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How Do I Sign My Drawing?

This question is often asked along with the second question, “What do I sign my drawing with?”.

I always recommend using the same medium that you have drawn with, so coloured pencil for a coloured pencil drawing and a graphite pencil for a graphite drawing, this way your drawing remains looking cohesive and your signature is in keeping with the artwork. 

A signature aims to identify the creator and to be a subtle part of the artwork. If the signature is loud in size and colour compared to the artwork, it can detract rather than be an attractive addition. 

Your signature also becomes your mark to identify your work, in effect part of your brand, so resolve to keeping it the same, the more you change it, the more confusing it can be for your audience. 

Signing your artwork declares the piece finished, it’s the final touch before it is photographed and the details recorded. It also is a moment of pride for yourself, to say “I am proud of this artwork and it’s now finished”. 

A handy tip is to practice your signature beforehand on a scrap piece of paper. You may have to write it twenty or more times until it flows and you are comfortable with writing it, making sure it is readable and slightly different from your legal signature for safety reasons. You can be creative here and use a different font or make the capital letters a bit more distinct. 

Another question has been asked, “Does signing your name with another medium classify the artwork as mixed media?” I doubt this would be the case but it would depend on the rules of the governing body of where you were sending your drawing whether it be an online or physical exhibition. Some international exhibitions have very stringent rules so always check them carefully to rule this out just in case. 

I strongly suggest that you use your full name as well for the simple reason that it will be seen on the front of the artwork and the viewer then knows who the creator of the artwork is and may well want to follow up with an inquiry or a purchase. If they love your style and subject matter they might like to follow your art journey on social media or check out your website, so make it easy for them by signing your full name. Think many years into the future when your artwork is passed down through the generations, your signature can be researched and identify you as the artist. 

If you have drawn a full background and covered all your paper you have a couple of options on how to add your signature. One is to lightly dab out some of the pencil work and sign your name with a dark colour like Dark Sepia, make sure the pencil is nice and sharp. Another option is to pre-plan where your signature will go and use an indenting tool to sign your name then cover this area with the medium you are using. 

Where to sign?

Where to sign?

Where to sign? That’s a personal choice although it is usually in the lower right-hand corner or left, it

can go anywhere that won’t detract from the artwork. 

Here is a video demonstration with some options for signing your name. 

I hope you’ve found this helpful, if you have any questions, please let me know. 


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