How to care for your pet portrait
I know how precious your pet portrait will be to you, so it’s really important that you know how to properly care for it. I want your artwork to bring you a lifetime of joy. This page will help you to make the right decisions to ensure your precious portrait is well protected and presented beautifully, ready to hang pride of place in your home.
This portrait of "Dylan" was framed by my local framer. The light coloured frame and mount brings out the lovely golden colours in Dylan's fur.
Your finished portrait will come to you unframed as standard, unless you’ve specifically arranged framing with me (read more about this below). Here are some useful pointers for getting your drawing framed.
How to frame your portrait
Your artwork will be drawn in pastels and will need to be framed behind glass to give it adequate protection. For the best result, I highly recommend you take it to a professional framer. They will have the skills and knowledge to ensure the portrait is both well protected, and enhanced by the frame.
Cheap frames that you can buy on the high street use mounts and backing board that contain natural acids. These can damage your artwork over time, as the acids leach into the paper and cause browning or yellowing. A professional framer will always use acid-free conservation grade materials to properly preserve the portrait. They will also seal the back of the frame to prevent dust and tiny insects from getting inside.
"Bama and Indy" fresh from the framers and ready to hang.
Choosing a mount
Like most professional pastel artists, I choose not to use fixative on my pastel portraits. Fixative dulls the colours and runs them into one another, losing those intricate and crucial details. It’s a good idea to notify your framer that your pastel portrait is unfixed, and request they use a gutter mount. These mounts are perfect for pastel works. They allow any tiny specks of pastel dust that come loose to fall down behind the mount, rather than falling on the visible edge of the mount.
Choosing a frame
Whether you go for a clean modern look, or a more traditional style of frame, the choice is really up to you. It all depends on your specific tastes. A professional framer can help you choose a frame that both compliments the portrait, and meets your personal style preferences. Usually they will have a selection of samples for you to see alongside the artwork, so you can decide what you think works best with your artwork.
Portrait of "Spin" at the framers: trying out different frame and mount samples against the portrait to see what best compliments the artwork.
Hanging your portrait
Once your drawing is framed, you need to choose where to hang it. It’s best to avoid displaying your drawing in direct sunlight. Even though I use the highest quality art materials which have excellent lightfast ratings, strong UV rays can still cause colours to fade over a long period of time.
It’s also a good idea to avoid hanging your art in an excessively humid environment such as a kitchen or bathroom, or above a heat source such as a radiator or fireplace. Excessive heat can cause the paper to warp over time.
In terms of height, hanging your framed portrait at standing eye level will look the most natural.
"Hunter" looking fabulous in this clean modern wooden frame. Having a light coloured frame can really focus the attention in on the subject.
Local to me? Book my framing service
If you’re local to me, or are able to collect your finished portrait in person, then I can arrange framing for you. I’m located near Liskeard in Cornwall, UK. I use an excellent local framer whose workmanship is second-to-none. If you’d like me to arrange this for you, please get in touch.
This portrait of "Baxter", the Cocker Spaniel, was framed by my local framer. The black wooden frame and double mount worked really nicely with Baxter's black and white coat.
Send me your photos!
When your drawing has been framed, why not send me a photo? I always love to see my works hanging proudly in their homes. You could even get your pet to pose alongside their portrait, and I’ll showcase them on my Facebook and Instagram pages!
Butch the English Bull Terrier posing with his larger-than-life-sized portrait!