Recently I have had compliments on my framing, which incidentally is not done all by me, but with much help from the friendly folks at Tsuga Fine Art and Frame in Bothell. Someone once said to me that the right frame can make an average painting look good and a good painting look great, and I think there is a lot of truth in that. So lately I have been showing my watercolors in float frames without glass or a mat. People seem to respond better to a painting that is not covered in glass. Maybe it is because there is no glare, or that the float frame places the painting front and center without overwhelming it. While the process involves several steps, it is well worth the effort.
First I obtain a 3/4 inch cradled board and brush on Golden Absorbent Ground (without a ground the acid from the wood would harm the painting). When the Ground has dried, then I glue the painting onto the board using Golden Soft Gel Gloss and smooth it out with a brayer. When that dries, i take the painting on the board to the framer who trims it and places it into a float frame. I could trim it at home but often this did not end well! Lastly the painting must be sprayed with a fixative. I use 2 coats of Krylon clear non-yellowing clear gloss for this.
The above painting, “Probabilities” is ready for pasting onto an 11×14 board, a convenient size for a 1/4 sheet watercolor.