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Guide To Custom Framing

Hampton Photo, Arts and Framing
You have a print you would like to get framed. Now, this is not some poster you picked up at a local college bookstore, it's a lithograph by your favorite artist and it is signed! A metal frame from your local discount department store just will not do, and so you decide to have it custom framed. Custom framing is a great way to care for and display a favorite piece of printed art that compliments both the art and your personal style. A custom framing order entails deciding on four factors: mounting, matting, glass and frame.

How your art print is mounted depends a great deal on how valuable it is to you. This does not necessarily mean how much it is worth monetarily, but also the sentimental value of the piece. Standard mounting practices involve adhering the print to a backing permanently, making it more sturdy and eliminating the potential for wrinkling. Archival mounting uses less permanent methods that have the least impact on the print as far as its ability to be removed from the backing.

Matting a print is a creative process that can really enhance the look of the final product. There are infinite color options as well as various types of matting and even design cutouts that bring out the beauty of your print. You will select from paperboard or rag matting, the latter of which is of higher archival quality (i.e. they are truly acid-free). You can opt to use one, two or more mats which will overlay each other. For example, with a two-mat configuration, the top mat might be a neutral color that blends with the main colors of the print, while the mat underneath might reflect a minor color in the print, causing it to enhance that aspect of the art. Some customer frame shops also offer design cut-outs which are cut into the top mat, allowing the lower mat color to show through. Try not to match your matting to the room where you plan to hang the print. You may need to move it later, or decide to redecorate that room. The matting should work specifically with the art in a versatile way that will work anywhere.

The glass used over your print can be very important. There is standard, anti-glare and museum quality glass, among others. If your print is going to be hanging in a high-light area where reflection is going to be a problem, consider using anti-glare or museum quality. If cost is a concern, standard glass works well in most applications.

Finally, the frame you choose is almost as important as the print it frames. Before choosing the most expensive, ornate, antiqued gold frame, consider the spirit of the art you're framing. Generally, smaller prints are overwhelmed by bulky frames while thinner frames do not do larger prints justice. Choose a frame that compliments the style of the print. For contemporary pieces, metal frames may be the ticket, while that ornate gold filigree will better accent artwork by a classical master artist. You may also decide to use a fillet instead of a second mat which will entail a border inside the main mat that matches the outer frame.

Regardless of whether your art print is a black and white contemporary photograph or the Mona Lisa herself, choosing the right components for your custom frame order is important to your satisfaction in the end result. Your frame designer will walk you through all aspects of choosing your preferences in mounting, matting, glass and frame. Do not be afraid to ask questions! With a little creativity and assistance from a professional framer like Hampton Photo Arts, your art print will be a beautiful addition to your décor for years to come.

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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