Use a Paint Marker to Sign Your Paintings

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As Easy as Writing with a Pen, But It's Paint!

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If you're working with mixed media or acrylics, there's an even easier way to sign your painting than using a rigger to do brush lettering. It's called a paint marker and all it entails is writing your name as you would normally, as with a pen.

Note that these are not ordinary marker pens, but ones that contain artist's quality acrylic paint. Hence the name "Paint Markers", to differentiate them. The consistency of the paint is even thinner than fluid acrylics, but it's not as transparent as ink.

There are several brands available, plus various ones with craft-quality paint in them. You get the paint flowing by pressing down in the 'nib' a few times. If you do it too often, you'll end up with a little puddle of paint (photo bottom left). Once the marker's tip is loaded with paint, you can easily sign your name in paint (photo top left).

I've used the smallest sizes of Montana Acrylic Markers (Buy Direct) and Liquitex (Buy Direct). Liquitex comes in two sizes: 2mm and 5mm. What I like about the chisel-shaped nib of the Liquitex 2mm marker is that you can get a fine line as well as a wide one, depending on how you hold it (photo bottom left). The 2mm Montana marker has a round nib, which isn't as versatile; I also found that the paint needed more encouragement to flow as I used it. Both brands are refillable, and replacement nibs available (Buy Direct).

Don't think that paint markers are for small-scaled work only, they come in chunkier sizes (watch this promo video to see an artist working with them). Don't be put off by any street-art marketing you might encounter with these products, they're awesome for traditional, canvas-on-easel painting too.

Golden says their High Flow Colors (which replaced their airbrush colors in Summer 2013, watch promo video) work well in markers.

How long does one last? I don't know yet, but like everything it'll depend what you do with it. Could you use an empty marker with thinned oil paint? I don't know how the plastic might respond to solvent, or if oil-thinned paint would be sufficiently fluid. That's something I've added to my "to-try" list, to experiment with at some point.