Books Advises

Home Book of Picture
by Ken Oberreicht

One of the best ! I think ! Over 40,000 copies of the first edition sold : it cannot be an error !

(Click for +)

This home Book of Picture Framing is the most comprehensive guide to mounting, matting, and framing without spending a fortune...


Frame It! (Paperback)
Tonia Davenport

Frame it
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Customers review are the better test for the book!

... The book is an extremely comprehensive guide for standard framing techniques...


The Complete Photo
Guide to Framing and
Displaying Artwork

by Vivian Carli Kistler


Framing and display
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The author provides inspiration and helpful examples to show people how to display their artwork using basic design principles in a manner that is easily grasped.



Basic Picture Framing
by Amy Cooper

This detailed guide covers the essentials the beginner needs to get started with matting, mounting, and framing everything from works of art to personal mementoes.

Basic picture framing


It contains practical techniques and expert tips on choosing the proper matboard and frame; measuring and cutting single, double, or triple mats...

We recommand !



Other pages


Choose colors in harmony

How to frame a photograph

How to make a passepartout


Choosing the mat color : a problem !

When we frame a picture, the mat has a double purpose: functional and artistic.

The first is to prevent by the gap it creates, all contact between the work and the pane of protection (which could cause undesirable joining or moulds…).

Java-Bali framed drawing
(Java Draw Calendar)

Secondly, it serves to lead the eye to the artwork by creating a transition between it and its environment.

It can also draw attention to a particular color used in the art ... and particularly to emphasize this one. .

Currency of China Framed
(Banknotes fromChina between two glasses)

A neutral color mat ...

You have a watercolor, a pastel or a print to frame ... And you ask yourself the question of the color to choose for the mat ... That's the problem ... Dreaded!

Do not look for a precise rule : as for all that is artistic, all is question of your personal taste and harmony with the place where you wish to hang your framing.

By adopting neutral colors : off white, shaded gray, cream, beige ... you are certain not to go wrong. These colors do not attract attention to themselves and are particularly highlighting art and its colors.

Take as an example ... this full colored painting and whose framing certainly will pose problems of harmony of colors

Engraving to be framed

If we choose a white mat:

Pasneutral gray mat

- "Hmmm!" This is not too bad ... but it's not very classy! An additional "English bevel" darker for the drawing more stand out?

The result is passable but have no decorative interest ... It's neutral!

And it is precisely because of this neutrality that this kind of mat is commonly used in museums where there is not question of decoration ... but only just to present a artwork.

If you lack inspiration or if you are afraid of making mistakes in the juxtaposition of colors, you can adopt this mat style : it suit anywhere.

The colors of the art...

Let's start by determining the colors contained in this painting:

The dominant color is green, present in different shades on practically all the surface. The secondary color is dark bluish gray found in the roof in the house front and on the road. Then we found some third order colors : blue, maroon and brown ...

Usually it is better for the mat to avoid selecting the dominant color of the art ... Look what could happen with a green passe-partout:

green mat

The image is crushed, is badly detached from the mat and is not really highlighted. A lighter value for the green and adding a light off white bevel could arrange a few our matting ...

bevelled and matted picture

But this is not satisfactory ... there might be ways to get better!

Colored Passe-Partout Tests

Let us Try associations ... just to see. In this 1st example, we chose dark tones of dominant, secondary and tertiary colors of the art :

Test colors 1

In the second, lighter values ... the blue one seems to draw aside ... the maroon and khaki look promising ...

Test color 2

Unless your interior walls are dark it seems preferable to choose a mat rather with light colors ... This, with a light bevel too, could give :

Khaki bevelled and matted picture

but also you can try:

 bordeaux bevelled and matted picture


Colored Mat and Bevels

And why do not think about a darker bevel?

Why do not try a combination of 3rd order colors : light khaki and burgundy purple?

Let us try two inverse juxtapositions: a first bevel burgundy with a khaki mat...

Final khaki bevelled and matted picture

Then a burgundy mat associated with a light khaki bevel :

Final bordeaux bevelled and matted picture

The colors are not disharmonic and are found in the range of colors in the picture ... These two choices of mat perfectly fulfill the conditions: to attract the viewer's eye to the art without monopolizing his attention.

It remains now to find the good frame for our matted painting! And that is an another story !

For a best choice of your colours...

There is a marvellous software to better choice your harmony of colors : it's ! In short, you choose the type of harmony, then your base color and the soft give you the best harmony according your choice...

Very useful when you have to make color decisions ! Have a look HERE for a little bit more about.

Black and white mat

It's a habit for art photographers to exhibit their photographs with a white and black bevel mat...

This combination color-no color gives these frames a very contemporary look.

Black and white framed photo

All this is a very sober and the result evokes both elegance and refinement. The codes are clear: all is implemented to center the glance on the photograph.

And the method is effective because it works even with color photos ... The black border highlights the colors of the image by accentuating them.

Color framed Nude


And finally ...

Choose the mat color is primarily a matter of personal taste and decorative intent. There is no precise rule or method ... only general principles that we should not hesitate to break on occasion.

1) In choosing a light neutral color for the mat , you are assured of not making mistakes.

2) If you want a more colored one ...

              • It will be light in most cases, with pastel tones, echoing one of the color of second place of the art that you frame.

              • The color of the mat must be in harmony with the color of the wall where the picture will be hanged.

              • By giving a darker color for the bevel or the exceeding band it creates a break in the rhythm that give a additionnal highlight to the art.

              • The frame itself should have a color different of the mat color

3) If you expose on the same wall several closer frames, avoid if possible to make a mat kadelioscope ... Use for them at the very most one or two colors

I hope these few explanations useful to you in your approach of decorating. For any additional questions you can always contact me by email HERE.