What to expect when you buy a watercolor from me. - Zan Barrage Studio

What to expect when you buy a watercolor from me.


I developed this note to go with my watercolors when you purchase a painting from me. I thought it would be useful to add it to my blog as well for you if you are thinking of buying a painting soon.
I want you to know what to expect in the mail when you buy a watercolor from me. It is important for us both that we get things right. This might be the first time that you buy a painting from me and you might be apprehensive, something that I want you to exchange for “pleasantly surprised”.
How I Package Your Painting:
Assuming you are buying a painting above the ACEO size, I will first be placing your painting in a narrow mat. Please do not use this mat for framing. It is too narrow for that and will not bring out the beauty of the painting when framed. The mat is there to protect the painting and to give you a reasonable first look at your painting without the edges. Yes the painting will have edges beyond the farmable size. That is to allow the framers some room to place the painting well and also for protection.
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The matted painting is then covered with acid free paper and wrapped in plastic film to avoid moisture. The whole thing is then sandwiched between two sheets of foam board and taped on all sides for full protection.
What to do after you receive the painting:
Proper framing is vital for the enjoyment and the beauty of the painting. Ideally you will take the painting to a professional framer. There you will have a variety of mat colors and textures as well as frame sizes. Let me help you with that please. The classical way to frame watercolors is in single or double white or off white mats. Using colored mats may look good for a while, but you will get board with it very soon and no matter how well the color goes with the painting, it takes away from it. I would strongly suggest going with white.
Regarding the mat size – which obviously dictates the frame size – go as big as you can afford. At a minimum, you should consider 2.5” on each side with 3 inches below the painting, but larger is better and more dramatic. Anything beyond the height and width of the painting may be too much, but your taste will dictate that.
The frame should be understated. Where oil paintings are traditionally framed in thick elaborate frames, the frame for watercolors should be understated and unobtrusive. It should not compete with the painting but rather… well… frame it, keeping the eye in the painting. I would suggest black or a fresh wood color for wood frames or use a slender metal frame if you wish. Two inches thick should be more than enough.
One more thing. Some framers will want to mount the painting to a board from the back. I am not a fan of that practice, but make sure they are using archival glue and mats/boards when they do that. MDF boards that are not properly sealed will kill the painting over time. the chemicals in the MDF are very harmful to the painting unless they are sealed off.
If you desire it, I can varnish the painting before sending it to you, but I would rather not do that. It’s totally up to you. If you require that I varnish the painting, you could frame it differently similar to an oil painting and without glass. What ever you do, please do not varnish yourself or allow anyone else to do that.
Hanging the painting:
I use only the best Artist quality paints that are permanent and durable. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to hang watercolors away from direct harsh sunlight.
Future support.
Should you run into an accident in the future or should the painting be exposed to unexpected high humidity or water from flooding or wall seepage, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will work with you to restore the painting to the best of my ability. What ever you do do not disturb the surface of the painting. Let it dry first and then take a picture of it and send it to me with an explanation of what happened. I will work with you to restore it but you may need to send it back to me to work on it.
Enjoy your painting and please don’t hesitate to contact me at any time if you have questions or need advice. I am here to help. Once you own one of my painting, you own a part of me. That is reason enough for us to keep in touch I think. Enjoy it!