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Hi Everyone,  So far I didn't sign an oil painting for various reasons.  I might want to sign one sometime. so I tried writing one on a recent painting just for the practice and simply could not do it!  I tried different brushes and different consistencies of oil paint, but nothing doing.  I'd love to see your signatures and how you do them, if you'd like to share.  It's quite an interesting topic, and I always fascinates me how an artist signs off.
[Deleted User]


  • Here's how I do it. I use a reddish color and a very thin brush.

    [Deleted User]Gary_HeathCsontvary
  • Aloha @Gary_Heath - I used to sign with just my initials, but a wealthy and successful artist told me to always use my name, "nobody knows an initial, use your bloody last name" so i do now.

  • I don't think my handwriting looks particularly any good so I ruled out, after a few attempts, a signature.

    Now I have found what I like which is my surname in plain capitals.

    [Deleted User]Gary_Heath
  • edited October 2020
    @kaustavM, @A_Time_To_Paint, @alsart2,@MichaelD,  Thank you for sharing.  When I said "signature" I really meant printed name.  It seems hard enough to print it even.  Surname seems to be a good way to go.  I have no idea how some artists are able to pint their names so well.  Practice, like everything else, I guess. Do you make a kind of oily mixture, or more with thinners?  It should be oil logically, fat over lean etc.?
  • You can thin oil paints with just oil enough to do a signature. I'd say you need to 'refill' the brush several times. It's not as easy as a pen for sure!
  • TedBTedB -
    edited October 2020
    I often just scratch it in on studies and ephemeral works.

    My best friend's wife is a professional artist and one of her art school associates died suddenly in his 50s.  He had the bad habit of not signing works until they were sold, and left his widow with a studio full of unsigned-works that no reputable gallery will touch.  As a signature member of several artists' societies, even if he'd only-initialed them she would have a comfortable legacy. Instead....
  • oh and some people just flip the brush around and "scratch" their name into the wet paint,...

  • @TedB, How sad.  I doubt I'm in that league but I will start signing my little efforts, why not?
  • I've been told that an original painting with the artist's signature is always worth more than one without.   Even for lower-level artists like me!   You might only be talking about the difference between $10 and $50 but a signature always adds value.

    My handwriting had always been HORRIBLE!  Back before computers and word processors, I shifted to printing everything because no one could read my handwriting!  So I print my signature.

    I use an oil-based fine-tipped marker or brush pen for signing my oil paintings.  They are also available in acrylic.  However, I've been practicing with thinned oil paint and a rigger brush and am getting better.  My thinking is that doing it this way allows me to use a color from the painting to make my signature and preserves the color harmony.

    Now, I'm thinking of adding a date and am trying to decide between dating on the front or on the back.  I have several paintings from my parents' estate that I would love to know the dates they were painted..  I'm leaning toward dating on the back.
  • @mstrick96 Thanks for sharing.  I don't think writing a name in oil is easy at all.  Yes, you must use a colour from your palette, obviously.  I have been sticking little notes on the back of the frame/canvas boards with some info. and my signature for reference.  Don't try ticking on the back of the canvas though, that will create a lump on the surface I discovered.  
  • @Gary_Heath, when I put anything on the back of the canvas I write it on the edge of the canvas that if folded over.  I stretch my own canvases and gallery wrap them and staple them on the back.  
  • edited October 2020
    I just use my three initials and two dashes to make the mark "-RAB-".  It's easy to write with a small brush in a colour that echoes a colour in the painting. I may be possible to get it registered as a trademark so no one else could use it but that's expensive to do, Anyway, I can claim prior use. I've checked online and no other artist seems to be using it so I should be ok.  :)
  • dencaldencal -
    edited October 2020

    Sign your name in block caps with a paint pen.


    have a stamp made or carve your own seal


  • Carve a stamp and then press that into the paint ;)
  • Thumbprint?  Vincent van Gogh seemed to struggle with his signature trying many variants, so it can be a challenge even for the best of painters it seems.
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