Framing an Art Drawing

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How to present Art Drawings

The presentation of art is perhaps the key to its understanding for many viewers. While many artists and critics argue that all art is subjective and thus presentation is subjective as well, there are many unspoken rules that are generally followed, at least among certain major artist groups. The first of these is the rule of the golden ratio.

The golden ratio is, in essence, a mathematical statement that has practical application in the worlds of science and art.

Framing an art drawing follows some unspoken rules

It is a ratio of proportions, a way of ascertaining that something will be visually pleasing by applying standards to the shapes and sizes used.

This standard has been applied by innumerable artists throughout history, from Leonardo DaVinci to Salvador Dali.

The second most important part of artistic presentation for painters is framing an art drawing. Framing serves a sort of dual purpose, working as an artistic addition to a drawing or painting while also protecting the picture from dust, oxygenation, pollution, and the oils on the hands of viewers who may want to touch the art drawing or painting. In order to protect the drawing from the glass, however, a passé partout must be used.

A passé partout is a mat, or framing ingredient that protects the artwork from the glass. While artists know that this is a protective feature, many art viewers feel it is present to enhance or draw the eye to the art work, which is a purpose that most matting does serve.

A passé partout is a mat that protects the artwork from the glass

The most common mat is a cardboard sheet with a cutout for the artwork that serves to protect the drawing from mildew associated with condensation that can build inside the glass. Paper is sometimes used as a mat, but this is far less common, particularly since many papers contain acid that can harm artwork over time.

One thing many artists using a mat find is a need to employ the golden ratio. When a drawing (or painting) is asymmetrical, a mat, or passé partout, will typically draw the viewer's eye to a side of the painting rather than the center. The golden ratio ensures that the drawing is symmetrical, keeping the viewer's eye centered and ensuring that the artwork itself is visually pleasing to the aesthetic senses of those who see it. Whether using a cardboard sheet or a non-acidic paper, the need to employ the golden ratio certainly increases when an artist decides to mat and frame a drawing.

In short, matting and framing an art drawing is an excellent means of both protection and presentation. While all presentation is up to the desires of the artist, matted work tends to have a more traditional and classic feel, while providing viewers the sense that they are dealing with a trained and professional artist. Matting techniques, such as passé partout serve to protect the work and to draw in both the trained and untrained eye, helping the viewer to focus on the work. For this reason, many artists employ the golden ration when creating work to be framed. While art is subjective and always open to interpretation, many classic techniques remain simply because they work so well for so many artists.

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How to frame an art drawing