Pet Portrait Framing Tips

Posted on July 24, 2022 by Categories: TIPS

Framing your pet painting is a last, but very important step, before you hang your painting on the wall (or give it as a present). You would be surprised what a difference a good frame can make! It can either “lift” and complete your painting, or distract and clash. Choosing the right frame is not difficult if you keep a few important principles in mind.

If you choose to use a professional framer, they will be able to advise you on the best options, but if you would like a few tips then read on!

Where To Go?

Your local framer:
Advantages: you will be able to see the frame, try it with your painting and get professional advice. It will be all done for you. You are also supporting a local business.
Disadvantages: It may be a bit more expensive and you might need to wait a bit longer.

Buying online:
Advantages: It’s likely to be a bit cheaper and faster (although the postage cost will add to it). Some websites allow you to upload the photo of your painting and superimpose it into the frame so you can see what it will look like.
Disadvantages: You only see the photo of the frame, and the colours might not be exact.

Premade:
Advantages: no need to wait, usually cheaper. Designed for you to fit the frame yourself, although you need to make sure it will be suitable, to allow for the thickness of the board and not just a card.
Disadvantages: You can’t try your painting in it and the quality might not be the best. Some of them don’t have a way of hanging the painting, they might be designed just to stand on a piece of furniture.

Second hand frame:
Advantages: much cheaper and reusing a frame helps the environment. If you find a frame first, I can do a painting of the right size to fit into it. You can find some magnificent frames if you are lucky!
Disadvantages: the selection is limited to what’s available in each shop. You will need to find out how to fit the painting into it if it’s not obvious.

How To Chose?

1. The Style

Consider where your painting going to hang; what is the colour scheme and style of the room? Is it modern or traditional? For the best result you should aim to get a frame in a similar style. It’s also important to bear in mind the style of the painting itself: is it a soft colour, delicate style, or a bold painting with strong colours and brush strokes?

2. The Colour

You want your frame to complete the painting and not distract or clash with it. My recommendation is to choose one of the colours in the painting. You can also use white, grey or black, particularly if these colours are present in the painting. Off-white is a good option as well as it’s not as stark as pure white. Again, consider the style of the painting here: soft or bold? A bold painting can take a stronger frame colour, while a soft painting may drown in it.

3. The Width

I generally don’t recommend a frame that is overly thin, as it can make the painting look “cheap”, specially for larger paintings. Thin frames might work well for posters but not for an oil painting. I would personally not go for thinner than 1.5″.

You will also need to think about the space on the wall you have available – the frame will make the painting larger (and heavier).

4. Glass?

An oil painting does not need to be glazed. In fact I don’t recommend it. It’s better if it breathes and the viewers are not distracted by the reflections on glass. An oil painting can be wiped carefully with a soft, damp cloth to get rid of the dust.

If your portrait is a watercolour sketch, glass is recommended for protection.

5. Mounting

Oil paintings don’t usually work very well with mounting. Mounting is more suitable (in fact necessary) for watercolours. When choosing the right colour for the mounting, use the same principles as for the frame and make sure the colours of the mounting and frame go well together. You might aim for similar colours or for a contrast.

Reclaimed Frames

Cheap and planet friendly! You can save a lot of money if you buy a second hand frame. You can even give it a lick of paint.

Painting Made For Your Frame?

I am able to paint you a picture that is the right size for your frame, if you already have one. You can either send it to me to frame it for you when the painting is finished, or just give me (the exact) inside dimensions. I can also give it another coat of colour, or even gold leaf. Please talk to me about the options if you are interested – I love reclaiming frames!

I Can Help

If you have any doubts or questions about how to frame your photo, I am happy to help. If you would like to choose an online framing service I can help you to choose the right frame for your painting. At the moment I don’t provide the option to frame the paintings myself, but I will be offering this service in the future.

© 2022 Jana Forsyth

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