What's My Artistic Style?

How To Develop Your Art Style

Here's a simple way to develop your art style. When someone refers to an artist's style, they're usually referring to characteristics that describe the artwork.

For many artists, you'll notice the same characteristics in most of their work. You may see similarities in the way they make their brushstrokes or the colors they use, or the subject matter they paint.

These similarities appear across their entire body of work. It's often referred to as the artist's style.

If you want to develop your own unique art style, but aren't sure how take a look at your art habits.

Look To Your Habits When Developing An Artistic Style.

If you want to know how to have your own art style, notice the materials you like to use and how you use them. Your habits can go a long way in helping you figure out how to find your own artistic style.

What Type Of Brushes Do You Use?

Brushstrokes can help define your art style.

Paintbrushes come in various shapes and sizes. A paintbrush known as a "flat" for instance, can make a boxy, squared-off mark. While a "round" paintbrush will leave a mark of a different shape.

Take note of the brushes you tend to use over and over. Whatever brush shape you develop the habit of using can influence your style.

Filbert Paintbrush

A filbert paintbrush is a narrow, flat brush with hairs that are rounded to a point. You can use a filbert on its side to paint thinner lines or use it flat to make wider brushstrokes. Because of the rounded point, your brushstrokes will have a softer, rounded appearance.

Round Paintbrush

A round paintbrush has hairs that come to a nice sharp point. The ferrule of a round brush is usually round in shape.

A nice round brush lets you paint fine lines and detail. How you use the lines in your painting can help determine your style.

For instance, some artists build up texture with lots of small lines made with a small round paintbrush. These small lines are evident in each and every painting by that artist, becoming a recognizable element of that artist's art style.

Flat Paintbrush

A flat paintbrush is squared off at the end. It is usually wide but not very thick.

Use this type of brush on its side to make thinner lines, or use it flat to produce wide brushstrokes.

The brushstrokes made with a flat brush will have a squared off look to them because of the squared shape of the brush.

If the squared-off brushstrokes are consistently evident in each painting, the brush shape influences the art style.

What Are Your Favorite Paint Colors?

An art style is based on consistency. Use consistent paint colors.

As you develop your art skills, you'll find you like certain paint colors and use them consistently.

By developing a certain pallet of paint colors and sticking with it, the colors you use will become an element of your art style. You could develop a simple art style by using the same paint colors in every painting you create.

If you're interested in a realistic art style or classical art style, you may want to paint with traditional paint colors. If you want to develop a modern art style, you might consider modern paint colors.

It's easy to recognize the work of some famous artists because they always used the same paint colors.

What Painting Surface Do You Prefer?

What is your favorite surface to paint on? Is it wood or canvas? What size do you paint?

Choose a painting surface that you like to work on and keep it consistent.

If you like to work on small wood panels, make the majority of your work on small wood panels. If you regularly paint about the same size and on the same type of surface, these elements can become part of your art style.

Some artists are known for painting on less common surfaces like copper or metal.

Many of us have a favorite famous artist who was known for painting small delicate paintings on panels. Or we have a favorite known for only making large works on canvas.

What Subject Do You Like To Paint?

If you keep your subject matter somewhat consistent, this will help determine your art style.

If you consistently paint animals, people are more likely to recognize a painting as yours if it depicts an animal.

If you consistently paint landscapes, it makes it easier for a viewer to recognize your work when it's a new landscape because that's what they expect from you.

What viewers have seen you create in the past will help them recognize your work in the future.

The distinct characteristics that you created through your painting habits can make your work recognizable. Recognizable characteristics of a painting are known as the art style of that work.

Develop consistent painting habits. Keep these painting habits for a long period of time. You can lean on these habits to determine your painting style.

Find your art style through your painting habits.

I believe that many instructors push students to develop an art style too early. Before a student has even learned proper painting techniques, they are pressed to develop a style.

You might be wondering how to find your own art style or how to get your own art style. I suggest that you learn techniques first. Then pay attention as you become fond of certain materials. The brushes, painting surface, paint colors, and subject matter you grow to love can go a long way in helping you determine your art style.

Author: Sonia Reeder-Jones