Tag Archives: artistic style

Artistic Style – Do I Have One and What is It?

Style 1 Loose, delicate, light, and mostly empty

 

Recently, someone asked me a question about artistic style: do I have a style, how to develop it and what do I call my style? Perhaps you’d like to listen in on the answer.

 Do I Have an Artistic Style?

Style 2 Complex, colorful, filled, and textured

All artists have a distinct style. The analogy often used is it’s like handwriting for art.

 

And, much like handwriting, it takes some time after learning the basics for your style to emerge. During the time you’re learning the crafts of drawing and painting and understanding how to handle the materials and mediums, it may seem like you have no style at all or you jump around from one thing to another.

 How do I Develop my Art Style?

The only way to develop your individual style is by making your art – repeatedly. Your individual style will start to develop as you gain confidence and experience with each part of the process of making art. It’ll start to show in how you make your marks on the paper in preliminary drawings, the paper you choose to work on, the medium you prefer and how you apply it to the surface and every other element of the finished art. It’s the sum of all these individual choices that add up to an artist’s style.

What do I Call my Style?

I think a large part of the problem for artists trying to define their style comes from trying to pin it down with a label.  The more common descriptions, like cubism, expressionism, pop art or surrealism, are broad terms and a type of art shorthand for classifying works. While they’re helpful for broadly classifying a work and make a point of common departure to talk about a work, I think they can be restrictive and intimidating as well as corralling work into premade boxes. I like to think of artistic style in more descriptive terms (* see below)  then categorize it if necessary.

 What’s Your Style?

Individual artistic style marks a work as belonging to a particular artist and is more of a way of working and handling the materials than a label. Do you have a style? How would you describe it without using a standard classification? Drop me a note and let me know what your style is, I’d love to hear from you!


 

*Descriptive Terms

Like loose vs. tight, realistic vs. unrealistic, colorful vs. monochrome, soft vs. hard, rounded vs. angular, and so on. Here are some pairs to get you started:

Filled / Empty

Simple / Complex

Beauty / Ugly

Whole / Broken

Stability / Movement

Organized / Chaotic

Mechanical / Hand-Drawn

Large / Small

Grayscale / Color

Light / Dark

Fine / Coarse

Smooth / Rough

Sharp / Dull

Light / Heavy

Stable / Unstable