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Friday, 10 September 2010

Selecting Mats for Color Paintings on Canvas









Size, color and more are considered when buying a mat for a painting. I edited the above images of my painting, Water Against the Rocks, for this post with Photoshop. Double mats are very attractive. Generally a mat’s colors should be lighter in value and less intense than colors of your painting. Some people recommend that the bottom mat be similar in color to the dominant color of the painting. A mid tone gray is also attractive. In my 3 images, I used a 0.25 inch mid tone gray bottom mat. This neutral color enhances colors in a painting.

The top mat is 1 inch in width; the painting is 8 by 10 inches. A narrow mat can make a painting look cheap. Many people also recommend that the color of the top mat be the complement of the painting’s dominant color. Since my painting’s dominant color is blue, I used a light to mid tone muted orange mat in the first image. I did not like the color of the muted orange. My second image has a muted light blue mat similar to the painting’s dominant hue. I prefer this to the complement of my painting’s dominant color. It is recommended that the bottom of the mat be 0.75 to 1 inch wider than the width of the upper border; particularly with a long horizontal painting. This is added to prevent the bottom from being overwhelmed. I added approximately 0.75 inch to the bottom border in my third image. The width of the horizontal and vertical borders can also differ as can the pattern. Comment on your favorite mat. The fourth image is my painting with some minor changes.

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