Saturday, 1 August 2015

Black Hat Framed!

I realise I may have oversold the frame for this picture.

Actually, I first saw this sort of frame when I was demonstrating at the UKCPS exhibition in London a couple of months ago.     A lovely cp drawing of a moth was framed in a similar style and attracted a lot of attention.   It was quite small though.

Friends will know that David and I are voluntary workers for Pilgrims Hospice in Kent and we sell 'better quality' donated items on eBay to maximise profits for this charity.    A couple of months back I spotted a picture which had been donated and I bought it specifically for its frame which was similar to the one I'd admired in London.

Basically, the 'back section' of the frame is glass, instead of backing board, so when the picture is hung the background/wall colour influences the overall effect.

When I saw this frame it had a simple lily print suspended in the middle of the frame/mount.   So here we have the black frame and cream mount.    Two sheets of clear glass form the back and front of the frame and the main picture is suspended/glued in the middle.   Its laying on top of a white duvet which you can see through the glass. 

I drew my Spanish lady on dark grey pastelmat to a size which would fit exactly over the lily drawing .... I've simply overlaid the lily with the Spanish lady so she is suspended in this frame.

So ...... the picture itself is centred in the frame, surrounded by clear glass through which the background will show so this will probably need to be hung on a plain coloured wall.

I took so many photos, trying to cut out the glare on the glass - this one is taken in our bedroom, propped up on a dressing table, against the wardrobe wall (very light wood background)  You can see there is a black frame and cream mount then the clear glass just shows the light wood colour surrounding the picture which is 'floating' in the centre - coloured pencils on dark grey pastelmat.

With this one, I propped the picture/frame up against a white background - so we have a black frame and cream mount and the clear glass section just shows the white background (and the inevitable glare when photographing through glass)

 - this is much the same ... when assembling the picture and mount/frame we used a white duvet on top of our dining table to protect the wood surface and you can see what an interesting effect his makes when the frame is laid on top of it

A friend commented that this type of frame is dependent on having plain backgrounds  to hang the picture and I agreed .... but the picture is currently stacked on the floor in my studio in front of a cardboard box which is highly decorated and you can see what effect this has on the picture ... and I quite like it (ignore the glare from the glass)

I like the 'busy' background.   If this picture/frame was hung against a patterned wall I think it could be quite interesting.   What do you think?

anyway, I needed to move on to something different and David was keen for me to get back to drawing horses (which is pretty much how I started out)

We ploughed through the hundreds of photos I have in my archives and sadly he  favoured a photo of an elderly hairy pony .... I'd expected a glossy thoroughred model.      I have to say my heart wasn't really into this project which is probably why its so RUBBISH!   This Elderly pony was a real character (naughty) at the yard where my lovely old horse was stabled but I don't think the coloured pencil drawing does him justice so am now looking for the next model for entry into 2016 exhibitions.


  1. I wondered if a plain background would be the only way to go and now that I see it, I also like the patterned background. I think it would depend on the background, don't you?

    The pony is cute and looks really sweet - not naughty at all!

  2. Yes I agree Jan, a smaller pattern would work, but plain walls are probably best for this sort of frame.

    I'm trying to remember the pony's name ... think it was Barney. Like many small ponies he was very cheeky and opportunistic. Could usually manage to let himself out of fields/stables by unbolting gates unless they had extra security chains. He was 32 years old when I last saw him so if he's still around he'd be 35 or 36 now.

  3. that is a really neat looking frame and I like it against the busy background, really draws my eyes to the piece :)

    if you artwork right against the glass then?

  4. Hi Jennifer
    My drawing is fixed to the back sheet of glass and there is a single mount/mat between the front & back sheets. I guess my drawing is not quite touching the front glass but there isn't as much clearance as I'd have with a double mount (which is what I normally use)

    I know some pastel artists frame works without mounts so the glass lays directly on the work and stops flecks of pastel dropping off but I never tried that. I don't know if CP work can be framed the same way as the pencils I use are waxy. Possibly its OK if the work is fixed or varnished but I'm not risking fixative on this one again .... took an age to lose the green skintones!

  5. ah ok I get it now :) I was always told by framers to never have the work touching the actual glass due to condensation, maybe they lied to me lol

  6. She looks fabulous in her new frame, Sue! I think a variety of backgrounds would work through that glass; the black lends easily to many solutions there.

    This horse is just beautiful and oh so magnificent. The mane is exquisitely rendered!


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