Choosing A Color For Matting and Framing

Choosing A Color For Matting and Framing

Last week, I showed you the process I used for determining the value of the matting/framing for my Stewart Stephenson challenge piece. For those of you that asked, I chose value #3. The next thing I needed to do was choose a color. I could have gone with gray and I think it would have looked OK. But I decided I wanted to try some different colors to see which I liked best. I used some painted papers that I already had and I painted a few.

I tried mixing black and deep cerulean blue (middle row, 1st on the left) and I mixed blue and orange to try to get a color close to the darkest color in the actual piece. But I ended up with purple (middle row, 1st on the right). The remaining colors are ones that I already had painted. The orange wasn’t bad, but I really liked the blue green (middle row, middle photo) but it wasn’t a dark enough value.

I then decided to use paint colors straight out of the bottle because then I wouldn’t have to mix the color to cover the canvas. The one on the left is Cobalt Turquoise and the one on the right is Deep Cerulean Blue. I decided I liked the Deep Cerulean Blue the best.


So I painted the canvas and this is the result. It looks better in person. But I’m considering adding a glaze to the top to make it slightly darker.


This photo shows the true color of the canvas a little better. It isn’t quite as dark as the value #3 card. So I think I will mix a little black with the deep cerulean blue and then add some gloss medium to glaze the surface and see if I like that better. It has been really difficult getting the photos to show you the process as the colors have not stayed true. But I guess I’ll get this framed eventually.

Happy Fourth of July to all of our US readers!

10 thoughts on “Choosing A Color For Matting and Framing

  1. I like your choice of colour – the blue frame echoes the blue in the felt well – but I agree that a little darker would also look good.

  2. Choices, choices… Wow. Your final canvas looks great. I agree a darker grayed blue will look nice, too. Of course, as you said it’s different in person.

  3. Interesting method, thank you for sharing. I tend to pick out colours from the picture for the frame which may be what you are doing by adding black to the cerulean blue, I think you are already pretty close to the grey-blue tone in your picture, a little more black and bingo! πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to see this piece framed…

    1. Thanks Teri – that is actually what I’m doing but sometimes it helps to try out different colors. I actually like the black and cerulean blue one OK but the blue one is better. Gives it more “pop”.

  4. I liked the greeny blue in the middle of the second row, too, but I do like the blue in the bottom photo. It’s hard isn’t it, because the colours dry either lighter or darker and you never know which, then they photograph completely differently depending on the background, time of day or time of year! Good luck with it πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Zed – it is really hard to get colors to be true in photographs. So even if I see one I like, I can’t show everybody the true color. But I’ll get it eventually.

  5. I think I will like your choice with the glaze on it. the blue in the picture is what I would be trying to get but it is so hard to colour match. I liked the gray on the left in the second row as well but can see how you would want more pop. I am sure the colour are not showing well on my monitor as the 2 blue ones side by side look the same to me.

    1. I put the glaze on today – now to see it in sunlight dry. The online colors are really hard for sure.

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