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Framing Fine Art

Custom Picture Framing by Hampton Photo, Art and FramingA valued piece of art is never simply taped to the wall. Art can be an investment, and it deserves the best preservation techniques that exist. Improperly framing art fades it, damages the paper, and alters the original piece. Frames are more than a compliment to the artwork: they protect it.

Archival framing protects the artwork from acid degeneration, direct sunlight, and smudging or chipping. Acid is present in paper products, cardboard, and other substances. It causes paper to yellow and disintegrate over time. The artwork should already be completed on acid free paper, but you may want to ask the artist first. The point of archival framing is to prevent contact with other acidic substances.

You should always ask your framer if the mat and the frame's backing are acid free. Both will be close to the artwork and any acid in them will slowly leech into the artwork. Hampton Photo Arts recommends only 100% cotton rag mat board and warn that some mat boards advertised as acid free work only against airborne elements and don't protect against heat and light. Linen tape or Framers Tape are the only types of adhesive that should be used to affix the mat to the artwork. Scotch tape, masking tape, or glue will severely damage the art. Fine art should never be drymounted to the frame or mat.

ImageIf matboards aren't an option for technical or aesthetic reasons, spacers must be used instead. Any contact between the artwork and the frame's glass will trap dust and dirt, stain the glass, and eventually ruin the artwork. A gap lets the contaminants float to the frame's bottom. You should open the frame every few years and wipe off the dust.

A sheet of glass or acrylic covers the artwork and blocks out dust, scratches, and other unforeseen catastrophes that might occur. The type of artwork influences the decision between the two. Acrylic surfaces generate static electricity and ruin pastel, charcoal, and other artworks with fine particles ground into the paper. Acrylics are suitable for other media and its lighter weight is suitable for larger pieces of art. Glass is cheaper and easier to clean. Its resistance to scratching is offset by its greater chance of breaking, and the wrong lighting creates glares and reflections on its surface.

Anti-reflective glass exists, but Hampton Photo Arts points out that it may be unnecessary. Preserving art involves the surrounding environment too. UV rays fade all works of art over time, especially ones on paper and photographs. Natural light and fluorescent lights emit harmful UV rays. Incandescent lights and low-wattage halogen lights are safe. Hampton Photo Arts recommends a system of both because incandescent lights emphasize warm colors over cool. Artwork should never be hung in direct light.

Art is a valuable and emotional purchase. An artwork's message and enjoyment is destroyed along with its physical properties if archival framing techniques are ignored. When framing fine art use knowledgeable framers like Hampton Photo Arts in the Hamptons, Frame Art/NYC or Nelson Fine Art Framing, Southern California. These framers have been in business for a long time and are located in "Fine art - High traffic areas" where artists and collectors depend on their expertise.

Canvas Printing

Printing on canvas is incredibly versatile and a great way to create a ready-to-hang image or artwork. Every canvas that we print  is protected with a UV coated acrylic finish to guard the print from dust, moisture and fading. Do you want your canvas stretched on bars or non-stretched? Framed or unframed? Customize the work to make it truly your own.

Art Prints – How are they made?

Photography by Laurie Barone-Shafer
Nowadays just about anyone can take a good quality photographs with a digital camera. Or take a few hundred pictures and the chances are few will be good, and even one or two outstanding.

Here are a few tips, tricks and techniques on how to make art print poster ready photographs and print ready digital files. Don’t get overwhelmed, there is a lot of information here, but a lot of it is just intuitive. Well, a bit of patience will always help.

First thing – Photo Size

If you taking a digital photo of you family or friend the largest size you would print is usually 5 by 7 inches, maybe 8 by 10 at the most. Even small size digital photographs (2MB or less) are ‘good enough’ to create a decent print. But if you want to create prints that are 16 by 20, 20 by 24 inches or larger you need more pixels (in pixels 20 by 24 inches photo is actually about 40 times larger than 3 by 4 inches photo assuming they have the same resolution).

Learning to Paint Watercolors

Watercolor is an easy, fun medium for creating art.  Color theory, composition and design can be explored freely with watercolor paint, paper, and brushes.  Several techniques may be used with watercolors for varying effects including painting wet on wet, wet on dry, layering washes, and more.

Watercolor paper comes in cold press, hot press, and rough.  Rough paper has the most texture, and its hills and valleys can result in interesting effects when paint is added.  Hot press is the smoothest and has the finest texture.  Cold press has a moderate amount of texture and is the paper most commonly chosen by watercolor artists.

Watercolor paper comes in several weights ranging from 90 lb. to 300 lb. based on the pounds per ream of paper.  Most artists prefer to use at least 140 lb. paper.  Papers vary somewhat between manufacturers, so sampling different papers is advisable.  Paper can be purchased in pads, in blocks or in large sheets.  The large sheets are usually the most economical and can be torn into whatever size is desired.

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