Framing Tips

Conserving your drawing

If you purchased an original drawing unframed, here are some tips to help you decide on a choice of frame and how to preserve your drawing for years to come.

Once you receive your drawing, try to touch it as little as possible as the oils on your skin can damage the paper – it is very easy to leave grease spots. The actual drawing is sprayed with a fixative once finished to ensure that the pencil doesn’t smudge, however, care is still advised.

The drawing should be framed using an acid-free mount (mat). A mount conserves the drawing over time by ensuring the glass doesn’t directly touch the drawing, preventing the graphite from being rubbed or smudged by the glass. This also discourages condensation from damaging the paper by causing mould or mildew.

When deciding where to hang it, avoid strong sunlight as this may cause the paper to warp. Also avoid hanging it over a source of heat, like a radiator or fireplace.

Type of Frame

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA professional framer will be able to give you lots of advice when picking your frame and mounts, generally, drawings look good when framed in a simple neutral manner to let the drawing “come forward”, taking into account the colour harmony and the aesthetic of the composition. Of course, this will also depend on your decor and what will work well in your house.

The camel on the left is framed with a silver frame and double mount; the small inner mount picks out the colour of the frame and the graphite.

Below are a few examples to give you some ideas. Frame choice is so personal, hence I generally sell my work unframed, the client can then decide what they like best and what fits their decor and budget.