Steps to Finding Your Unique Art Style
What Do You Like to Draw?
The first step is to dip into your early memory and try to remember, what was it that you like to draw as a child? Was it animals, flowers, boats, cars, or imaginary creatures? For me, I remembered I used to doodle faces in my textbooks. So naturally my subjects are human faces.
Before you dive into researching the different types of art styles, search within yourself first. You have to find your inner truth and your real passion first.
Experiment with Different Medium and Different Art Techniques
When I first started, I used acrylic. I also tried water-soluble crayons and pencils, color pencils, and soft pastels. But the minute I touched oil paint with my brush, I knew oil would be my medium. It felt magical, as if we knew we were made for each other.
Experiment with different art supplies and Different Art Techniques, and when you meet your Mr. or Mrs. Right, you would know it.
Look at a Lot of Art
If you can’t visit museums often enough, one great online source is The National Gallery, London, where you can zoom in to observe the brush strokes. When you look at the art you admire, don’t just say you love it and stop there. Examine the paintings. Is detail carefully treated, or loosely? How important is tonal value? How important is color? Are the colors saturated or earthly? Did the painter plan the composition carefully or was it more free and intuitive? What about the use of narrative or symbolism?
As you examine each piece of art, write down your answers to these questions. Once you have done so for at least 5 paintings (the more the better), think about where you want to be on each of these categories, namely, treatment of detail, value, color, composition, narrative and symbolism. This will give you a concrete idea about your preferences, which inevitably determines your style.
Get a Mentor
If you are still be somewhat confused, get a mentor. What seems like an unsolvable puzzle to you, very often, is crystal clear to an experienced mentor. You need one who doesn’t just teach you techniques, but who is also knowledgeable in art history and the many genres of art.
After you think you’ve discovered your style, you will continue to grow and evolve. So stay open, keep looking at great art, keep learning, keep drawing and keep painting!