Saturday, 31 August 2013

Framing Your Paintings & Prints

Although many artists paint on canvases that don’t require framing, sometimes those canvases might look better with a frame. When the edges are too narrow or when the wooden support underneath is a bit warped, framing your painting can add a nice touch to it, prolonging its life at the same time.

Coming Home by Teodora Totorean

When painting on canvas board and paper, you can leave them unframed and sell them as they are so the customer will take care of framing in his/her favourite style while matching their interior. But when your intention is to exhibit those paintings, framing your Art is a must. What do you do?

I met artists that work closely with carpenters who provide them with a frame or a wooden box, the artists then paint it in the same colour as the painting. This is a nice idea and those paintings look stunning as if the frame is part of the artwork. But if you don't necessarily have the skill nor the time, then taking the artwork to the framers is the perfect solution. They have the skill and experience to help you choose the best frame for your pieces.
Autumn Nostalgia by Teodora Totorean

In my experience, I have two favourite framers at the moment: one is based in Tiverton, Devon, where I live so it's handy to get the paintings framed there, especially when I am in hurry, the other one is based in Western-Super-Mare, as part of the West Country Galleries. Here are a few examples of framed paintings and prints in various framing styles and colours. 

White frame gloss finish

This frame is great for abstract, modern and decorative paintings, as well as for paintings that have a lacquer or gloss finish. They look good in modern interiors, decorated with luxury or designer furniture in white or other colours that will complement the colours of the painting itself. Placed centrally in your living room, it will become the focal point while creating harmony.

I chose this type of frame for this painting because it has a gloss finish and even though the style is naive, folk and semi abstract, I like how they go together. It is like in interior design when traditional meets modern creating harmony without clashing.

Big Tree Little Tree by Teodora Totorean SOLD

Rustic style frames in cream-white 

Those frames will complement naive style paintings, collages, flower paintings as well as mixed media artwork. They will look good in traditional or rustic interiors or in cottages where decorative items like pottery, doilies and other handmade gems will complete the look and create a cosy atmosphere.

I chose these frames because of the rustic element in the paintings given by the doilies made by my mom. A big thank you to West Country Galleries Framing for understanding my brief and for doing an excellent job. The paintings below are part of a collection of four paintings, one of which was sold. The paintings were in two exhibitions: at The Moreton Gallery spring exhibition and Tiverton Art Society summer exhibition

Evening Meadow I by Teodora Totorean
Evening Meadow II by Teodora Totorean

Coloured frames to complement the images

You can opt for coloured frames in the same nuances as the image you frame. They look great with prints when the artwork is slightly smaller than usual and you can group a few paintings in various colours and styles to create an eclectic mix on an empty wall. Or you can choose frames in just one or two colours that go well together and frame images on the same theme like floral art, landscapes, music, etc. 

Here are my coloured frames that match the colour of the prints, also framed by West Country Galleries Framing and available here

Spanish Guitar print by Teodora Totorean
Sunflowers on a Cloudy Day print by Teodora Totorean

©Teodora Totorean – text and images


  1. Greetings Teodora! I am slowly trying to simplify my life by painting on 'Gallery Wrapped Canvases' which are wide and heavy and I can paint around the sides to give that finished and contemporary look. However, I have always preferred painting on canvas boards so for that I have decided to go with the unfinished wood frame (that can be painted to any color of my choice) and it keeps everything cohesive (yes, I am applying the branding technique even in framing to keep everything matched and contemporary). I read this in 'Starving to Successful' (written by a galleriest Jason Horejs) that the more cohesive look a body of work has the better (even when it comes to framing) it appeals to the viewer and the work looks great. I used to frame all my work in plain black frames till I discovered the unfinished wood as a better and viable solution for I can color it to my liking (3 coats of spray paint does a lovely job) and it is far less expensive than any frame out there.

    I enjoyed reading your post because it helped me think about incorporating more white frames because it really looks great anywhere as it matches the doors, baseboards and window frames and I can literally hang any painting anywhere in the house without having to decide what color frames to put on. Having said that I am now going to add White, Black and Red in my frame selection. It will not only fit my branding needs but will also go well with my work!

    1. That's a great idea, thank you for sharing and I am looking forward to see some photos :).