Writing the Date

Dating your painting is traditionally done with the 60 year cycle.  Each year (from Chinese New Year onward) is identified by 2 characters.  The next 10 years are:

year 60 year cycle Element Animal
2018 Wu Shu Tu Earth Quan Dog
2019 Ji Hai Tu Earth Zhu Pig
2020 Geng Zi Jin Metal Shu Rat
2021 Xin Chou Jin Metal Niu Ox
2022 Ren Yin Shui Water Hu Tiger
2023 Gui Mao Shui Water Tu Rabbit
2024 Jia Chen Mu Wood Long Dragon
2025 Yi Si Mu Wood She Snake
2026 Bing Wu Huo Fire Ma Horse
2027 Ding Wei Huo Fire Yang Sheep
2028 Wu Shen Tu Earth Hou Monkey

Your can write just the 2 characters, or the 2 plus year (年 nian).

Once you have the characters, you need to find a calligraphy script version to write on your paintings.  If you don’t have a script dictionary, this is a useful site.  Put in the characters (in Chinese simplified script) and choose which script you want.

2018 in running script: