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Choosing frame colours

This article links to the framing video I posted, showing how to construct the custom frames from Jacksons Art. I touch upon choosing colours for the frames that set off the artwork to its best advantage, and thought I’d write a short piece elaborating on choosing colours that bring out the best of your artwork.

I am going to use the two examples in the video shown here hanging on deep blue wall.

(I know I damaged the upper frame, it will be replaced when the next order arrives!)

Choosing the colour

An easy way to to pick a suitable colour is to try and match a minor colour element in the painting. I chose the two colours in the Jennifer Irvine seascape by picking out colour hints in the painting, a light grey for the inner moulding, and then a darker blue/grey (Farrow & Ball ‘pigeon’) for the outer moulding. However if I had chosen the dominant blue in the painting, the frame would have overwhelmed the other colours.

For the second painting, the cherry blossom by Anthony Connolly we saw in the video that I started with a light grey, repainted to ‘Pidgeon’ and finally settled on a dark blue (F&B Blue black). The reason this colour works better than the previous two is because it complements the colour values of the painting.

Colour Values

The flower painting has very strongly contrasting ‘values’ that is to say, it has very strong darks, and very pale light colours, this is in part why neither of the greys work as a frame colour – they were mid range in value, so don’t sit well against the high contrast in the art work.

The seascape has much less range of value, so the mid tones of the pigeon grey work in harmony with painting, and don’t overwhelm the art.

Background

It is worth taking your background into consideration. I knew I was going to hang both of these paintings on a blue wall, so I wanted the frames to complement the artwork, but also work with the strong blue behind them. I have used blue toned greys, and the dark blue so they are all on the same spectrum of colour. For example I could have used the purples in Jennifer’s seascape to base my frame colours on, but they would not have worked so well with wall behind, or the painting below.

I hope this helps, I have a short video on how to make the frames on my instagram account. All the frames came from Jacksons Art and the artwork was purchased through the Artists Support Pledge on Instagram.

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