We are often asked about our framing, not so much about the technicalities of framing however, general questions that artists and framers may take for granted but clients who haven’t had paintings or drawings framed before might not know. Hopefully this page of information will help to make things clearer. If you need to ask any questions though, drop us a line as we are always happy to help!
A popular question we are are often asked by clients who are commissioning an oil painting is 'what colour will the matt / mount be? Oil paintings don’t need a mount / matt. The role of a mount / matt is to keep the glass from resting on the surface of the artwork. This way air can circulate around without causing any effect to the artwork. Only dry based media is framed under glass - i.e. pencil, coloured pencil, pastel, charcoal, watercolour etc.
There is only a need to cover the front with glass if the artwork needs protecting. Oil paintings don’t need that kind of protection as the paint isn’t going to rub off or damage. Actually oil paint is very hardy. Mounts enhance delicate artwork tremendously and the right colour, tone and size of mount / matt is really important as it can show it off to its best.
So what’s the equivalent when framing an oil painting? Inner linen slips or liners. What are those you ask? ...read on!
There are a variety of slips and liners available and I will try to explain how they work. When you have a painting framed, the framer will make your frame from a number of long mouldings cut into four pieces, mitred together to the correct size of the canvas. The first photo below shows our Traditional Flat frame with one of Nicholas' oil paintings. Its just a regular frame made from one piece of wood.
However the photo below shows a painting with the same Traditional Flat frame, with an added slip / liner. So the framer will make the slip / liner first - then they make the Traditional Flat frame to fit the liner / slip. We love this linen one in particular as it not only emulates the texture of the canvas, the colour always enhances the paintings and allows breathing space between the painting and the frame. it is a similar effect to a mount / matt on a framed drawing.
You can have any style of liner / slip, the choices are endless. The slip for instance below is a flat linen texture with a gold edge. So the actual frame is the gold part up to the dot pattern and gold edge. Then there is the slip with a matching gold edge. A layperson would probably think this was all one structure.
Just as another example, as our Chelsea City frame is really popular, this can also have a liner too. Our framers have a standard photo of the frame with the liner so its a little washed out, however hopefully it will show you as an example.
Another popular question or query some of our cleints have is about the frame sizes for the pencil portraits. When ordering a 12 x 10 pencil drawing as an example, the paper will be cut one inch larger. I do this so that the frame can have plenty of room to attach the mount / matt onto the artwork without any problem. Mounts / matts are usually around 1.5 inches. Then you will have around a 1.5 inch frame on top of that. So to calculate the overall size you must add 6 inches on the size of your 12 x 10 drawing - which will an fincihed size of 18 x 16