Red Tulips

Red Tulips
Red Tulips

Monday, December 26, 2011

How to Paint the Edges of a Painting

Happy Holidays to all!  As I've recently started selling artwork on Etsy, I've been thinking about painting the edges of my canvas more and more.  Painting the edges makes the painting ready to hang, without the need for a frame, which appeals to many people (including myself!).  It seems like many artists paint the edges of their canvas black, so it mimics a more modern framing around the picture.  I think this works beautifully will many paintings.  Other artists continue the painting onto the edges, so it wraps around the stretcher bars.  I have done this myself for a few paintings and I think this is a really neat effect.

My dilemma is that I never use straight black paint in any of my paintings.  Many of my paintings are very colorful, and I feel that black paint would take away from a lot of my colors.  So for these paintings, I tend to paint the sides a dominant color found in the painting, or a neutral color like brown.  For example:

I painted the sides of this particular painting a flat yellow-green.  This helps to match the overall tone of the painting without being distracting, and I think it works really well.

For this painting:

I painted the sides a dark umber brown.  I love this color on the sides because its an earthy color, which goes along with the organic nature of this painting.  I didn't want any one color of this painting to become dominant by painting the sides of the canvas that color, so the brown was a good choice for this particular painting.

Overall, I think painting the sides of a canvas (as long as it is gallery wrapped) is a great choice for artists.  Personally, I love hanging paintings on my wall without the frame, because that is how the artist was looking at the canvas while painting so that is how I want to view it as well.  It also gives a more modern feel to the room the painting is hanging in.

You can find these paintings and more at my etsy store (hey I rhymed!):