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how to draw oval #1I noticed several people found my series of posts about how to build your own custom frame by searching for how to cut an oval mat.  So, I thought I would write a more detailed article about how to draw or cut an oval. The easiest way would be if you already have an oval that you can trace. There are also several products available at art and craft stores that will cut a perfect oval;  however, these are a bit expensive (around $80 last time I checked) unless you need to cut a lot of ovals and need them exactly perfect.

how to draw an oval #2With some practice and a few simple tools you can get a pretty decent oval without breaking the bank. Most people probably already have all the necessary tools at home. You’ll need a pencil, ruler, scissors, eraser (optional), and some paper to practice with.

First fold your paper in half. Then fold it in half the other way–much like you would if you were going to make a paper snow flake. Measure half the width you would like your oval to be from the folded corner and mark that distance on the longer fold with your pencil. Next measure half the height you would like your oval to be, and mark it on the shorter fold. Now this is the part that will take practice: draw a curved line that connects the two marks and then unfold your paper. Be careful not to curve too sharply near the folds or you will end up with either a football or diamond shape. If you draw in a straight perpendicular line for about the first 1/4 inch or so it may help you avoid the temptation to curve too sharply.

how to cut an oval #4If after unfolding it, the oval does not look right there are several ways to fix it. You can either trim a little to round it more where the paper was folded, or place another paper under it ( or put tracing paper over it), then make corrections with your pencil on the uncut paper and try again. If you choose to trim the paper make sure it is folded or it will come out uneven and you will be unhappy with the results. Usually if I have an oval that did not turn out well it is because I tried to taper the oval too much near the fold. Try to stay as close to perpendicular near the fold to avoid having it look pointy when it is unfolded. Be patient and try this on scratch paper several times if necessary. It took time as a kid to learn how to cut hearts, circles, and snowflakes with ease, and with a little practice this will become easy to do.

Although this process does not always produce a perfect oval, with some practice you can make one that looks very good–all for the cost of several sheets of paper. Once you have a satisfactory oval, simply trace it onto the surface where you wanted it (such as your mat board or scrap book page), and VOILA–you just saved $80 on not having to buy a contraption to make one for you 😉

 

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Ever had an odd sized work of art that you wanted framed only to experience some rather severe sticker shock when you went to a custom framing store and priced having it done? I have quite a few paintings of odd size hanging unframed on my walls for that very reason. ((ok so the word plethora comes to mind LOL) I am somewhat abashed to say mostly with thumb tacks.) Usually standard frame sizes have not been foremost on my mind when beginning a painting 😉

Over the past year several things have happened to motivate me to learn how to make my own custom frames. As part of my art business startup plan, I decided to ask local businesses if they would display some of my work. the hitch to this was that I did not have any frames to display them in publicly. So I bought some face paint and worked at the local farmers market to earn enough cash to hopefully at least get one frame. although I did earn enough to pay for the face paint and business cards I had printed up, it was sadly not enough to also pay for a custom made frame.

As a den leader for webelos scouts, one of the assignments was to have the boys make a picture frame. I had another leader, with more woodworking experience than me, help the boys make some rudimentary frames. I really wanted something a little more professional than what the boys came up with, and I had done some searching on line finding some interesting articles on building frames. Although it did not look terribly difficult to do, My budget and framing needs required that I do things a little differently. One article that was mentioned by the artist magazine’s blog had some really good instructions, but I needed to do things a bit differently because Watercolors must be framed behind glass or acrylic. There was another article that required having several routing bits to contour the frame. A router is definitely out of my budget range at the moment, although it did make some really nice frames. Then I found one by Bob Villa. Yes,THAT Bob Villa. His technique required fewer tools than the others. So I decided to give it a try ( after all he IS Bob Villa) and write an article on how it went. I am now done building the frame itself, and will be writing about it in stages as I bring my project to completion.

part 2 of this article…

Images and content on this blog are the intellectual property of  Dawna Morton.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not copy.
Dawna’s Buy               my art Gallery of Greeting Cards, Matted Prints, and T-shirts at RedBubble Buy               art

Dawna’s Fine Art Prints at imagekind.com

Dawna’s Zazzle Gallery of items featuring her Art and Photography

Dawna’s art on FineArtAmerica

Dawna’s art on Amazon

Visit Dawna’s fan page and become a fan on facebook!

see Dawna’s art & photography with the poetry of Glennis Roper
http://PoemsProseAndArtistry.imagekind.com/
http://www.zazzle.com/poemsproseartistry*
http://www.redbubble.com/people/poemsproseart

Buy my t-shirts

 

You can also find Dawna on flickr

 

Dawna’s Facebook Fan Page

Dawna’s RedBubble Gallery

Buy my art

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