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Mar 25

Why, How, and Where You Should Sign Your Painting – Learning to Paint

One thing that gives pleasure to an artist is completing a painting. Sometimes this is because he or she feels satisfied and that the work is complete, and other times it is because they may be tired of working on it and want to move on. Either way, artists should always sign their work. It is not a requirement that paintings be signed, but the question is – Why would you not sign? If the work is good enough in your opinion to be given or sold, then take credit and let the world know you created it.

How you sign a painting is totally up to you. When I sign my work, I use my three initials. The reason that I do this is because my name is slightly long and I don’t want to plaster the work with my name. If you want to use your full name you could use a marker pen and write small if you are concerned about this. You should try to stick with the same type of signature for all of your work so that as people start to recognize your work they also recognize your signature. So decide if you will use a full name, first or last name, nick name, pen name or initials and claim your fame! As mentioned, you could use a marker pen to sign or simply use whatever medium your painting is to sign. It is always a wise decision to include your full name and contact information on the back of the painting as well.

As far as color, I choose to use a somewhat neutral color to sign my work. For example, if I am doing a scene with a hay field in the foreground and there are earth tone colored grass in my work, I might use that color or a variation for the signature. This way the signature blends in without being hidden. Don’t ever be afraid to let the signature be seen without overpowering the painting.

Where you sign your paintings is also up to you. Traditionally a signature is put towards one of the bottom corners. The signature should flow as part of the painting and not detract from it. I have seen portrait artists’ sign quite boldly, partially on the face or body of the piece. My opinion is that if I were the customer, I wouldn’t like the signature to be there. The signature should be towards the bottom, but not too far down so that framing or matting hides it.

Signing your work is a simple thing, but you should be consistent and careful in how and where you sign.

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