There are many techniques for making a watermark, but in this guide I’ll only be covering why you should use one, and tips for its placement.

What is a Watermark?

A watermark is essentially an image, or a piece of text which is added to the top of your finished piece to help protect it. It’s very difficult to make a good watermark though, as:

  • Placing a watermark too close to the edge of your artwork can make it very easy for thieves to crop out, but it won’t distract from your artwork much.
  • Placing a watermark too close to the focal point can be distracting, whilst making it very difficult to remove.

They’re completely customisable – you make the watermark! You can edit and design it however you like, and they’re extremely easy to implement. You take the image you have made and layer it atop your recent work, changing the colour and opacity as necessary to ensure it is as unobtrusive as possible, whilst still being legible.

Why use a Watermark?

If placed correctly, they’re difficult to remove. As mentioned above, placing it on the edge of your canvas can prompt people to crop it out if they want to steal your work; however, it is less obtrusive than placing it in the center of your work, or over a focal (the latter option clearly offering better security). There is no right or wrong when it comes to watermark placement, it’s entirely up to you; though it’s highly recommended that you make it as unobtrusive as possible. The role of a watermark is not to dominate the piece, but to subtly protect it.

In this piece, I’ve placed my watermark off-focal, which means that it’s near the focal but not intruding upon it. A simple drop-shadow ensures it’s legible on any colour (since it’s covering a lot) and the dropped opacity helps it blend into the background.

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