HOW TO: FRAME YOUR ARTWORK
We’ve all done it. A new artwork arrives at home alongside buckets of curatorial inspiration and good intentions. You’re buzzing to get it up on your walls to admire and, maybe, show off just a little bit. You’ve been pondering the purchase for ages and are so glad to have finally taken the plunge. You lean it against the wall, or perhaps roll it back up and pop it in a corner, and go and make yourself a celebratory cup of tea.
And there it stays for, apparently, eternity.
No matter how confidently you assert your plans to frame a new artwork immediately, life can soon get in the way, meaning your new favourite piece is left to gather dust rather than shine on your walls. The time involved, the added expense; the fuss of framing can quickly add up to dragged heels.
But, framing can be painless. Just knowing a few tips and tricks can make the process feel less of a hassle. That’s where we step in. Read on to learn how to (or how not to) frame the artworks intended for your home.
Mix or match?
When it comes to framing, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is what style of frame will best suit your interior and, most importantly, the artwork itself. The frame you choose will have a huge impact on how to artwork is viewed. A classical, Baroque-inspired still life like Ronald Berger’s oil painting arguably looks its best framed in traditional dark wood with lavish-looking gold edges. If this same artwork was framed in the style of Guy Gee’s matchstick print, the overall effect would be completely different and most likely suffer for it.
'Apricots', Ronald Berger, Oil painting, 30cm x 28cm, £495, Forest Gallery Fine Art
'Match Book CI - Medium', Guy Gee, Mixed-media, 52cm x 40cm, £295, Will's Art Warehouse
Or, maybe you’re someone who likes to do things a little differently. Mixing things up and thinking outside of the box (or frame) can have a really positive impact on an artwork. Minimal white or black frames are clean and modern, whereas extravagant gold frames give a nod to classic landscapes.
'Listening with Mother', Haus of Lucy, Digital print, 30cm x 42cm, £150, Will's Art Warehouse
See how the same print by Haus of Lucy changes in nature within these two styles of frame. Which do you prefer? By comparing two very different aesthetics, it's easier to fully realise the overall effect you want to achieve.
To frame, or not to frame
This is the killer question. Your exploration through the 1,000s of artworks on our marketplace shouldn’t just offer a wealth of artsy inspiration, but will also include all the specifications of each and every individual artwork. This includes whether the artwork you’re lusting over is framed, unframed or ready to hang, so you’re equipped with all the info you might need.
If you want to remove the process of framing altogether, use the handy filter tools to narrow your search. Opting to only see framed or ready to hang artworks means the wait between your new piece arriving and being up on your wall is reduced.
Th acrylic paintings of Jenny Fermor make use of the tray frame which is a great option if you want to go glass- or glaze-less. This is a relatively modern type of framing that achieves an effortless floating effect whilst protecting the canvas.
'Urban Light', Jenny Fermor, Acrylic painting, 30cm x 30cm, £470, Will's Art Warehouse
Whereas Jasia Szerszynska’s work comes framed in black wood, making use of a wider mounting board to give even more impact to her ‘Encounter’ collection when hung together. Opting for a pre-framed artwork means it arrives with you exactly how the artist and gallery believe it should be displayed. That’s right: ingenious curatorial points without any effort.
'Encounter I - IX', Jasia Szerszynska, Lithographic print, 90cm x 90cm, £1,350, London Fine Art Consultancy London & Tokyo
Don’t forget to budget
It’s so easy to get swept up in the joy of purchasing a new artwork and let framing totally slip your mind. It can come as an unwelcome shock when you remember the extra cost involved if you haven’t budgeted for it.
It’s super important to take the cost of framing into consideration when purchasing a piece of fine art. Not only does it enhance the experience and add cohesion, but framing also preserves and protects so your artwork can last a lifetime.
However, you don’t have to be a million, billion or squillionaire to make smart framing choices…
Get into standard sizing
Framing on a budget is made easy if you purchase a print that comes in a standard size. Most supermarkets, department stores or anonymous Swedish flatpack furniture conglomerates will stock a range of standard size frames that you can pop a print straight into.
Sir Peter Blake’s ‘Tattooed People’ series comes in roughly at A4, meaning that finding a suitable frame should be as easy as clicking ‘add to bag’.
'Tattooed People (Ron)', Sir Peter Blake, Digital print, 29cm x 21cm, £300, One Church Street
Head to Ricky Byrne’s collection to find his ‘Differential’ A3 screenprints. The colour selections are inspired by moments of impact in Byrne’s life and all work in harmony for a potential diptych or triptych hang in affordable, hassle-free frames.
'Differential 3', Ricky Byrne, Screenprint, 42cm x 30cm, North London Printmakers
'Differential 2', Ricky Byrne, Screenprint, 42cm x 30cm, North London Printmakers
Buy now, decide later
An artwork under our ready to hang specification has either already been framed or doesn’t necessarily need to be framed at all.
Ella Carty’s ‘Summer Fruits #3’ is the perfect example of an artwork that can push framing decisions to the back of your mind. With the edges of the canvas having been painted, it’s ready to buy and hang without any fuss. If, at a later date, you decide it needs some extra cohesion into your collection, then a tray or floating frame would easily work.
'Summer Fruits #3', Ella Carty, Ink painting, 90cm x 120cm, £2,850, Gala Fine Art
Nicholas Bowlby’s circular forms also have painted edges that add to the overall effect of the work. On a white wall, they seem to glow, so covering these with a frame of any sort would take this element away. Even still, if you did want to frame it later, the option always remains open.
Oh, and remember, when it comes to installation, placement isn’t the only thing you need to consider. If you’re drilling any holes into your walls then watch out for electrical wires. If in any doubt, just speak to an electrician to be on the safe side.
And there you go! You’re all set with the top tips for buying art online with framing in mind. Whether you decide to make your next purchase framed or unframed, it’s always best to be prepared to avoid any artworks being left to the forgotten lands of your living room corner.