Style Development [Archive] - Artist Forum

: Style Development

12-27-2016, 12:47 AM
I need some help. Here are some recent pictures.

The oldest is the blue jay and cardinal. This was all me, no outside influence.

Afterwards, I got a job working at a sip & paint shop owned by a serious artist (major art study like New School) who prefers painterly, Impressionist styles. Now I am all muddled!

The Italian landscape was a happy accident. It looked good when I just blocked in colors, so I skipped the details. Plus, I couldn't find my own photo of this town, so I printed a similar view from online, not even realizing it was wide angle. Felt like such a goofball when someone else noticed after the painting was done! The village architecture is already so quirky, I didn't realize the angle make perspective extra-funky. That accident seems to be what people like! I don't even know how to replicate it.

I painted the vase because my doodles have curly lines and flowers, and I felt like that could be an indication of my style. (I tried to add swirls to the clouds too).

See also where I experimented with two ways of painting the same house and trees. One was the way I'd normally paint it, and the swirly one was inspired by a gallery visit, and I thought it might be a style that could work for me.

I read somewhere that student work is hyper-detailed, so I chose the parrots because each feather looked like a brush stroke. Not that I totally loosened up.

Aside from practice and books, I need help from real people who know something about painting, not just my friends & family who tell me everything I do is great. My boss is on the fence about whether or not I'm a serious enough artist. (i could go to chain shop sure, but it'd be nice if I could get into her group of local artists and become good enough to sell work!)

12-27-2016, 12:50 AM
A couple more

12-27-2016, 06:48 AM
if you dont know the fundamentals itll be impossible to develop your own unique style in a sense where want professional/ seasoned artists to acknowledge you.

of course you can just keep painting and state things like "the persperctive is not off - its my style" and some artists really "get away" with it because they are f.e. very social, have alot symphathy and the sorts but naturally not everyone can have success that way.

now im not saying that your artworks are bad or wrong but to me they dont look very professional or overly appealing so its just average pictures to me. they dont look terrible - they have some interesting things going on but from my personal artist perspective there is not alot to see.

let me take the first picture - the italian landscape - the simplicity is what i like about it. just rough blocked shapes but you can still see the picture. the perspective however is lets say non existant XD then it has no depth because the values are not setup to create it ( to see it digitally you can look at the greyscale version i.e. color turned off ). there are no gradients etc.

that is why i suggest you get some more art theory knowledge which will help you to plan your artwork a bit more to get better thought-through results.

and through the process of learning you will automatically develop your style ( or maybe chose copy someones you admire )

12-28-2016, 03:32 AM
Hi Kate -

Let's take 'all muddled' first.

Here's my take on that - good for you. The state of 'muddled' is a good thing. It means you are thinking. What you are thinking ... that's another story. But your mind is going a mile a minute. So you are alive with thought.

Now ... let's address 'style.'

Style does not happen overnight. You probably figured that out already.

The real question as I see it from your query ... is ... can you paint like the owner of the shop?

My answer is ... you might be surprised at how many artists can paint in multiple styles as the need arises.

Case in point ... Norman Rockwell. Most of us know his work as highly detailed, amazing composition, color tonality off the charts. On the other hand ... he was also an amazing abstract painter. He just chose not to pursue that avenue of art ... because he was supporting over 8 family members. So he painted what his public was familiar with.

I tell you this story simply to say ... your current style falls within the realm of folk art.

However you may not be comfortable with that ... or your boss doesn't feel this style validates her pool of art knowledge. Who knows.

Ponder this ... if your boss was a portrait artist ... you would hear all kinds of comments ... like ... the birds are not colored correctly to give them roundness. You have line but no form.

If your boss was an abstract painter ... you might hear ... you haven't found the essence of your subject and taken it up a notch.

If your boss was a non-representational painter ... you might hear ... your paintings are so representational.

In other words ... don't judge your work by your boss. Your boss is coming from a formal art training world... And that is not your skill set ... yet.

Having said all that ... let's take a look at what you now do well.

Your birds, your Italian Landscape and your floral painting tell me you have an eye for line.

But that is only one aspect of composing a painting.

We all have to start somewhere. So now what you might do is investigate the other aspects of composition. That will keep you busy for awhile.

"If I could get into her group of local artists and become good enough to sell work"

My answer is yes ... you could, just not yet. I suspect ... here's why...

I suspect your boss is on the fence because ... it looks like you are unaware of the elements of composition. So that is where I suggest you start.

Color theory is another avenue of investigation as mentioned previously. A knowledge of color theory will give your paintings depth... foreground, middle-ground and background.

Then there is the concept of NOTAN. This will give your paintings sharp focus.

In other words ... if you are serious ... and I suspect you are ... these are some
avenues to start you on your way.

Remember ... as a self-taught artist ... all these aspects are attainable ... you just have to start somewhere to add these skill sets to your work.

And because you are feeling 'muddled' I believe you will start to add these skill sets... just to relieve yourself of feeling ... 'muddled'.

So I would tell your boss that you have a plan of action to bring your skill sets up to par.

That should buy you some time and gain her confidence that you are serious.

PS - what you did with the vase (darks and highlights) tells me you are capable. You just need to get started with a plan.

Case in point - The Blue Jay and the Cardinal. What you really need with these birds to impress your boss is 6-10 shades of blue and 6-10 shades of red as your eye transits from left to right.

And ... 'time of day' ... oh boy ... that is another skill set to consider ... where is the light coming from in this painting? That will cause your sky to transit in color also.

Sky ususally goes from darker blue to lighter blue as your eye moves from top to bottom of your painting.

And color theory will enable you to 'round' the branch the birds are sitting on.

All of these things your boss already knows. She is waiting to see when you exhibit this knowledge also.

Right now she will not bring you into her inner circle because ... they may already know this stuff.

Your boss could be doing you a favor by not bringing you in just yet ... because the ken of knowledge might just overwhelm you. And I feel your boss wants to maintain your confidence by giving you time to update your skill sets.

Now here is the Joker with art. Once you learn all this stuff ... you might decide to go back to your original style of folk-art. That's life in the art world.

Andy Warhol was a fabulous portrait photographer and his composition was superb. But then he decided to paint Soup Cans. That's life.

Picassolite- (