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How to choose the frame for an artwork?

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By Art Shortlist3 min
22/02/21

The framing of an artwork is a decisive element in order to enhance it and protect it well. Whether it is a painting on canvas or an artwork on paper, the frame must come to embellish your piece of art. Discover our tips for finding the ideal frame for your artwork.


Find the frame moulding style that best suits your artwork

In order to choose the right frame, you must first of all appeal to your personal taste and take into account the room in which the picture will be hung.

The frame moulding you choose will be a determining factor in embellishing your work.

We recommend that you opt for antique frames with gold mouldings for both antique and modern designs. Period frames are also interesting for contemporary works as they create an amazing dialogue between these two elements, but beware of forced marriages...

For contemporary art creations, we recommend that you opt for simplicity by choosing a pure and sober frame.

The main advantage of a simple frame is that it does not steal the spotlight from the work, it just aims to highlight it.


Define the frame color

As in gastronomy, where we talk about the harmony between food and wine, the harmony between a painting and its frame requires particular attention.

Generally, it is recommended not to go for a frame with a color close to the dominant color of the work. Indeed, this can lead to visual difficulties in appreciating the work and its composition.

If you wish to put a frame in the same color as the main color of your artwork, this is possible, but it will not work for everyone. For works on paper, you can add a Marie-Louise: a kind of intermediate frame that will provide a smooth transition between the frame and the work.

Ideally, turn to a color that is present in the work, but which is only secondary. This way, the whole will be harmonious and beautiful to look at. This little reminder always produces a very pleasant effect for the viewer.

To sum up, you should choose a color from your work, trying to avoid the combination with the frame producing visual heaviness.

As with the previous point, choose the simplest and most elegant chord.


Choose the moulding size

The last important point to consider when choosing the right frame for your painting, drawing or print is the size of the moulding.

Same advice as for the two previous points, start with something simple and that lets your work breathe. To find the right balance, you can apply these two rules:

  1. If the lines of the drawing are fine and the elements represented are small, then the frame should be fine and discreet.
  2. On the other hand, the larger the motifs on the work, the thicker and more voluminous the frame should be.

Of course, these are only general rules, but they work in the majority of cases. Also consider the format of the table when making your choice.

For contemporary art paintings and drawings, we recommend that you do not use frames that are too thick. Indeed, this can stifle the rendering of your work.

As far as paintings on canvas are concerned, in general there are many frames available: in American box, carved, with a wide and gilded moulding, patterned...


Use Instagram and Pinterest to find the ideal frame

There are hundreds of different types of frames on the market, so it's hard not to get lost. To help you make up your mind, Instagram and Pinterest will be your best allies.

On these two social networks, you can browse the pages of art galleries, museums and artists to see how they highlight their creations.

Special mention for Pinterest and its algorithm that intelligently directs you to frames that suit your tastes.


Would you like advice on how to frame your work? Do not hesitate to contact us via our chat or directly by phone. Our team of experts will be happy to help you find the perfect frame for your artwork.