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Not all Art is the same. What’s your art made of and how it is framed will result in a huge difference not only to the look, but its’ longevity.

When framing, it’s important to understand what your art is made of. This means understanding the art medium that has been used to create the art.

Definition: In a fine art context, “art medium” refers to the art materials or artist supplies used to create a work of art. Basically, it’s whatever you use to make a mark upon a surface and what type of surface that is.

Consider these things:

Art work and framing is unique to each piece. There’s a lot of difference between framing a delicate art work on rice paper and designing a frame where the artist has used thick oil paint on a heavy timber board.

A good custom frame protects the art. It also supports the weight, conserves the original art and retains value. Most importantly, your finished frame will look sensational on the wall.

The Different Mediums Used to Create Art and how to Frame them.

Mediums used in art are oil paints, watercolour, acrylic paints, graphite pencils, charcoal and pastels (oil and chalk pastels). Resin art on board or canvas is a new trend. Textiles such as Indigenous bark paintings, cloth, T-towels, embroidery, tapestry, jigsaws, canvas painting and prints are all well used art mediums.

Limited edition prints, giclee prints, cheap prints and posters, photography, certificates, maps are common forms of art that regularly come to the framing table.

Memorabilia such as medals, footy jerseys, surf rashis, collectables and keepsakes, mixed media and collages provide opportunities for problem solving and showcasing our talented framer’s skills.

Keep reading to discover how some of these art mediums are framed.

How to Frame Pastel

Pastel is chalky and will create dust on your matting and frame. Special techniques are used when framing pastel. A mat board is best as this allows space between the art work and the glass. The mat board can be raised off the art work a little so that the dust can fall down behind the mat board where it is obscured from sight. We use glass in preference to acrylic, as the dusty pastel tends to stick to the static acrylic.

Examples of different art works:

How to Frame Mixed Media – 3D work and Keepsakes

Mixed Media collages require a deep frame to allow for the depth of the bits and pieces.
If paper is involved, glass will be required to prevent damp and mold setting in. The weight of the rocks and shells needs to be considered as gravity can pull them down when they are vertically hanging. on the wall. The hanging technique is also a consideration for heavier weighted frames.
This is a real, engineering piece where Rex’s skills in problem solving kick in.

How to Frame Original Oil Paint

Oil Paint is the art medium used here. Oil Paint takes time to dry. It can have glass, perspex/acrylic or be left unglazed.
This large oil painting on canvas has been framed with layered frames to give a unique finish. The Indigenous art by Jane Crawford, has been created on a stretched canvas. To keep it’s authenticity, we kept it on the canvas and built the frame around it with just the right depth to allow the frame to be flush on the wall. Another engineering project. We decided not to use glass but keep the original textures raw and bare.

How to frame Prints, Photographs and Paper works

Any article that is created or printed onto paper requires glass. Glass or acrylic prevents dampness, mold and ‘foxing’ from destroying the work. The art work needs to be separated from the glass by either an archival mat board of your colour choice, or a thin, tube-like spacer that sits hidden away in the frame rebate. You cannot see the spacer. To finish your frame design, we add the best option for glass.
This gorgeous limited edition print by Runa and Holly is framed with a white, cotton rag archival mat board, white frame and finished with UV conservation glass to protect from light.

A custom frame fits the frame perfectly, looks fabulous on your wall and becomes a framed memory as a special moment in time.  A well designed, quality built custom frame combined with your special art, sets the mood for your home, gives it soul, and preserves your art for many year to come. 

If you have something to frame, please book your free, non obligatory 30 minute consultation with one of our designers now . You can enjoy the unique experience of designing that special frame for your art work.


More examples of different art mediums and how to frame them.

You now have an insight into why custom framing is such a worthwhile experience when choosing a frame for your precious art and collectables.

Until next time


All text copyright Jen Hutchison 2020.

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Coastal Framing and Design