I have collated this guide for framing drawings for my pencil pet portraits clients. If you need any help or advice or perhaps would like to ask about how to frame your pencil drawing or which frame to choose, please don't hesitate to email me at any time.
I have hand picked two bespoke, high quality framers here in the UK whom I have chosen to work with. They each offer a slightly different skill set which allows me to provide you with the best frame for your needs. I have a Pencil Drawing Framing Gallery where you can view previous pencil portraits framed. My framers have access to thousands of different mouldings, so if you are looking for something special or have a particular frame in mind, we can match or suggest a frame that would work very well for you.
If you are commissioning a pencil drawing and are trying to work out what the overall frame size might be, the following information should be helpful.
All pencil drawings must be framed under glass, so this means you need a mount / mat to keep the glass from laying on the pencil drawing.
Lets take a 16" x 12" pencil portrait as an example, pictured right. The double mount using hayseed and a dark grey inner mount / mat is 1.5 inches. The portrait was then framed using the Allerton Pewter Frame which is 1.5 inches in width. This means that we need to add 6 inches to each measurement of our portraits size. So a 16" x 12" will become 24" x 20" framed.
This of course is an approximation as you might opt to have a really wide mount of say 5 inches and then your frame. It all depends on your choices and combinations for your portrait. If you have a specific space in mind in your home to display the artwork, it may be best to calculate the frame size and work back from there.
Our framers have access to thousands of mount / mat colours. I have seen the samples and it is an unbelievable range of colours. They also have a variety of textured mounts / mats too. I tend to keep to the more natural colour pallet for my pencil drawings and the most popular mount colour is Hayseed using a line of colour underneath which adds interest.
Some of my clients however have chosen lots of bright colours or really dark colours and they look amazing! View the portrait of Rooney on the right. He was framed by my client using an orange mount / mat and a lovely shabby chic textured wooden frame. It works so well with Rooney’s portrait.
With such a huge choice of mouldings it really can be difficult to choose a frame for your drawing and if you need any help, just let me know. It would be helpful to know the kind of decor you have.
For instance, one of my recent clients told me she had just redecorated her living room in a range of warm greys and silver accents. So it seemed the perfect option to choose a silver frame and the Sandringham Silver worked really well for her.
I have access to an endless supply of designs and ideas, so just let me know your preference and we can discuss the frames that migth work for you and your home decor.
The majority of my pencil drawings are packed up and sent worldwide and although I package my portraits incredibly well, I would never trust the postal system sending glass. Instead I use is clear perspex glass which is shatter proof. It is also a much safer option if you have children or grandchildren. Artwork can get knocked off of the wall and it is far safer when you have children and pets, to use the safety glass. It also won't damage the artwork if the drawing falls off the wall. If you are having the portrait framed yourself and you don't have the need to use shatter proof glass, there are a variety of different types of glass you can use. Your framer will give you the options available. Non reflective is the most popular as it is etched on one side which helps to reduce shine when the drawing is positioned in bright room.
There are some excellent frame shops out there who will be able to offer advice for framing your pencil portrait. A good framer should allow you to choose from a variety of different mouldings. If you take your pencil drawing along with you, they can show you mouldings and mounts / mats together, so you can see which design or combination would work best for you and your home decor. They should give you plenty choice and also explain to you about the different glazings options available along with the conservation grade materials they use.
I always recommend finding a professional framer to frame the portrait if you can as a professional finish can make a huge difference to the final appearance of the pencil drawing. There are however a number of online framers and the process will take you through a series of choices to build your own bespoke frame. They often have software, whereby you can see what your choices will look like visually before purchasing.
I am often asked by clients how to care for their pencil drawings when they arrive to them unframed. I send my unframed pencil drawings wrapped in cellophane. The cellophane is taped using Scotch Tape to keep it in place.
My advice would be to unwrap the outer packaging however leave the cellophane in place and leave your framer to unwrap it. This is important as oils from your fingers can damage the surface of the paper. Also if the drawing itself is touched or rubbed the graphite could possibly move and smudge. So if the drawing is kept safe in the cellophane, your framer, whom may possibly be wearing cloves or have very clean hands, can unwrap the portrait and place it straight in the frame for you. This will avoid any damage.
I use professional grade paper and pencils, so your portrait will not fade over time. Feel free to display the drawing anywhere in your home. I would advise however not to position the drawing in a hot or humid environment, in a bathroom for instance, or in bright direct sunlight for long periods of time.
My portraits are created with much love and care and the framing is an equally important stage in the process. I am only an email away if you need any help or advice in choosing the right frame for you and your drawing.
Why not head on over to my framing gallery page which shows some of my pencil drawing commissions framed. I also offer engraved plaques in gold, silver and bronze which are stunning and really 'complete' a pencil portrait. You can have them set in either the mount / mat or on the frame itself. I commission the plaques from a family run engraving company in England who have been running since 1899.
I’m looking forward to working with you soon on your commissioned pencil portrait!