How to Frame Your Pastel Painting
There are many different ways in which people insist that you must frame a pastel painting. That’s because there is paranoia concerning the pastel becoming smudged and damaged. Is this correct? Should we fear? Why can’t pastel paintings look sleek and beautiful with just a frame as oil paintings are? Well, I have some hope for you.
I never use fixative on my pastel paintings because the colors become dulled with the spray. My pastel paintings are even more delicate than others. Some crazy words of advice that I received from other pastel painters was to put plastic spacers between the glass and the painting. First, this method was ugly and it allowed pastel dust to move around inside the frame. Second, these spacers also gave room for tiny bugs and moisture to attack the painting over time. This is not a good method although it is what many in the pastel world use.
Another popular method of framing pastel painting is to use a mat board. I hate this look. Nothing says that a pastel painting is less important than an oil painting is a mat board. No thanks!
I am always looking for a better way when it comes to my art and I have no reservations looking for an edge on my own. This is when I came up with the best framing solution for a pastel painting. I carefully apply the glass flush against the painting inside the frame with no mat and no plastic spacer. What I found is astonishing.
The glass holds the pastel pigments in place and there is no chance of moisture, insects or dust to get to the painting. When framing with just the frame and no mat, all the viewer will see is your work and not be alerted that it is a pastel painting. Try this for yourself. You will be able to put more money into your frames and less on mat cutting and spacers.
So, in conclusion, the mat board is actually more of a liability when framing your pastel paintings. I have even reframed paintings using this method and the pastel looks as fresh as the day that I painted them. There is no smudging or lifting of pigment whatsoever.
Now whenever I exhibit a pastel painting in a group show, my work looks no less serious than the oil paintings next to it. A win not just for me but for all pastel painters.