How to use seals in artworks (3)

We have talked quite a lot about seals, what are the appropriate places for them, what their functions are, and what they represent. Today let us put together a convenient list of the “do”s and “don’t”s in seal using.

Example of a Leisure Seal

Some Rules and Suggestions

Use name seals and leisure seals

A good piece of artwork should be accompanied by nice seals. So do not forget to add them!

Use good seal ink

The material of seals can range from a few types of stones, some more precious than others, but on the artworks it is the results of these seals that we see – the impressions made with the seal ink. Seal inks can have different colors and quality, cheap seal inks are quite obvious – perhaps we can take a closer look at this in the coming days. So please pick decent seal inks to match your art!

Seal Ink, photo from the internet

Be Stingy

When deciding the number of seals on a piece of artwork, it is better to stick to the rule of “less is more”. Remember that we discussed this point in a previous post, try to stick to 1 or 3 seals max. in an artwork.

Rule of Two Seals

If you need to add 2 seals on your artwork, it is better that they are of the same sizes;

If your artwork has 2 seals, they cannot be one square and one round, nor one rectangular and one oval;

If your artwork will contain 2 seals, and you have to use one Yin style and one Yang style seal, then the rule is to use the Yin on top and the Yang below.

Yin Style Seal

Seal Size

Important reminder about the size of seals – they should match the content of the artwork. Giant seals are too overwhelming for a pleasant viewership of an artwork, and tiny ones are simply too weak.

Write Over Seals?

No. Once seals are made, no writings can appear over them.

Where Not To Seal

Do not add seals on the tree or mountain tops, over a flower or above the head of a bird.

The above are some must-knows about using seals, although the list is definitely far from exhaustive. Nevertheless, in the artistic creation such “courtesies” shall be followed, and such cultural tradition shall be cherished.

Enjoy such cultural discussions? Have comments? I look forward to hearing from you!


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