Books Advises

Home Book of
Picture Framing

by Ken Oberreicht

One of the best !

Home Book

This home Book of Picture Framing is the most comprehensive guide to mounting, matting, and framing oil paintings, watercolors, posters, photographs, calendar pages, and greeting cards without spending a fortune...


Mat, Mount and
Frame It Yourself

By David Logan


Mat Mount and frame it

This demonstrates how easy it is to mat, mount, and frame art on paper and cloth, as well as three-dimensional objects. Readers will discover, step by step...

A very good one !


Christiane UAR watercolor Frame Lable ArtAmong all the pictorial techniques, and because of the nature even of its support, the watercolor painting is undoubtedly one of the most delicate and the most fragile.


It is therefore appropriate, before exposing it, to protect it from anything that might damage it irreparably.

Then, to choose an easy to forget frame that highlight it and drawing more attention to it.

Protect watercolor

First, we must isolate the watercolor from the harsh environment : dust, fat fumes , fingerprints of unscrupulous visitors and also insects and bugs that enter particular evening thunderstorm ...

Secondly, we must ensure the proper conservation of the media and its pigments, including avoiding direct exposure to rich in ultra-violet lights.

oval matted watercolor old city
Alain Rolland - LabelArt

This requires in all cases a protective glass, a frame with a moulding, a mat and a backing board that will keep a good flatness to the surface.

The glass, the mat, the watercolor painting and the backing, combined with a brown gummed kraft tape that seals the whole, form the "package"which will be placed in the frame.

The glass

Regarding the protective glass, banish the anti-glare glass (since it will not be pressed against the watercolor) to prefer a basic glass of 2mm ... or even a sheet of Plexiglas (more sensitive to scratches). Note that you can also use anti-UV glasses.

And remember that the pigments which constitute watercolor (and also the pastel) are sensitive to direct sunlight ... Keep this in mind when hanging your frame on the wall!

The choice of a frame

You must find a frame that well "fit" with the watercolor art... You will know that the frame you have chosen is suitable if you can see the artwork while forgetting it !

Its size should be reasonable ... Do not put a too large frame on a small watercolor ! Always avoid frame over-sizing that would distract attention from the artwork itself.

watercolor flowers in a field
To be avoided: too broad moulding !

Similarly, unless you absolutely want, do not commit an anachronism ... A ancient watercolor will be more at ease in a period setting frame (or remember it) and vice versa.

Most of the time, the "rod" of the frame (the moulding) must be thin, less than 2cm wide, often reduced to a colored "rush" .

framed watercolor landscape
Thin Rod moulding frame. Coll. Me.

The color of the molding must be in harmony with the  watercolor


Choose the moulding color so that it is in harmony with the watercolor ... rather than with the wall color on which it is exposed! Dare contrasts to better reflect the subject.


Framed watercolor french landscape
Flat strip-Coll. Me.

However, do not choose for the mat the dominant color of the art... If the overall tone of the watercolor is pink, do not take a pink moulding... rather prefer an another color that compose it or, if you doubt, a neutral naturel matter as wood, metal or plastic.

If you still prefer to stay in the shade of the art, take the darkest color : in the frame above the dark green frame and the matching bevel highlight green tones of the subject.

The mat and the "bevel".

Their role is primarily to avoid any contact between the glass and the watercolor. Indeed, it could cause a buildup of moisture and, consequently, cause mold growth that could damage the watercolor.

In addition, the mat should contribute to the highlignting of the artwork ... It should therefore have a neutral color and generally clear, matching with watercolor tones to create a harmonious whole. The mat makes a kind of transition between the frame and the "painting". It must therefore be chosen with great care.

It is assumed that in general, it must have dimensions at least greater than 5cm in all directions with those of watercolor. If the visible part of the watercoulour measures about 18cm by 13cm for example, your mat should be at around least 13 +5 +5 = 23cm and 18 +5 +5 = 28cm (the size of the mat determines the size of the "package" to be put in the frame.


The TISP bridge
Bruno Dumont-Lock Fermanville

If you want to give more depth to your frame, you have to make a bevel (right or 45 °) placed between the mat and the watercolor.

In this case, you can give a stronger color to this bevel to give some depth and emphasize the subject.

framed with 45° bevel Apothecary
45° Bevel with threads

Similarly, if you do not mind putting extra decorations on your frame, it is possible to add threads on the mat if the framed subject supports it.

In all cases, simplicity will remain preferable to sophistication.