Framed Canvases: The Best of Both Worlds

Framing is an easy way to give an otherwise understated gallery-wrapped canvas an elegant upgrade. In this week’s post, I’m joining other pet photographers from around the world in sharing all about frames and turning my focus to one of my favorite signature wall art options: framed canvases.

Framed Canvases: The Best of Both Worlds

Rooms that have a lot of windows can be a dream with natural light, but a nightmare for highly reflective wall art pieces. One of the best options for a room where natural light hits prime wall space is canvas. Framed canvases are often one of my clients’ favorites because the subtle matte finish of the canvas repels glare and harsh reflections.

For clients who truly can’t decide between the two, framed canvases are also the perfect middle ground as they combine the best of both worlds by bringing together the look of a traditional framed print with a modern canvas finish. If you’re having a hard time imagining what that looks like, remember, I can show you exactly how a potential size and style will look on your walls using a special program and your room photos. Here’s an example.

mockup of a barnwood framed canvas in a white rustic room

Qualities of Quality Canvas

When determining the quality of the canvas, there are three key areas you should look at. They include

  • the ink used to print your image,
  • the materials and construction of the canvas stretcher bars, and
  • the canvas corners themselves.

Let’s dive into these areas a bit closer.

Archival-Quality OBA-Free Ink

Optical brightener agents, sometimes called optical brightener additives (OBAs), are essentially chemical dye-like additives that “brighten” the base of your paper or canvas and make it appear brighter…and they’re something you definitely want to steer clear of. OBAs not only gradually yellow your fine art canvas but also compromises the quality and accuracy of the image’s color profiling due to metamerism, a big word that basically means that an image’s colors will appear to change when viewed in various lighting conditions or under different lighting sources. At a minimum, metamerism will affect the longevity and integrity of your print by shifting its colors and accelerating yellowing as time follows.

You’ll be able to tell whether OBA has been applied to your canvas because it will lack the slightly warm, natural cream coloring inherent to its base.

The quality of the ink used to print your image is also important. Archival-quality ink helps ensure that your products will stand the test of time. It is highly resistant to fading with proper care and storage, protected against cracking, and designed to remain as its originally printed.


The wood used on the canvas’s stretcher frame, which adds stability to the canvas, should be of the highest craftsmanship as well. Using an inexpensive wood or an inadequate frame, which may hold up in the short term, will ultimately reveal a range of issues, ranging from warping to loose canvas. A substandard frame can also cause the canvas not to sit flush to the wall (or the stretcher bars). A first-rate stretcher frame will guarantee that your canvas remains perfectly tensioned and your print in pristine condition.

Canvas Corners

You may notice that your canvas corners have a bit of “bulk” to them. That’s because your image is printed directly onto museum-quality premium fine art canvas, not just photographic paper bonded to it, using the highest-quality archival inks. This canvas is then cut, stretched, and wrapped around the sides of the stretcher bars and secured to the back of the wooden frame. When crafted correctly, the corners are folded in a manner that, in a way, strengthens the canvas by ensuring the canvas remains stretched taut and secured strongly to the stretcher frame for generations to come.

details of a barnwood framed canvas

If you find that its corners appear entirely flat, there’s a good chance that your image is printed on inexpensive, thin material and that the cut of this material will eventually weaken the overall canvas. Even images printed onto some photographic paper and then glued to canvas can discolor and become compromised over time.

Finish It With a Frame

Bark & Gold framed canvases are available in a variety of sizes, ranging from mini to impact, that can be finished with one of six solid wood float frames. Mouldings are offered in a classic black, a sleek white, an accented silver or gold, and two barnwoods (whitewashed or natural) so you are sure to find a style and color that fits your decor.

This post is a part of the Blogging for Pet Photographers blog circle. To see what the next pawesome photographer is sharing for the weekly theme, “Frames,” check out Angela Schneider of Big White Dog Photography in Spokane, WA. Continue to click the link at the end of each post in the blog circle until you eventually find your way back here.

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10 thoughts on “Framed Canvases: The Best of Both Worlds

    • Bark & Gold Photography says:

      Thank you, Terri! There is so much to consider when finding quality products, so it’s important to be able to differentiate archival-quality from bargain buys that may not stand the test of time.

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