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Tips for framing drawings

Original drawings are more fragile than other art...

As an artist who produces works on paper, it is it is a big topic on my mind as well as my patrons.

info graphic of preferences for framing art
These are just personal preferences, not rules...

The most important thing to keep in mind is to keep all things off the surface of the work. Though the work is "fixed" to help prevent smudging, it is really just a little less delicate.


My preference for framing

I prefer simple frames, gallery flat design, mat black or deep grey or perhaps a well finished natural wood nothing big and gaudy.



I like my art to have a minimum border of three to four inches. The work should be either centered (if the proportions are all even) and if the proportions are not even, I like the work to have an even border on the top, left and right and the bottom slightly larger.


Use professional framers

Framing works on paper are great for presentation purposes but the frame also serves to protect original works and prints. The frame helps to keep moisture and dust particles from gathering on the surface of your valuable work. The professional framer will make suggestions stylistically but they also should be good at handling your artwork.



Window mount

The professional framer will suggest window mounting if the work has borders around the art.

[image of window mount and art with border]


Float mounting

If your image does not appear to have a border to define the edge of the work or the image goes to the edges of the paper.

[image of float mount and art that bleeds]

One might not use a window mount which sets a mat board over the work and instead provides spacers between the backboard and the glass. This is important because your artwork will be mounted directly to the back board.


Glass for framing art

It is important to use low-reflection glass or ideally Museum glass which is pretty impressive at preventing reflections from distorting the artwork.


Sealing the frame

Part of the function of framing is to protect the work from moisture and dust. The professional framer knows to seal the back of the work with craft paper or the like. If you purchase a ready-made frame you might bring it to the framer to have them complete the job properly.




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