Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

You can send an email to [email protected] if you have questions about how to use this forum.

How and where to sign a painting

Can someone tell me the right way to sign a painting?
Right or left, top or bottom, full name, part name size and so forth I am finished and want to be correct in signing this. Thanks Lonnie


  • You decide, it's your baby. Anywhere, any how--van Gogh only used his first name and he wasn't at all famous when he made his paintings.
  • I have such a long last name (Stubblefield). I thought about using a stick to mark it in so it would be smaller on the canvas. Maybe even in calligraphy! Whatever I use, I hope I keep it forever. Someday, I don't want people to have to figure out my aberrations. I used to sign L S’field, then just Lon (Ross style paintings) what the heck does all that mean? Might just use my whole name. I don't know. Anyway, thanks CB
  • Lonnie

    Practice scratching your name, logo or initials with the back end of a paintbrush.
    The back panel should have your full name (contact info), date, medium, support and title. Laser printed archival material and varnished over.


  • Commonly the lower right corner is where most sign and others will look first for a signature. Understand, this in not a rule or anything else, it has just sort of evolved I guess. One thing about it is we read left to right we also tend to subconsciously look at a painting some what similar. For instance most of my paintings the light comes into the painting from the left and moves across the painting to the right. A signature in the lower right is unobtrusive (usually) and theoretically the last thing the viewer will see. All that said you can sign a painting any where you want just as long it does not interfere with the painting and become the center of interest. I have signed painting in the upper right, lower right and lower left corners. Never in the upper left, but I kno of no rule saying you can't not, that seems to me the to be a very bad place as your name is likely the first thing a person sees and it may be what I call an "eye trap." Traps are not good things.
    I know painters who use the end of the brush to sort of "engrave their name into the wet paint. Scott Burdick does this for one. I sign mine in some form of red usually but not a bright red, but one that fits into the colors of the lower right corner. Mind you, I don't always sign in red, but most of the time I do. I also sign while the paint is still a little wet, not soupy but tacky. This way the signature is part of the painting and could not be removed without removing color. Another artist I know signs his painting with a hard lead pencil. The result is more of an "engraved" signature like the end of the brush make. He says the pencil is easier to write with than the brush, for him.
    So after all these words sign it how you want and where you want just do so it is in a corner and does not fight with the painting for prominence. :-)
  • Oh. One more thing. Sorry about this. Find away to sign your name that is noticeable to you. Like a logo, and one you can duplicate in every painting. This is important. You do not see products changing their font style or logo. You always want to be consistent. It is your brand name.
  • Thanks very much to all of you, this is very helpful for me. 8-}
  • AZPainter, your right, consistenty is the key thanks.
  • Hi Lonnie...there is not right or wrong way...just sign it wherever you like...Sue said, "its your baby."...

    Check out some of the old masters signatures..."they blow me away"...such beautiful script penmanship...I wish I new how they did it :( I've tried & practiced using different brushes, different diluted paints, etc and can barely print my name let along write it...

    If anyone knows what instrument to use to be able to write your name (as you would on a piece of paper) would love to know...
  • I sign wherever the balance feels right, and as a quiet side dish.
  • Me too @Savannah ... but if there was they would have said! :-<
  • I stopped signing with paint. Now I sign using a mechanical pencil into the wet paint. For me trying to sign with paint was not a simple task. And as Sue said, wherever the balance is right.
  • I do my initials with the back of a small brush where the stained canvas shows. Mark taught us that and he signs his that way using his last name.
  • Can someone tell me the right way to sign a painting?

    Don't sign it with a number.
  • All of this is good info here so I’ve been thinking....if someone admires this hanging in a public place especially locally, they won't have the opportunity to remove the painting and look on the back, for full details, as an example, I have a few hanging in funeral homes and nursing homes as well as other places. I signed them Lon and no one seems to know who I am. So without seeming too ____ “what’s the word I’m looking for” I think I will go with initial for first name and full last name, scratch in small with chisel edge stick in the right bottom corner.
    Thanks to all of you, this means a lot to me.
  • That's so funny!! =)) I was also thinking about my generations to come, I haven’t even got grandchildren yet, but I was still thinking. And heck, I may as well get credit for it.
  • I haven't signed any of mine. They are still too ugly to claim!
  • i need advice on signing paintings that are geometric and free-form designs. it seems a signature would take away from the art. thank you.
  • dencaldencal -
    edited December 2017

    i suggest you develop a geometric and free form signature or logo to match the style.
    Though the abstract expressionists were not troubled by a conventional hand writing signature.

    Best signatures are done with the back end of a brush, into wet paint to reveal a contrasting under Color.


  • edited December 2017
    thanks for getting back to me denis. let me show you a sample of my work to give you a better idea. the painting goes off the canvas.

  • Some artists don’t sign the front of their paintings- they sign on the back.
  • thanks, boudicca, i had thought about that option.
Sign In or Register to comment.