Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Easy Framing for Messy People

I remember when my art class teacher at high school told me to redo the framing of a watercolor. I hated it, I also completely understood because I am a messy person, but I hated it. I must've complained a bit in his presence. My face probably didn't radiate happiness, anyhow he told me that we had it easy. When he was in school they had to cut the thickest of matting in a perfect angle. A cutting line that was a fraction of a cm/inch longer than calculated as the perfect line would ruin the whole work and you could start over. I didn't actually feel better about my extra work but I understood his point :-) I only had to cut out a square out of a piece of thick paper to cover the messy edges of my watercolor to make it presentable. Today thankfully for me, no teachers are checking out my work anymore. So now I have invented my own way of framing that I advise to people who don't really demand a museum standard in their home. (People who do, bless you too, because secretly I am a sucker for the thick old fashioned framing.) BUT I DIGRESS again.
A while ago some one who bought the this set of prints. Asked me how I framed them. She was a beginner at these type of things so I advised her the method too.
What you do is cut out the prints with a 2.5cm/1inch edge, or whatever you would like.
Sometimes you don't have enough white around the edges, then you cut out the print exactly along the edge of the print. A white edge is recommended so cut out a square of white paper that is 5cm/2 inches wider and longer. (With originals and limited edition artworks it can be a problem as there is a signature you don't want to cut off. Then you can keep the edge small and add a light grey matting to the project. )
After that you paste the art work on the square with some sort of glue that allows you to remove the art work if you are not happy with it. Also make sure the glue doesn't damage or distort the paper. You know the kind! Look at the project from a distance so you know when the artwork is not exactly in the middle. In doubt get a ruler, but believe me, the human eye is a good advisor!

Now we have to pick a nice color for the backing. I usually look at the art work and make sure my eyes are set to ' blurry' and see what color is most dominating. With the KingFisher for instance, you see a lot of orange that you want to pop out. Choose the color complementary to orange, which is blue, but not bright blue because it will mute the colors on the art work. I use dull greyish tones.
On this picture the arrows point at each other's complementary colors. But remember to pick out a dull color, to make it sublte.
To get a coherent feel about the several different birds I make sure I sure the matting for one of the other birds too, and use the same other color for the 2 birds that are left. These colours should match nicely, and not be very contrasting with each other. That would distract the eye from the artwork to the fabulous matting. Although I know you will be proud of the matting, the point was getting the art work up, and not just the matting right?
This is the easy part, you get the glass from your frame and place it on the color matting. Cut out the shape of the glass. Now all you have to do is paste the art work on the colored background, and frame the whole project!

1 comment:

Pragya said...

Just wanted to drop in and say hello to a fellow bird lover. :)

I am currently creating tons of birdscapes too!

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