Tim Wilson Aviation Art

Aviation themed art

16'X20" Frame (inside measurement)


  • After lugging around farewell gifts from seven squadrons/staffs, I have come to realize that size matters!  The larger the artwork/farewell gift, the more likely it is to get broken in our multiple moves AND, the less likely you are going to hang it.  The good memories that you have had with your comrades will be just as meaningful via a 16"x20" vice a 24'x36' behemoth.  This is probably the most confusing component of artwork and framing for people, so here is an explanation to help.


      There are two sizes to consider when purchasing your artwork to consider:

  • Paper Size: This is the size of the overall paper for your art.
  • Image Size: This is the size of the actual art image on the paper.

  • For example, an 11x14 original artwork is on 11x14 paper (paper size). The image (art), however, is probably no more than 8x10 (image size). I personally leave enough white space for the object within the depicted artwork to travel forward (if flying) or roll forward (if an the ground) so that the image does not "feel" crowded by the mat board or frame.


        The next thing you need to consider is whether or not you want to have a mat for your print. I believe matting your art greatly helps the viewer to focus their attention upon the art within the area - the picture frame may distort from the image and the matting gives separation of the art from the frame.

  • If you choose to use a mat, then you should consider the following:

  • Mat exact opening: This is the size of the opening or window of the mat. Ideally, it should be approximately 1/2" smaller than the paper. So, for an 11x14 paper size, you'll want the mat window to be 10.5x13.5. However, you could even go a little smaller if you so choose. 10x13 is another standard size, and the artwork of my 11x14 prints will all fit inside that opening.
  • Mat external size: This is the overall outside size of the mat edge-to-edge. So, for an 16x20 frame, you'll want an 16x20 mat. However, if you want a larger frame, and a wider mat, you can choose that option, so long as the actual window is the appropriate size for the paper size. A 16x20 frame works well with a 11x14 artwork paper size.


       When it comes to your frame, you need to think about how much "frame" you want to see. Thicker frames are going to be a bigger part of the art than if you go with a more discreet or smaller profile. Regardless, this is what you need to know about the size of frames:

  • Frame Size: This is the actual size of the window of the frame (glass). So, an 16x20 frame will be appropriate for an 16x20 original artwork, with no mat. With a mat included, a 16x20 frame might be perfect for an 11x14 or 10x13 print.

  • Outside frame size: This is the actual size from edge to edge of the frame. For instance, an 16x20 frame may have a 2" wooden profile, which would actually make the dimensions of the 16x20 frame 20x24. In short, the larger the outside frame size is in comparison to the frame size, the more frame (wood, metal, plastic) you'll see. This is something to consider if you are trying to figure out how much space you need on the wall.

Understanding all of these dimensions is probably the most complicated part of figuring out what size of original art you need.   Give me an email or phone call anytime if you have more questions.  
email: timothy.wilson2@yahoo.com, timothy.wilson2@twilson2.com
phone: 757-619-5183