Picking the right combination of mat and frame for your artwork can be a daunting task. Most frame shops have hundreds of mat and frame samples, and it can be hard to know where to start. This post series should help to get you pointed in the right direction.
First off, not every image needs a mat. That's a topic for a different post. Here, though, we're looking at a piece of original artwork, so a mat is necessary for protection as well as for aesthetics.
Here we have a colored pencil drawing of US Cellular Field (or Comiskey, if you prefer).
The customer didn't have any initial ideas in mind, but did want to keep it simple, so I decided to use a 3/4" Choose-A-Color frame. The colors shown (counterclockwise from top) are Warm Gray, Pigeon, and Steel.
Each has its merits - but the great thing about the Choose-A-Color frame is that the color can be customized. I used a blend of Steel and Warm Gray - it's a warm color that still has a hint of blue - as you can see here, it's a good match to the crowd color.
Now, mats! It's a very light piece, so the traditional white mat is a good choice.
But again, it needs something more. Here we add a dark accent mat.
Let's make sure we get just the right hue in there.
We go with the second from the top, and here's the finished project! If you have sharp eyes, you may notice that the image is floated on the bottom mat. This decision was made as the artist chose to bring the color all the way to the edges of the paper. A later blog post will detail when to make this decision, and another will deal with how to float artwork.