How to Draw: 6 Tips on Framing Pencil Drawings


It’s how your finished artwork is presented that makes all the difference. Although it’s tempting to simply place your drawing in a ready-made frame, there are several things that you should take in consideration before framing your artwork to insure it is adequately protected over the years.

Use acid-free materials
Any matting, tape or adhesive, barriers, or backing that you use in the framing of your art or drawing should be completely acid free. Acidic materials, after long periods of time can actually damage the artwork in the frame by distorting the actual paper or by turning the paper a yellowish color.

Use matting
I prefer using mats with the framing of my drawings.

If an acidic matting is use, it should be backed by an acid-free material that will act as a protective barrier between the matting and the drawing. There is a standard thickness that is necessary and preferred in the industry for this buffer or barrier. The same consideration should be given to the backing of your drawing. If your drawing or art is backed or mounted on an acid-free material, the barrier is unnecessary. Some framers use a foam-core board for backing.

Stay away from black
As a general rule, I always stay away from black, especially solid black-although, it can work if is part of a color scheme with a particular molding and if it is not overpowering the drawing. It’s good to have something that has a range of values-including molding and mats, working as a set. Even with the values and gradations created within the graphite media, the mat or mats and the frame can all be chosen to either compliment, subdue, or emphasize any particular value or aspect of your drawing.

Always frame with glass
I would always frame with glass, but I would also spend the extra money for the UV protection glass. However, I would never use non-glare glass or plexiglas.

The drawing should be cleaned well, removing smudges, dust, or eraser fragments. To see if there are any tiny fragments on your paper or drawing, you should look at the surface closely from a severe angle, so that you can see them contrasting from the paper’s surface as they rise up. You can use a brush or compressed air to remove the fragments from the framing material.

The glass should be exceptionally clean and should be tested for finger prints, dust, hair, or other foreign material, before securing it permanently in the frame. You may have to do this more than once.

Let your artwork breathe
In attaching the drawing to the backing or whatever secures its position within the mats or frame, it should only be secured at the top and allowed to hang if an adhesive or tape is used. It should not be secured firmly at all four corners or around its perimeter, because the humidity changes continually and the paper has to have freedom to flex, expand, and contract. Otherwise, the paper will ripple or develop waves if it is restricted in any way. These waves in the paper become very apparent when the lighting is directional or at an angle to the framed piece of art. The light causes highlight and shadow because of the contours in the paper. Some framers are using a large plastic photo type corner that allows the paper to slide in and be secure at all four corners and still allow for the flexing of the paper. It seems to be working quite well, as several of my drawings and illustrations using other media on paper, have been framed this way for a number of years.

Add a protective dust cover
After attaching the art and framing materials to the actual frame, a dust cover should be used on the back to keep additional dust, spiders, or bugs from entering the framed picture compartment. This is usually done by using a two-sided tape on the back surface of the molding all the way around the perimeter. Then a piece of brown paper is laid down on the adhesive surface as it is stretched flat as you press it onto the adhesive surface. You then trim the outer edges of the brown paper to fit and then you are ready to attach your hanging wire, before placing your artwork on display!

Have fun drawing!

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Makler Heidelberg


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Makler Heidelberg


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Source by Darrel Tank