How can I help make a (child's) line drawing look like fine art by selecting the right frame/matting?
June 4, 2009 1:13 AM   Subscribe

How can I help make a (child's) line drawing look like fine art by selecting the right frame/matting?

I have a line drawing that is somewhat reminiscent of Picasso to my untrained eye. I'd like to frame it/matt it to help it look as 'fine art' as possible. So it looks like it came from Sotheby's or is hanging in a museum. I'm not sure if that means it should be in a gaudy gold frame with 8 inch wide triple matting or exactly the opposite or what. I have no knack for this kind of thing.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Links to examples of what might look good would be helpful. Links to something I could actually buy would be great.

The drawing is a black line drawing on off-white paper similar to this:

It is approximately 8.5 x 11.

posted by gummo to Media & Arts (6 answers total)
Mat, not matt, of course.
posted by gummo at 1:14 AM on June 4, 2009

Not exactly what you're looking for- but I take everything to the framer, allow lots of time. We try all sorts of alternatives and I keep an open mind, but basically I trust the framer. Like a hairdresser or doctor, it's best to get a recommendation and once you find a good one, hold on tight.

The framer will know best, seriously. If it's a picture that you cherish, it's worth spending the time and the money to get the services of an excellent framer.

Best of luck and post a pic when you've framed it!
posted by taff at 3:11 AM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Well Picassos are framed in all sorts of frames and they still look like Picasso. It's a matter of personal taste, some people take small sketch fragments and put them in huge gesso frames, others are more modest. Trends in framing come and go, in the 80's you'd want a huge 2" steel block frame, now it's more likely a modest black or natural wood approach. There is no correct answer here unless you just want to make it look as impressive and "museum like" as possible, and in that case you probably want a massive moulded gesso frame with a wide mat.

Something I think looks really special, and is especially effective if your work has rough edges, is a floating mount. I saw a Da Vinci exhibition recently and all the drawings were in modest modern pine frames, but all were floating mounts and they looked incredible. This was proper floating though, which included a mat and where the work was suspended. Not the cheap approach which calls for glueing the work to a piece of foamboard.

Speaking to a framer is the best way forward.

You can browse the rooms of the Picasso museum in Paris here, which may give you a few other ideas.
posted by fire&wings at 3:19 AM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

I agree with using a floating mount. To me, it looks more museum-y than a mat overlay.
posted by jenmakes at 8:34 AM on June 4, 2009

Here are a selection of Picasso works currently on sale. Not all have frames visible but you may get some inspiration. Checking out the archives of Christies and Sothebys on their respective websites may also help, although it's rare for works to be photographed with frames included.
posted by fire&wings at 11:16 AM on June 4, 2009

i always go with a rather large off white/cream matte and pretty neutral wood frame (black/white/whatever looks good with the work)
big mats always make it look important!
posted by ChloeMills at 4:10 PM on June 4, 2009

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