Click Picture to Purchase: “Hidden Hollow, SLC, UT”


I’ve discovered that most every artist’s framing system is different. It depends in part on the media used for painting, but also individual preferences. Watercolor artists’ paintings, however, are nearly always matted and placed behind glass or plexiglas. But the type, color and size of frames and mats can vary considerably… (learn more)


The size of a painting determines the size of the mat. And it’s the size of the mat which determines the size of the frame. Don’t let the size of the frame control the size of the mat, or, God forbid, let it determine the size of your painting! (learn more)

Sizing Mats & Borders

Click Picture to Purchase: “Eastern CA Museum, Independence, CA”

For the following discussion about sizing mats, I’m going to talk about mats for a half-sheet (15″x22″) of 140# watercolor paper. That’s the paper I and most other artists use.  For those of you who paint with other types and sizes of paper, you’ll end up with different-size mats.  For those of you who may not even mat your paintings, you’ll most likely not need to know what I’m going to discuss, but you may find it informative… (learn more)

Preserving Your Work

In the discussion about mats, I have used the term “archival”. One thing an artist should consider is the longevity of their work. Some people don’t consider watercolor paintings “lasting” works of art when compared with oils on canvas.  But there’s nothing I know to suggest that a properly framed and protected watercolor painting executed on quality paper with proper pigments shouldn’t last as long as any oil painting on canvas… (learn more)

Douglas Stenhouse also wrote a book about watercolor painting.

“I decided to write about how I paint, not only to share my observations with others, but also, frankly, to do some self- examination. I wish I had done this earlier in my life! But then, how was I to know I’d benefit from doing so, certainly at a time when I had no aspirations of becoming a professional artist.” 

To learn more about Doug’s Watercolor Painting Book and/or purchase a signed copy, click here.

Douglas Simms Stenhouse, watercolor artist, transparent water color art, watercolor painter, painting with water colors