HOW TO: FRAME YOUR ARTWORK
We’ll admit it - we’ve all been guilty of buying that fabulous, longed-for piece of art, vowing to get it framed immediately, before letting it sit and gather dust… As visiting the framers falls lower and lower down the to-do list, many of us simply get used to having an artwork leaning against, rather than hanging on, a wall – and as stylish as this can be, it’s not always where they belong!
To take the fuss out of framing, we spoke to Cindy Tang, of the brilliant Art Experience in Hong Kong – experts in framing, providing consultancy services and advice for over two decades. “The function of framing is to preserve an art piece,” says Cindy Tang. “The role of conservation framing is to slow down, and hopefully avoid, any damage caused by light or exposure. It can also increase the aesthetic value of the artwork.”
Read on for their tips on how to frame your beautiful, newly acquired pieces effortlessly - and the best ways to hang them too!
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE COLOUR AND FINISH OF YOUR FRAME, IN ORDER TO MATCH YOUR ARTWORK?
This can really depend on personal preference; there are so many different colours and effects to choose between! There are many ways we advise customers to match their frames with contemporary artwork, but the most popular framing options are natural wood or are black or white. Wooden frames like oak, ash or pine give a natural feeling, that instantly works in a modern or rustic home, while black and white is minimal, clean and formal - perfect for a gallery wall. For classical paintings, most people prefer to use a gold or silver frame, because it looks more elegant.
For those that prefer a coloured frame, consider matching it to an element within the picture itself. This tends to work best if it’s not the main colour, but rather compliments a background tone or single element within the artwork. Or alternatively, choose a classic frame but add a colourful mounting board for extra impact.
Remember to think about where you will hang your artwork. If hanging the work at home, choose a frame that match with your décor and furniture.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE STYLE OF YOUR FRAME E.G. ORNATE, MINIMAL, A FLOATER FRAME OR A HANGING SYSTEM? THE SELECTION SEEMS ENDLESS!
It definitely depends on the type of the artwork. Floater frames are great for oil paintings on canvas, they don’t need glass or acrylic because the material is more durable.
For works on paper, mats, glazing and spacers are the best options. Matboard framing uses glass or acrylic glazing to preserve the paper, with the mat functioning to separate the glazing and the artwork. This avoid moisture forming under the glazing.
“Spacers” provide an option of framing without a mat – the framer makes space between artwork and glazing using a spacer, and therefore the height of the frame will be higher than typical frames, forming a box-like shape. Box frames are a great way to frame 3-D objects, given the additional space they allow.
You can also use additional details, such as having a visible border, to create different effects. If the artwork is a busy, densely-filled piece, as seen here, then the visible border allows the viewer a more comfortable vision. Artworks with subject matter that already has space around it don’t necessarily need a visible border.
However, it can also depend on the size of your artwork; whatever the subject matter, smaller pieces work well with a visible border or wider mat.
If your wall is decorated with wallpaper, or has fabric hangings, and you’d rather not drill holes into it, you can install a hanging system, using wires to hang your pictures. This also means you can easily adjust or change the artwork at any time without further drilling. It’s a great choice for those with a large collection which they like to rotate on a regular basis, as they are so flexible. However, in this instance – I would suggest speaking to a professional framing and installation company to help you – we of course provide this service in Hong Kong!
DO YOU HAVE ANY INSTALLATION TIPS?
The painting should be at eye level once it is hung. Typically, the height from floor to the middle of the painting is around 160-165cm (but do play around with larger artworks before committing!).
Always check to see if any electric wires run behind the wall where you’re hanging - you definitely need to avoid drilling on those places! If in doubt, always speak to an electrician.
At each Affordable Art Fair, we partner with expert framing companies to make sure you can enjoy your new precious piece for years to come. Cindy and the expert Art Experience team will be at Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong– so do swing by their stand if you have any further questions!
Plus, to ensure your gorgeous, newly framed piece will shine for years to come, don’t miss our previous blog post crammed with tips on how to care for your artwork. And for a fool proof guide on hanging your artwork, see Sarah’s step-by-step guide!
Featured art from first to last:
Kim Claton-Jones, Papillion , 2017, paper, Will's Art Warehouse
Lizzie Reid, Hurts, 2018, mixed-media, Made In Arts London
Christopher Pearson, Metallic Gestures I, 2018, Ink, Made In Arts London
Danilea Scheinsberger, Little Love 9, 2018, acrylic, £200 Folly & Muse
Jack Frame, Blossoming Collection - White Blossom, mint frame, 2018, oil Alpha Art Gallery
Phillipa Jeffrey, Floral Candy, 2015, acrylic, £625, Wychwood Art
Grace Wilmshurst, Of the Night, 2016, oil, £1100 Ingo Fincke Gallery
Damilola Odusote, Chameleon Ribbon Deconstruct, 2018, ink, £1500 Mint Art Gallery
Adam Robinson, Diversion, 2017, mixed-media, £900, Degree Art
Pierre-Francois Grimaldi, Soiree, 2018, collage, £1200 Galerie Art Jingle