Sunday, November 17, 2013

my Style of painting???

What is it and how to I get some?
As you go beyond the products and the initial mechanics of painting you start running into this seemingly elusive thing called "style"

The word is freely bandied about in the art world when referencing well known artists (past and present). But what is it and how does an artist get it... AND do you want it!

In brief, an artists personal style is the culmination of how an artist handles the subject and paint on their canvas: i.e. brushwork, proportions, perspective, composition and more. All of these things become unique to each artist and the result demonstrates their style of creating a painting.

A developed artists style is as unique as a fingerprint or individual handwriting. Across any subject or medium the artist uses, the paintings can still be recognized as their work. (sans signature ;)

Your style is there from the beginning, but being a novice, it isn't completely developed.

Back in grade school, first you learn your letters then words, then you learn to print, then you learn to write in cursive then you write stories! After you are well practice your writing becomes recognizable as yours. Eventually, you or your teacher can find your handwritten paper in a stack just by seeing the handwriting alone. It becomes identifiable as your work. (You also develop a personal "style" for telling stories, etc.)

Similarly, a painting style will develop in a practicing artist. First you learn the basics (composition, drawing, colors, value, shading, etc) Then you learn to apply them to a variety of subject matter. After you have created a larger body of work, you will see that your work is recognizable from another artists painting of the same subject.

Style is usually recognized in a professional artist after they have painted a larger body of works. It then becomes evident that they were all created by the same "hand" Which is as unique as a persons handwriting.

When I teach, I enjoy having everyone create a painting from the same still life or whatever. The resulting paintings are unique to each artists hand. Their individual styles shine through even though the subject matter is the same. Each person emphasizes the subject matter differently, handles the paint differently, sees color relationships differently, etc. This is part of what creates individual style.

Style can be evident very early on but it usually morphs as an artist becomes more experienced in understanding composition, color theory, paint handling, perception and creation. When a mature or professional artist changes their M.O. from say painting portraits to painting landscapes, their style is still identifiable in the new work.

In the beginning, I recommend picking a genre and sticking to it while you develop your skills. For instance just paint leaves or flowers or landscapes or portraits, etc. If you intend to show in galleries, they like to see a fairly large and consistent body of work. If one of your paintings sells, they want to be sure that you can reproduce the magic and not just be a "one hit wonder".

The more you practice your painting, the more evident your style will become. Don't be surprised if others notice your style before you do!

To start recognizing the "style" of other painters - start with the old masters. google for instance "Monet, landscapes" and then click to see images only.  then open another window and google for instance "DaVinci, landscapes"   

Then google them again with "portraits"  or just their name to see all images.  Do this with many artists - see how each painters body of works has a recognizable aspect to it.   

All words in this blog (in part or whole) are © CJ Rider - -
Please use complete and proper attributions with linkback if you use my writings or images.  Thankyou