While it is true that it is usually best to mount artwork in a neutral, non-obtrusive cream or white, sometimes these shades are not the desired option. Pale colours can sometimes be too stark or clinical or they fail to enhance the artwork.
There are times when other colours work best or sometimes it is the preference of the client who is looking for something a little different.
This teapot watercolour was mounted with a pale grey mount. The frame is a simple moulding with aluminium leaf gilded on the outer bead, part of our hand finished frames range.
This painting on paper depicting a scene with bamboo in the background also has a grey mount, making the frame feel part of the picture. The frame is an ash frame with a painted finish.
This Hogarth print is livened up with a deep red mount and a gold slip.
Black is often best avoided in mounts but when it works, it enhances artwork greatly. These Sufi miniatures look impressive mounted in black.
Chose the right shade and colours can be introduced into the frame design. For this potato etching, a muted blue was used.
A gilded inner bevel can finish off a mount's edge very nicely, illuminating the picture and following the frame design as with this watercolour portrait. A double mount can add further depth.
We think it is sometimes worth considering alternatives to white and cream mounts in your framing consultations. We provide a good choice of beautifully toned mount samples at Fine Artisan.
A client with William Hogarth etchings was keen to remove them from the plastic 60's frames they were in and frame them in a more modern style than the period the prints were made. It was important however to frame them in a profile that was still appropriate to the style of the prints.
There were a few good frame choices and we decided on an elegant black Ogee profile which we modified with the addition of a traditional shaped gold slip.
The mount colour was partially influenced by the red mounts they had previously been framed in, as it is a colour which adds richness, working well with the black and gold frame. A further enhancement of a gold mount slip was added to tie the mount to the frame, completing it.
When framing valuable prints we recommend using UV-filtered glass or acrylic, which have an option of anti-reflection.
French Lines are a splendid form of mount decoration, used especially on watercolours, prints and maps. They can be complex combinations of lines, panels and colours, or they can be much more simple, comprising two or three lines of a single colour.
Just a single line can add a traditional note to a framed artwork without being fussy or distracting.
Although mainly used on traditional pieces, French lines can be also used for contemporary work. A ruling pen can be loaded with a variety of painting media meaning colours can be subtle or strong, pale or vivid.
Lines around artwork have been used for centuries but the wash lines we know today were largely developed in the 19th century and include the use of coloured papers glued to the mount, gold tapes and coloured powders.
French lines embellish a mount, creating a frame within a frame, to balance the space and draw the eye to the picture.
When a mount is lacking in definition, due to its similarity to the artwork in colour and tone, lines can help to frame the artwork.
Visit us to view our full selection of mount samples with French Lines.
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