Framing a picture is very important both for the artist and for the buyer. A piece of art is incomplete until it has a frame, and without one, even the best photo in the world will never show its full potential. Of course, a frame can’t make a masterpiece out of a bad painting, but when a picture has artistic potential, the frame will surely emphasise its best details.
Generally, the ideal picture frame must be a shade lighter than the darkest colour in the picture, but it can be even lighter, as long as it is darker than the mat. If the picture contains strong geometrical lines, the frame should be kept fairly simple. Keep in mind that the picture should always be the focus, not the frame. A frame is only a link between the painting and the background. Before making a final choice, try different options and compare the style of the picture frame to those used in other, similar pictures.
For a picture that contains movement, it is a good idea to make a wide mat, especially if the perspective of the particular painting goes beyond the frame, or when the subject fills the entire image. Do not overdo it, though, otherwise the picture content will lose impact. The lower edge of the mat should be wider than the sides and top. If a picture is vertical, the upper edge should be wider than the sides, and if it is horizontal, the sides must be wider than the top. For a square picture, all the sides of the mat must be equal, and the bottom must be wider. Usually, the best colour for a mat is slightly darker than the lightest tone in the picture, but if dark colours predominate in the picture, a darker mat can be chosen.