I am using my painting "Broken Melodies" to demonstrate the process of matting and framing.
An art piece simply cannot call itself finished unless it is ready to be presented. Choosing mats and frames should be a thoughtful process, as it is all about drawing out important aspects of the piece.
Purchasing ready-made mats is certainly an easier option, however I am of the opinion that mat-making is the kind of skill that one fairs better equipped with than without.
This walkthrough serves as an example itself, in that the frame size was custom, thus resulting in the need for custom mats.
Besides, no one should care for the art piece more than the artist. Likewise, no one else should be relied on to exert the same amount of concentration and strive for precision.
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This is a frame custom built for me by Mr. Carl Burmeister, who is a master craftsman. Here is a photo of he and I together in my studio!
The frame used here for "Broken Melodies" is made of oak, with a pewter finish.
Multiple hanging options in the back to suit personal preferences.
Pegs to hold the backing in place.
See how Carl even painted the screws in pewter!
This shows just how much larger the frame is compared to the painting.
Measuring the backing.
Measuring the painting.
Notes on dimensions of the mats I will be using. For this painting I am using 2 mats, a thin red inner mat and a wide cream outer mat.
Should be pretty self-explanatory.
Plus check out my cool Muji calculator. Those numbers are so big! Can't miss them.
Marking measurements with a 2H drop-lead pencil.
Connecting the dots.
My Logan mat cutter! I think this is the 760 Simplex model.
The straight-edge cutter, for cutting mat boards down to size.
Those are Keith's manly hands! Aligning the bevel cutter to cut out the mat window.
Remains of the day.
Preparing to frame the painting!
Wiping down the inside of the glass to make sure there are no smudges or dust spots.
The wider, cream-coloured mat is the first one to go down.
Followed by the red mat, which has a smaller window, resulting in a thin red border.
Finally the painting is set down.
Careful positioning of the painting.
While not shown here, I like to "anchor" my paintings with a piece of scrap mat board cut down to size, just sticking it at the botton so it will "wedge" the painting in place.
Giving the glass surface a final wipe-down.
Et voilà! The painting is now framed and ready to be displayed.
A higher-resolution photograph of the framed painting shot from head on is available on my website; simply click "framed view" in the menu above the main image.