’s time to incorporate your work once you’ve lastly received your frame! All of our frames are provided with everything you need for hanging them (except for the hammer). You’ll also need some framer’s tape to mount your artwork, though we only advise getting any if you ordered a matboard. The framer’s tape will assist keep your artwork centered and firmly fastened to your matboard so it won’t shift during framing or, worse after it has been displayed on your wall.

How To Preserve and Protect Your Painting? 

Preserving Painting

The first piece of advice we offer is to get premium acrylic and watercolor paints. This is because cheaper products tend to dry out considerably more quickly, which can leave streaks in your painting or even render it completely worthless if the paint begins to separate from the paper.

Before you begin painting, you should also buy a high-quality brush that won’t drip bristles onto the paper’s surface while wet.

Keep a rag or towel nearby to quickly dry watercolor or acrylic paint brushes, and clear up spills as soon as they occur to avoid the paint drying on areas it shouldn’t be, which will make cleanup easier later. Never use wet to clean up spills on an art surface; instead, do so as quickly as possible and with a dry cloth. When the oil from your fingers combines with the paint, it can produce flaking, which weakens the painting.

Use caution at all times when utilizing other people’s creative supplies. Use your own tools whenever you can because you don’t know where those brushes have been or what kind of paint they contain.

Protecting Painting

Any artwork produced in the modern era is protected by copyright in addition to physical preservation. Copyright is a legal safeguard that protects an artist’s original creation. Art and other non-text works, like photographs, must be registered with the US Copyright Office in order to be protected by copyright.

It’s a good idea to copyright your artwork as soon as you can after making it if you decide to develop your own rather than purchase it from someone else’s website (like Etsy). This guarantees that the copyright owner can manage any reproduction or alteration of the art and gives them legal options in the event that someone steals their creation.

What is Conservation Framing? Why is it Important?

Artwork protection and preservation methods and supplies are referred to as conservation framing. This is the approach to use if you want your artwork to endure.

The materials needed to frame artwork are shown in the diagram below, known as a frame package.

Conservation framing
Image via University Products

What Archival Materials and Techniques are Used?

Acid-free matting, mounting boards, and frame backs are examples of archival materials. Due to the light sensitivity of watercolor paintings, UV glass is employed to preserve them. (It is also advised to hang paintings out of the direct sun.)

Reversible framing, also known as conservation mounting, requires that the artwork be mounted in a method that allows it to be removed from the frame package without causing any damage to the painting. The term “T-hinge” refers to the most popular conservation mount.

Some Watercolor Painting Framing Tips

Are the ratios of the Frame to the picture appealing?

The size of a frame can be off. The effect of a too-small frame is just as detrimental as the dominating effect of an excessively large frame in that it fails to give the picture the importance it merits. Particularly if the watercolor is matted, this is true.

Select a frame with an adequate depth to accommodate the painting’s mat and glaze. Although it might seem obvious, certain frames aren’t made to support a mat and glazing.

Does the painting’s frame’s design go well with it?

A “too loud” frame is a frequent error I observe. This forces me, the spectator, to address the frame before what is contained within it. The focus should be on the painting. Impressionist paintings in Louis XIV frames are one illustration I frequently see in museums. I’m reminded of an off-key vocalist singing a wonderful melody when these elaborate gold frames clash with the brilliant colors of an impressionistic artwork. Even while the frame is attractive in and of itself, the impressionistic artwork it is paired with detracts from its beauty.

Does the painting’s color match the frame’s color?

Should a frame be painted a color, leave the wood as it is, or be gilded with gold, silver, or metal leaf? Since there aren’t any absolute laws, the answer isn’t simple. All of these options are worthwhile; the key is knowing when to pick which. Numerous images are complemented by gold, and hundreds of variations are available. A gold frame can be toned to appear new, aged, or in between. When the colors of the portrait complement the hue of gold, gold generally appears wonderful. In frames made of natural wood or with faux finishes that are painted to resemble wood, many portraits from the 19th century—photos that have been altered with either watercolor or charcoal—look right at home.

What is the subject?

When choosing a frame for a museum piece, I frequently take the artist and the piece of art’s place of origin. Since most of you are framing your artwork, the artist is most likely from 20th- or 21st-century North America. However, as many of you travel to paint, the subject matter’s place of origin may be important when choosing a frame. A painting of the Italian countryside, for instance, would look ideal in an elaborate Italian frame with articulated corners and maybe gilding (see the detail at right, bottom). A dark ripple molding might be appropriate for still life or landscape that was painted in the Netherlands.

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Feature image by Kadir Celep on Unsplash

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