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Old 08-30-2018, 06:01 PM
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virgil carter virgil carter is online now
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Re: Painting Size: Standard frame dimensions, or free-form sizes?

You boys and girls who paint with oils, acrylics and pastels have somewhat different challenges than those of us who paint in watercolors.

That said, the issue of "standard" sizes or "custom" sizes is also a frequent discussion topic in watercolor circles. But the issues faced are different.

For example, standard watercolor sheets are sized 22" X 30". There are other, larger sizes of paper, but these are not so commonly used. For the 22" X 30" papers, many watercolor painters paint on "modular" sized sheets, i.e., full size, half size (either 15" X 22" or 11" X 30"), quarter size (11" X 15") or eighth size (11" X 7.5"). These modular sizes require custom size frames to accommodate the painting size, plus mats.

Alternatively, some watercolor painters initially size their paper so as to fit "standard" sized frames, taking into account mat size.

Watercolor painters can never agree on whether to paint using modular sized paper or cut paper which will fit standard frames.

Agreement, however, is unnecessary since every painter paints differently including painting size and framing preference.

Don't get me started on the watercolorists who mount their paintings on panels and seal the surface of the watercolor so that it looks like an oil or acrylic painting. That's an innovative and appealing approach, IMO, but the sizes and proportions are infinite.

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virgil
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Old 08-31-2018, 07:47 AM
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Re: Painting Size: Standard frame dimensions, or free-form sizes?

Why not make a few standard sizes and one weird size? Have fun with the oddball one and try something creative to add extra character the line up. I just made my first small set of canvases a few days ago from scratch- was planning on three 16x20s, but thanks to knotty wood, I ended up with two 16x20s and a 14.5x20. Guess that means I'll have one particularly dramatic panoramic landscape to go with the other works now
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Old 08-31-2018, 10:56 AM
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Re: Painting Size: Standard frame dimensions, or free-form sizes?

Virgil, if I painted in watercolors that weren't commissions, I'd still be cutting the standard size, in that camp for sure.

It seems just as arbitrary to me, to paint 1/4 a sheet, for instance. Why that particular dimension, not chosen by the artist in the first place?

Matting can also make an odd size fit a standard frame, if you're willing to go in that direction.
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Old 08-31-2018, 11:31 AM
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Re: Painting Size: Standard frame dimensions, or free-form sizes?

Yes, Robin, watercolor painter seldom agree about anything, including the size of paper on which to paint.

I prefer full size or half size sheets of watercolor paper on which to paint. And I prefer 3-inch and 2-inch double mats for full size and for half size paintings.

I often desire to "float frame" my work which means I need a clear 1/2" space between all the painting edges and edge of the largest double mat.

Thus the frame size has to accommodate all of this. I don't do it the other way, and begin my work by using a "standard" size frame. It just seems backward to me. I paint the sizes and proportions I like, choose the mat size and determine if I will float frame or not. The frame size comes last and simply has to accommodate my other decisions.

But...I gladly sell my work unframed and many I sell as prints in a variety of sizes...so mat and frame size becomes the decision of the owner and whatever best matches their sofa.

Sling paint,
Virgil
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Old 08-31-2018, 06:17 PM
pedlars pen pedlars pen is offline
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Re: Painting Size: Standard frame dimensions, or free-form sizes?

Why does anybody frame a piece of art anyway ? - To enhance it , to compliment it , to throw it out etc.of course.
So why would you neglect this traditional & standard presentation even if the only reason you can find to frame is that it is a powerful marketing tool enabling folk to imagine what it might look like in its' best light ?
Then too -YOU are the artist , do you not have a vision of what type of frame might suit the work best ?
Let them change it to suit the sofa if they wish but a carefully thought frame will help sales.
Mike
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Old 08-31-2018, 06:54 PM
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Re: Painting Size: Standard frame dimensions, or free-form sizes?

I paint watercolors and acrylics and only in standard sizes.
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Old 09-01-2018, 12:51 PM
Michael Lion Michael Lion is online now
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Re: Painting Size: Standard frame dimensions, or free-form sizes?

If your paintings sell for ten thousand dollars, then paint any weird size you want.

But if your paintings sell for less than a thousand dollars, you need to paint standard sizes in order for the frame not to cost more money than the painting itself.
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Old 09-01-2018, 03:54 PM
webart webart is offline
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Re: Painting Size: Standard frame dimensions, or free-form sizes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Lion
If your paintings sell for ten thousand dollars, then paint any weird size you want.

But if your paintings sell for less than a thousand dollars, you need to paint standard sizes in order for the frame not to cost more money than the painting itself.
Very good point
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Old 09-01-2018, 06:17 PM
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Re: Painting Size: Standard frame dimensions, or free-form sizes?

"...you need to paint standard sizes..."

I'm sorry, but no painter "needs" to do anything...every painter approaches the making of a painting differently, as they should. No disrespect intended.

Painting sizes, proportions and frame sizes are all up to each individual painter. There is no "best" or "worst", no "right" or "wrong". It's simply up to each painter to decide how they may best tell and complete their story in paint.

Sling paint,
Virgil
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Old 09-01-2018, 10:11 PM
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Re: Painting Size: Standard frame dimensions, or free-form sizes?

That's true but when you want to get sales, especially when you are unknown there's other things to consider and a painting's size is one of them
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Old 09-02-2018, 09:12 AM
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Re: Painting Size: Standard frame dimensions, or free-form sizes?

"...That's true but when you want to get sales, especially when you are unknown there's other things to consider and a painting's size is one of them..."

I understand your point. And it raises an interesting additional question, i.e., for whom does one paint?

In other words, does an artist paint for sales and collectors with unknown preferences or tastes...or does an artist paint for ones self, and for advancing one's own knowledge and skill, over time.

Said differently, does one want to paint to suit other's tastes, or does one want to paint to tell one's own stories in paint?

There's not a "better" or "worse" answer, IMO, but the answer each of us may give has very different consequences.

For myself, I paint the sizes and proportions which help me best tell the stories I want to tell using paint.

If someone wants to buy one or more of my paintings, that's great. If someone doesn't want to buy any of my paintings, especially because of size or proportion, I could care less.

I don't know for sure, since I haven't studied this, but I doubt any of the respected painters of history or today cared vary much about the specific size of the paintings and whether or not "standard" frame of the day would fit.

I suspect they cared much more about the quality of their work.

But...I could be wrong.

Sling paint,
Virgil
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