A French mat is an ordinary mat which is decorated by hand with opaque and transparent pastels. The colors are chosen carefully. One color accents the mat color while another color accents the artwork. Many times a third color is used as a coordinator. These colors are displayed within opaque and transparent lines.
A French mat is hand done with careful precision. The colors must harmonize with the mat color as well as the colors of the artwork. To reduce this distraction, the widest band of color should be a soft pastel. According to the size of the artwork this band can vary in width from ⅜” to 1”.
Painted bevels - when a mat is cut for a framing project the inside edge is cut on a 45 degree angle which exposes 1/16 on an inch of the core color of the mat - usually white. Sometimes however, it is desirable to have a different color to accent the art.