Here are some useful tips to help guide you in choosing the perfect frame for a graphite drawing.

It might be tempting to simply place your drawing in a ready-made frame, however there are several things that you should take into consideration before framing your artwork to ensure it is adequately protected over the years. It’s how your finished artwork is presented that makes all the difference.

Use only acid-free materials

Matting, tape or adhesive, barriers, or backing that you use in the framing of your art or drawing should be completely acid free. Acidic materials, after long periods of time can actually damage the artwork in the frame by distorting the actual paper or by turning the paper a yellowish color.

Subtle framing with mats/mounts

Use mats/mounts when framing the drawing, they keep the glass off the drawing itself. A double mat is the best option for protection and presentation.

The mat should be close to the “paper base” colour, (which is the tone and colour of the paper the art is on).  Pencil sketches are subtle, the framing should match that level of subtly.You don’t want the framing to overpower the delicacy of the pencil lines and draw the attention away from the art. Pewter and silver frames can look great on pencil sketches, and you could also look for a  rich grayish brown wood frame as well.  Stay away from gold, sold black, cherry and mahogany woods – frames that add color where there isn’t any to complement. The frame should mimic the overall feeling of the piece and draw upon the colour (or lack thereof) of the shadows in the art.

Go to a Professional

Professional framers will be able to advise you on all of the above. They will also have lots of mats and frames for you to choose from. They will help you with your selection, placing them on the outside of the drawing until the right look is achieved.