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The Art of Custom Framing (With Examples)

Sarah is a certified Hatha, Vinyasa, & Kundalini yoga teacher. She is an artist who believes in the importance of living a creative life.

Artwork and framing by Sarah O’Brien

Artwork and framing by Sarah O’Brien

Custom Framing

Custom framing is an art in itself. Choosing the right framing design can completely transform and enhance any piece of art. Color, texture, scale, and composition all play a part in framing, just like in the process of art making.

Framing your art properly will also protect your pieces and give them a long lasting life. There are an infinite number of ways that you can frame a piece of art. The goal is to not detract from the art in any way, but rather give it the attention it deserves.

Artwork and framing by Sarah O’Brien

Artwork and framing by Sarah O’Brien

Ornate Frame With a Neutral Mat

In this example, the artwork shown is framed with a single cream colored mat and an ornate frame. The mat width is wider than the frame, giving the artwork plenty of space to breathe. The details in the framing pull out the feminine qualities of the art itself. The mat also serves a dual purpose of keeping the art from touching the glass (so that it will not stick to the glass).

Artwork and framing by Sarah O’Brien

Artwork and framing by Sarah O’Brien

Stacked Frames

Stacking frames is an excellent way to build dimension and visual interest. Shown here, a wide dark frame is stacked on top of the bright green thin lacquered frame. The green enlivens and brightens the piece overall. It draws attention to the electric colors in the artwork. The wide black frame pulls it all together, adding drama and substance to the piece overall. There is no matting on this piece, so spacers were used to keep the art away from the glass.

Artwork and framing by Sarah O’Brien.

Artwork and framing by Sarah O’Brien.

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Colored Frames

The artwork shown here is the same as in the example above but printed in a different color scheme. For this reason, a wide navy frame was chosen to pull out the cooler tones in the artwork. The silver on the inner part of the frame lightens and brightens the piece.

Colored frames are an excellent way to make a statement and draw attention to the colors within the art itself. Sometimes people try to match the frame with the room (such as the wall colors or furniture), however if you frame to the art itself, it will look excellent wherever it hangs.

Photograph and framing by Sarah O’Brien

Photograph and framing by Sarah O’Brien

Wide Modern Frame

This wide silver frame encases a nature photograph, enhancing the moody cloudy grays within the art. The artwork is simple, and the flat clean lines of the framing allow the eyes to travel effortlessly over the piece. The artwork and frame work together to complete the whole look. The framing creates a window effect as the viewer peers into the landscape within.

Artwork and framing by Sarah O’Brien

Artwork and framing by Sarah O’Brien

Textured Frame

This textured framed brings out the visual texture and movement in the artwork. The cream color of the framing is also present within the art, visually tying the whole piece together without being distracting. Textured frames add an element of uniqueness, and also stimulates the sense of touch. You can imagine how the frame would feel under your fingertips, just as you would the imagery of branches in the art.

Artwork and framing by Sarah O’Brien

Artwork and framing by Sarah O’Brien

Textured Frame With a Double Mat

Shown here, the artwork is double matted and encased in a black textured frame. The top mat is a neutral cream and the bottom mat is black. The bottom mat creates contrast and a visual border around the art. Double matting artwork adds depth and dimension to the piece. The black frame matches the black inner mat, so as not to distract with too many colors. Overall, the piece has a gallery quality to it, allowing the viewer to enjoy the artwork within.

Artwork and framing by Sarah O’Brien.

Artwork and framing by Sarah O’Brien.