Things to do when finished painting

Signing your work
It’s not necessary for your signature to scream out of your painting and take more attention than the painting itself. You can sign your whole name or a monogram (just your initials). The date is always useful, but not necessary. It’s best to use a contrasting colour or a colour that you have already used in your painting in a space that is vacant, usually in a corner. Use a small paint brush. Never ever use a hard black shiny marker to sign with, it destroys the whole effect. Signed work increases the price of your finished painting.

When I started painting there was only High Gloss and Matt varnish. Now you can buy something in between that is called Egg shell. To use up varnish I used to mix 2 thirds Matt and 1 third Gloss mixed together. This produces a varnish that is somewhere in between. I prefer not to use only Gloss because it reflects to much light and is difficult to hang without glare. If you use Matt it brings out the colours but is rather dead and has no lustre. Dropping names, I use Winsor & Newton, this dries very quickly and gives good results.

For more information go to our article on ‘How to varnish your paintings’.

Hanging system
Whether you keep your painting and hang it on your own wall at home, or you might hang it in a gallery or sell it, you must always have a hanging system for the user to be able to hang it up. Paintings left on the floor look cheap and unwanted. There are many options for hanging your work. If your work is on a canvas, one way to go is with a ready made, do it yourself system, whereby you do all the work yourself. You can get standard lengths of frame to match the length and breadth of your canvas. For the back you screw on a metal brace where you can attach a metal wire to hang the painting. 

Photographing your work
Photographing your work and keeping a record of it is very important. Besides just the photograph also keep a record of the size of the work and the materials used. All this information can be used for gallery presentations, your own social media platforms, your website and articles about your work in magazines. Make sure you have good quality pictures. Read our article ‘How to take better pictures of your art work’ and watch the tutorial.