This may sound odd, but framing a painting starts when the canvas is a complete blank. The artist chooses the scene or subject or even an abstract and then must figure out the boundaries…where should the upper limit be? Is the painting about the sky? then that is what should make up most of the picture plane. If the subject is a landscape filled with distance and interest, the canvas should be in a horizontal orientation. Vertical canvases work well for the still life, portrait, a specific street scene.
The mood of the subject can also influence whether the painting is vertical or horizontal. A wide, horizontal painting tends to be more restful, more welcoming. The vertical painting demands attention and focus.
Most oil paintings like to be framed, but, as with makeup, subtlety is best. I'm pretty sure no artist wants to hear how much you love the frame! A well-chosen frame will enhance a lovely painting without drawing too much attention to itself. A frame can enlarge the total size of the painting, turning the small 9x12 canvas into a sizable 15x18 piece of art for your wall. Many oil frames are quite wide, 3-5", yet relatively plain, so the painting gets all the drama. I love it when I find a frame that looks "just right" for one of my paintings!
Look how this elegant gold-leafed plein air frame dramatizes the shell painting…(and to think that shell was once a tomato!)…and the simple black frame on the heron painting allows the sky to glow more than ever. Now these are ready for the Monthaven Fall Exhibit.
Hello! My name is Wendy and I am passionate about oil painting! Whether in the studio or out in Mother Nature, I get lost in the experience of capturing on canvas the moment and the feel of what I am painting. I pour my love and energy into every single piece of artwork and I hope it shows! This blog is a place where I can use words to talk about art, painting, life, faith, things that make me laugh, and things that inspire. I love every response, so don't be shy about leaving a comment...