Do you find it hard to charge for your talent???? These layouts could easily be copied and digitally printed for I'm guessing half the cost. How do you market the added cost of your signs? What's the benefit to the end user. Lifespan of the paint vs. lifespan of the vinyl?
I usually make a pounce pattern, unless it's a real knock out, like temporary on paper. I hardly ever get what a good painted job is worth. I'm usually just a little more than a vinyl shop. I don't look for work and most of what I do is practically giveaway. Like banners for teachers & local charities. I do believe that properly cared for paint will outlast vinyl. I have seen 25 year old lettered signs. If painted signs were treated like car paint, cleaned and waxed occasionally they last a long time
This is a gold leaf window I did back when we used to make real money painting signs, in the late 80s. The black outlines on the crest are silkscreened black. The castle and background of the lion are platinum. The rest of the gold is 23k. The lettering was backed up using a silk screen, as the small lettering was only 1/2'' tall. All the gilding, backing of gold and color painting were done by hand.
I'm new and it was suggested that I post some pics of my left handed lettering. I use Flexi for some of my layouts, but modify it to fit my style.
Here's a 30"x60" banner and a 4'x8' plywood sign
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Don't know about the OP, but since I was about 4 years old, I always got a Dale Carnage drawing set for Christmas. The sun was always in the upper right, so by repeated reinforcement, I always shade to lower left.