Tutorial: Easy choosing colors of a frame

Use secondary colors

You have an art work to frame... And the problem arises of choosing the colours of the passe-partout, the bevel and the frame which will allow you to carry out your "framing"... How to harmonize the color choices of the different parts of the frame ? The secret is in the secondary colors !!!

More than long speeches, a short tutorial is preferable and this is the purpose of this page ... So let's go through the successive steps of this choice of colours in harmony.

Step 1: analysis of the subject

For the example, and not for its artistic quality, I chose this picture to frame...

And we will see what are the simple principles of choosing the colors of the frame... The colour of the bevel, the colour of the passe-partout and, secondarily, the colour of the frame that completes the work...

And that starts with an examination of the colors which compose the subject: the dominant colors and especially the secondary colors...

Step 2: principles of colour selection

The principle is to choose, for the bevel, the passe-partout and the frame, the colours among the secondary colours . We avoid the main colors !!!

Moreover, for the passe-partout, we prefer muted colors to the detriment of those that are too bright... All the attention must be reserved for the subject.

the bevel

you can choose any of the secondary colors for the bevel... including yellow! You have to try and compare different combinations

Here are the various possibilities...


the passe-partout

With 6 secondary colors, there were 6 bevel color possibilities . When combined with the colours of the passe-partout... there were 36 possibilities! Some are duller than others and we manage to reduce the number of choices... Here are a few that I have selected but that do not necessarily correspond to your choices.

It's very personal!

We preferred to choose an almost neutral passe-partout, in shades of bluish grey.

The frame that will contain the whole

You won't go wrong if you choose a frame that uses one of the secondary colours... so here are a few examples that might satisfy you... but there are lots of other combinations.

I have a weakness for frames that use the bevel color: it works well most of the time... Give it a try !


There you have it, you know everything, or almost everything, and all you have to do is frame your own subjects! Good luck!