In any painting, the biggest expenditure for the artist is
the frame that goes around the finished piece. If it's a watercolor painting, there's
the matting, the glazing, and the frame holding it all together; for the oil on canvas or
acrylic work, it's "just" the frame, but depending upon the size of the finished
work, "just" the frame isn't cheap.
In the same way that fine houses are built bit by bit,
craftsmanship, so are businesses. Build the price
of the frame into your work
and ensure that you
receive the profit you need to keep growing.
Bayside by Steve Henderson, oil
While for some oil painting
and acrylic pieces, gallery framing--keeping the edges deep and painting them black or an extension of the work on
the front--is a pleasing and inexpensive option. But not all works or subject
matters lend themselves to this treatment. And watercolors on paper can't be dealt with in this way at all.
So what do you do to keep from sinking more money than you
want into framing your painting works?
First, what you don't do: buy cheap used frames in second
hand stores and "recycle" your works in them. Yes, this can work but not if you're planning to charge
more than very little for your paintings. Yes, it's green, but a battered
used frame doesn't send the message to the buyer, "This is a classy painting
worth the high price I put on it."
Accept that there is no uber cheap option for framing your
work. After you've accepted this fact of life,
Research online framing establishments for
solid, basic frame models (sometimes they're called plein air frames) in
black, gold, stained wood, or silver. Skip the cheap but avoid the most
Frames come in standard sizes and custom-made ones,
the latter more expensive. Keep your painting canvases in the standard sizes.
Build the price of the frame into your work.
And when you sell a painting, set aside funds
from the sale for the framing of your next piece.