All Artists Need to Develop a Signature

By Barbara Gabogrecan

Developing a signature is not easy to do. Sometimes you actually have one and do not realise it. Basically having a signature means that your particular style of painting is easily recognised by all. Your style is very difficult for anyone to copy; as you are so recogniseable, they would not easily get away with it.

A number of times I would have a friend say that they saw a painting or design of mine copied by someone else. But when I looked at it, it really was nothing like mine. We both may have painted the same subject matter e.g. a Rosella – but that is where the similarity would stop.

So – how do you develop a signature? Well, let me tell you what my signature is:-

* My colours are bright and strong and clear
* I use tone well so that the images have a 3D look about them; it ads to a sense of reality
* My drawing is fine, detailed and rhythmic; this contour look is very important to my signature
* My background is strong. I build my image around a background (negative shapes) and add salt to give texture
* My work is signed by me, the ‘artist’
* My work is well presented in folders, boxes etc with gold stickers indicating that the work is Australian
* I am known for my Australiana (Fauna and Flora) as I target the tourist market

What you have to do is decide which elements of design you wish to utilise most strongly in your work and go from there. By all means, look at what others are doing and emulate them if you wish, BUT you also need to add that extra ‘flair’ which is you.

To test if you are developing a signature, look at a number of pieces of your work and see if you can find the same style being repeated, even when images vary. Think of a famous artist e.g. Toulouse Lautrec, what is it that enables you to recognise each of his paintings? Colour, shape, image and size come to my mind. Get a book from the library (if you haven’t got one) and check out three or four of his paintings. Now write down what it is that makes his work recogniseable to you (you may even add a description to each of the factors that I mentioned above, if you wish). Now do the same to your own work.

A signature is developed over time. The more experienced you are, the more likely the signature will evolve. If you would like to improve all of your skills and learn directly from me, then check out the very affordable online silk painting course.

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