The Importance of Signatures (on your artwork)

The Importance of Signatures

Your signature stands in for you when you aren't there (how many times are you actually with your paintings when they are in exhibitions, galleries, shows, etc?). Your signature is free marketing. Your signature says to the world, "This is my work and I am proud to put my name on it."

There is a trend in the abstract painting world (mostly in larger cities and high end galleries) where painters aren't signing their work. Maybe they're ashamed of what they've produced? Maybe they're just too cool to sign their work. I'm not too cool to sign my work, and I do it with pride in what I have made.

Most of all your signature needs to be two things:

  1. Readable
  2. Searchable

Your signature should be readable so that people can easily see who made the work. Your signature should be searchable so that someone can punch your name into Google to find out more about you and your work. A clear signature provides a very easy way for someone to look you up, find out more about you, and find out where to purchase your work. When you're building an art brand, nothing is more important than being easily found.

The name on the front of your painting should coordinate with the domain name of your website and the name on your social media sites. Creating a brand is all about being consistent with how you present your brand. When someone searches for you on a search engine using your signature, you want all of your sites on the web to come up. If the names are fairly coordinated, it will be easier for people to find you.

How do you determine the material you should use to create your signature? My advice, if at all possible, is to use the same medium as the painting was created with. I'm an acrylic painter and I use a small brush and the acrylic color I used in the painting to make my signature. My signature is then integrated into the painting by use of the same medium and color. Some artists have told me they cannot use a brush to create a readable signature. In that case there are paint pens that can be used in both acrylic and oil paints. If you use paint, you know the signature will be there as long as the painting on the canvas will be there.

I advise against using pencil because it is easily smudged and can be removed. A Sharpie brand marker is also not a good choice because if exposed to direct sunlight on a regular basis it will disappear completely.

A clear, readable signature will be very helpful in people's ability to find you and purchase from you. It is an integral part of building a successful art brand.

For more helpful tips lime this please join me for a workshop: (You can see a full list of Workshops by Clicking HERE.)

  • October 13-15, 2017 New Braunfels Art League, New Braunfels, TX. To register contact Sandy Oberg or 210-861-0751. Details HERE.
  • October 20-22, 2017 Lafayette Art Association, Lafayette, LA. to register contact Susan Hamilton or 337-849-6791. This is an Advanced Workshop focusing on developing a series of paintings.
  • November 2-4, 2017 David M. Kessler Fine Art Studio, Winston-Salem, NC. To register contact David at or 336-418-3038. This is an Advanced Workshop focusing on developing a series of paintings.
  • November 7-9, 2017 Spring Island, SC. To register contact Pam Brickell by email: or phone: 843-987-3403.
  • November 11-12, 2017 Art of the Carolinas, sponsored by Jerry's Artarama, Raleigh, NC. Go to: to register.
  • November 17-19, 2017 Donna Downey Studios, Huntersville, NC. To register contact Bill Downey: or visit the website:

As always, thanks so much for your support! 


P.S. If you cannot attend a live event, or prefer to learn online in the comfort of your home or studio, Abstract Painting Academy is my online workshop:

a-APA Pic-resized.jpg

Abstract Painting Academy is the next best thing to a live workshop. You can learn more about the program by Clicking HERE. 

On Sale Now for $100 Off-Limited Time Only!