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Bruce Newman
05-21-2001, 03:01 PM
Well, I've just finished a little 12" x 16" acrylic and I'm now facing my same old problem...how to sign it. I like to keep my signature small and nondescript so it doesn't detract from the painting and I would like to write my first name in my normal handwriting because I like it and it is personal. I can't come close to doing it with a flimsy little brush and have always fallen back on plain old block letters. I've seen script though and I wonder what others here do. The only way I seem to be able to write my name is with a pen.

Bruce


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LDianeJohnson
05-22-2001, 09:08 AM
Hi Bruce,

Hope you're doing well!

Here are a couple of thoughts on signing paintings...

It is very personal and there are no "rules". I tried dozens of ways to sign my name from nicknames in block letters to teeny-tiny nondescript scribble. I landed on using my regular signature and have now used it for years. It is the easiest and most consistent way for me to sign my pieces. As a former graphic designer, I can also appreciate the value in using a signature "mark" for paintings. I think the important thing is consistency. Once you land on and start using a signature keep on using it if possible. After time that's what people will look for.

Now as to size...I too, don't even like to sign my paintings, but it is necessary. So I make the signature in proportion to the painting and sign either in the lower right or lower left...whatever location has the least amount of painted content. I don't want the signature to jump out, so I use one of the colors already in the painting to create harmony yet still allow it to stand on it's own. You could also standardize your signature to be the same size or same color on every piece. Again, no rules.

If you'd like to use your regular signature or variation thereof try a couple of things. First, (especially useful for acrylic paintings) practice your signature on paper until you reach a size and look you want for your paintings. Because you'll be using paint, any loops or other distinctive features about your signature should be a bit more open. With a pencil, lightly write your signature on the painting itself. You can erase if necessary. Make a mixture of a bit thinner consistency than the painting, create a color that matches one of the colors in your piece yet contrasts by 1 or 2 values (higher or lower) than the color that's in the location where the signature will be.

Using a very small brush, paint directly over the pencil with the brush positioned more horizontally than vertically. With smooth, controlled strokes paint your signature. Once you get used to doing it this way for awhile, you'll no longer need to use pencil first, you can just paint directly onto the painting. Keep a dampened paper towel handy to quickly wipe off, let dry and reapply if you don't like how it looks on the first try.

If you used stretched canvas, it helps to use another stretched canvas butted up to your painting to rest your hand on while signing.

Just experiment...use an old canvas and make a bunch of signatures. Come up with what best represents YOU. Try different colors and brush types until it feels comfortable.

Hope this helps give you some ideas http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif
Diane

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L. Diane Johnson (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com/) NAPA, PSA
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Bruce Newman
05-23-2001, 01:40 AM
Thanks, Diane. I understand what you are saying and agree with it. My problem isn't so much with style or location, but is more technical. Any brush I have tried is too flimsy to write with and I think I need something like a pen. I wonder if india ink would work. I suppose it comes in a variety of colors.

Bruce

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Bruce Newman
05-23-2001, 02:44 PM
Thanks again, Diane. I tried a fine tipped felt pen once, but it beaded up and didn't adhere to the acrylic surface at all. Paint is so easy though. Maybe I'll just write bigger. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/wink.gif

Bruce


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LDianeJohnson
05-24-2001, 12:32 AM
India ink would work. But test a few brands...they all stain well, but some are not truly waterproof.

If you get a good nib pen with the right tip, you could even use diluted, opaque acrylic as well. The particles in acrylic are larger than with inks but can work nicely given the right consistency.

D.

Chuck
05-25-2001, 03:50 PM
Hi Bruce:

For what it's worth, I've been painting, in acrylics, for many years and always sign my paintings with pencil. Sales, shows, etc. have never been a problem. Go here... http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/000141.html
to see, for yourself, if you agree with this method. Nothing, IMHO, can rune a good painting, more quickly than a bad signature.

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Bruce Newman
05-25-2001, 07:04 PM
Thanks, Chuck. I'll play around with it and see how it works. I can see that pencil would do well on a light background, but I wonder about darker areas.

Thanks again.

Bruce


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henrik
05-28-2001, 06:11 PM
Try a really good brush. I recently bought W&N Series 7 brushes #1 and #000. The feeling is almost like having a pen with oil color! (Have not tried it with acrylic though). It holds its form well, is not flimsy, and is capable of holding enough paint to draw almost 5-10 inches without having to pick up more color (the biggest problem I think when trying to sign directly with a brush as it breaks the normal flow of handwriting). I have not tried my signature with it yet, but I think it will work fine. I have struggled with this before. I got special marker pens with india ink with a fine tip - but they were really expensive and dried up fast http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/frown.gif

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Bruce Newman
05-28-2001, 10:27 PM
Thanks, Henrik. I'll look into that, too. I've had a hard time writing with brushes, but maybe I didn't have the proper kind.

Bruce


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carly
05-30-2001, 08:20 AM
Practice with a brush is what makes the difference when signing...but I'm not good with it either.

I've found that the paint pens (look in a shop with all that scrapbooking stuff or a Michaels) work well for me and they are actually paint. Come in a lot of colors!
And are indelible when dry.
I do sign before varnishing so my signature is not on top....and if I forget...I varnish over the name to blend it in.
carly

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"Everything is not art and Art is not everything, but it comes close."....carly

Bruce Newman
05-31-2001, 08:32 PM
Originally posted by carly:
Practice with a brush is what makes the difference when signing...but I'm not good with it either.

I've found that the paint pens (look in a shop with all that scrapbooking stuff or a Michaels) work well for me and they are actually paint. Come in a lot of colors!
And are indelible when dry.
I do sign before varnishing so my signature is not on top....and if I forget...I varnish over the name to blend it in.
carly



Thanks, Carly. The pen sounds like a neat idea. I also like the idea of the brush, but I don't think I can do it. Thanks! http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

Bruce



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faymcivor
06-02-2001, 08:37 PM
Bruce Another way if you are working on paper I etch it in with the other end of your paint brush and as you paint the paint flows into it,so simple This is what I do mostly Fay

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DavidF
06-04-2001, 12:45 AM
Interesting about signatures, but what about titles. Do you guys put titles on your pictures? Given the difficulties some of us have getting a neat signature on them, titles can be longer and messier.

David

JaneS
06-04-2001, 09:28 AM
An artist friend of mine, who I consider very professional in her background and experience, does this:

She paints on paper, and leaves a sharp, clean edge on all sides. When she mats her finished painting, she will, in pencil, (and very cool handwriting http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif ) put the title of the painting on the left, and her signature on the right directly under the painting, in the unpainted white area. Her mat leaves about a 1/2 inch margin of white watercolor paper all around the edges of the painting so that the title and signature shows. It gives a double matted effect, and just looks very sharp, imo. I've done it several times too, and like the look. ---Jane