How to Sign a Painting


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How do I put my signature on a painting?

A signature on a painting is important for several reasons. This shows that you own or own the artwork, of course, but adding your name to a painting is like adding a stamp that says "done." This is a sign that you are satisfied with the composition and no longer consider it a work in progress.

Why sign a painting?

Although it is not a legal requirement, if you do not add your name to a painting, it will be difficult for a viewer to identify you as an artist. You can pretend you have a very familiar style that people will recognize, but unless you're already famous, you may not get the credit you deserve.

If an artwork hangs in a gallery, it will have a name tag on it, but if it is in someone's home, the owner may forget that you are the artist. Or those who bought it may know it, but their heirs may not know it, especially if it is not identified in their will.

Signature styles

Most importantly, people should be able to read your signature. An illegible signature is not a sign that you are incredibly creative and does not add a level of intrigue to the painting. You are the artist, so let it be known. That said, try to avoid giving the impression that you are using a stamp; ideally, this will not damage the paint.

You do not need to sign your full name on the front of the board, and you can choose to initial instead. If you take this approach, it helps to put your full name on the back of the board. The same is true if you use a symbol or an artist monograph: people must have a way of knowing who the brands represent.

Add a date

In most cases, adding the date you completed a painting is helpful, although it doesn't need to be next to your signature on the front. When you start as an artist, you will probably be able to remember what year you painted a particular piece. But after painting for several years, you may be less confident when you created the artwork.

Serious collectors and galleries love being able to see how a painter's work has developed over the years, so it's wise to get in the habit of dating your work now. You can choose to write the date on the back of your canvas or frame. Some artists choose to just put the year on the front and the month and year they completed it on the back.

Putting a date on a board does not limit your potential to sell it. Art is not like food, it does not have an expiration date. If buyers only wanted the latest and greatest works, there would be no auction for older paintings.

Place of signature

Where you sign your painting is up to you, although traditionally a signature is placed in one of the lower corners. Be consistent about where you put your name so that the next time people come across a painting they think is yours, they know exactly where to mark.

Signature tools and media

Artists often choose to apply the same medium used in the artwork to create their signatures, be it pastel, watercolor, acrylic, etc. You can sign the artwork before cleaning your brushes and palette one last time to have a color on hand that will blend into the artwork. A fine brush is a good size and shapes for signatures.

The fact that your signature "matches" the painting, rather than making it look like a later addition, also makes it less likely that someone will question the authenticity of the work at a later date. Avoid adding your signature over a coat of varnish, as it can stand out and give the impression that you forgot to sign it in time.

Maiden name vs married name

It is a matter of individual preference whether you choose to use your maiden or married name to sign your painting. If you are already professionally known by a maiden name, it would be easier to keep it, because changing your name will require you to re-market yourself. Or if both partners are artists, sometimes people prefer to have different names to avoid comparisons.

If you want to use the name of your marriage, the change is possible; it will just take more effort. In some cases, your new name may be more attractive or easier to remember, so the work of changing your name may pay off in the long run.

Limited editions

When creating a limited edition print, it is helpful to include the number of prints made and the quantity for that particular print. For example, include 3/25 (the third printing out of 25) with your signature. Some buyers will be drawn to the idea that there are only a few replicas, which could make the work more valuable down the road.

Enjoy The Video Tutorial about Signing Your Paintings!

Source: Robert Burridge - BobBlast

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