How To Sign Acrylic Painting?

By Mandy Moss

“Give credit to whom credit [is] due,” probably coined by Samuel Adams, rings true for all artists. One way to take credit for your creations is to sign acrylic painting.

How To Sign Acrylic Painting?

This final step cannot be forgotten because it marks your artwork as your own and ensures that you will be recognized for your masterpiece as long as it lasts. Below are some tips to help guide on how to sign your Acrylic paintings.

No matter whether your artwork is for gallery display, attic storage, a gift to a friend, or your personal display, it should be signed. A signature identifies your art as your work and sets it apart from the crowd. Use a style that matches your personality and the painting itself, and remember to sign your acrylic painting once you are done with the image but before you apply varnish.

Why Sign your Painting?

Sign your paintings is very important, especially in an age where it can be difficult to keep track of who is the original author of anything.

Signing your paintings prevents anyone from claiming them as their own or misattributing them to the wrong artists.

It also symbolizes that you are proud of your work and want to claim ownership of it. It’s an easy way to market yourself, too!

Where Should I Sign My Artwork?

You can sign your artwork anywhere you like, but the most common spot is in the bottom right-hand corner.  If you don’t want your signature to interfere with the picture at all, then you can sign your name at the back of the canvas, too.

Some people integrate their signature into the painting or hide their signature among the lines. The best spot depends on your style and preference.

Tips on How to Sign Your Acrylic Paintings

These are some useful tips on how to sign your acrylic painting:

  1. If you aren’t sure how you want to sign your painting, use a practice canvas to try out different styles. 
  2. It’s OK if your style changes a bit over time, but make sure to maintain a consistent, unique signature.
  3. Consider the color you use to sign the painting. Use a color that matches the palette of your painting so that your name does not distract from the image. Although, some famous artists, like Van Gogh, have intentionally used stand-out colors for their signatures.
  4. The style of your signature, like the size and font, should also align with your aesthetic. Consider using sharper lines if you have them in your painting or a more flowing, cursive signature if your lines are typically curvy and free-flowing. 
  5. You can use any version of your name as your signature. You can sign your full name just use initials. You can use initials for your first, second, or third name or some combination of the three; or you can use a pseudonym. You could even use a symbol or logo if that’s more your style. If you don’t like the first version you try, get creative! You’re an artist, after all.
  6. Make your signature unique. If you become famous, the style of your signature will be famous, too. Example would be Claude Monet.
  7. You can add a little water to your acrylic paint if you want it to be a bit runnier for the signature to make it easier to paint.
  8. Consider the frame of the painting when you sign if you want your signature to be visible. If you sign too close to the edge, then you may not be able to see your signature because it will be covered by the frame. 

What Can I Use to Sign Painting?

It is recommended you use whatever medium you used for the artwork to sign your painting. If you primarily make acrylic paintings, then this means you will probably use acrylic paint to sign them with a paintbrush.

If you prefer oil painting than you may want sign your name or last name with oil paints.

Advantages of Using the same Medium for your Signature. 

  • It gives the painting a befitting look.
  • Creates harmony between the painting and the signature. 
  • It also complements the beauty of your artwork.
  • Using the same medium also gives you outstanding credit as the authentic owner of your piece.
A thin paintbrush is best for writing your signature.
PRO TIP: A thin paintbrush is best for writing your signature. There are also paint pens available that can make it easier for you to sign your canvas. I have also seen many artists using the end of a small brush to inscribe a signature when their medium is oil.

How Can I Sign an Acrylic Pour Painting?

Because acrylic pour paintings tend to be abstract in nature, signatures are often on the back. You can still sign the front in the traditional corner spot or line up your signature with one of the abstract lines.

Can I Sign A Painting with A Sharpie?

Yes, you can sign your painting with a Sharpie, but this is not recommended. Sharpie ink is not archival-quality, which means it won’t last as long as the paint on the painting. This is why it is recommended that you sign with the same medium you used for the rest of the painting. That way, the entire painting will have a consistent lifespan and quality.

Should I Date My Painting?

When deciding whether to date your painting, consider your subject matter. For example, portraits are best dated because then one can calculate how old the subject was at the time of the painting. For other subjects, it may still be a good idea to date your paintings.

This simply provides a record of when the painting was made, which may be beneficial for identification, grants, competitions, or any sort of award that needs proof of work within a certain date range.

Some artists, however, find that dating a painting can make it less desirable if you are trying to sell the painting. Other artists always date their paintings and have no trouble selling them. It is completely up to you as an artist whether you want to sign the date next to your name or leave it off.

That being said, it is best practice to keep some sort of record of when the painting was made, whether this is on your website, on the back of the painting, or somewhere else that is easy for you to keep track of.

Related Questions

Once you settle on your trademark signature and add your John Hancock, be sure to varnish your painting to protect it. Good luck and happy signing!

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