How to Create Your Art Style

by Wendi OBrien
Butterfly Study

Supplies

Paper:  Arches Hot Pressed Watercolor Paper

Pencil Sharpener

Salt

Rubbing Alcohol

Liquid Frisket

Tracing Paper

Background – Bombay Inks: White, Yellow, Bright Red, Blue Turquoise, Yellow Ochre

Inktense Blocks/Pencils: 200 Sun Yellow, 220 Sicilian Yellow, 260 Burnt Orange, 300 Tangerine, 320 Scarlet Pink, 400 Poppy Red, 1560 Fern, 1700 Mustard, 1710 Amer, 1720 Tan, 1730 Oak, 2000 Bark, 2200 Ink Black, 2300 Antique White

Creating Your Style Tips

Today, I am going to give you 5 tips on how to create your own art style. 

I don’t know how many times I am asked…How do you create your own art style? 

Well, first of all I think we put too much emphasis on creating our own style, especially new artists.  That’s not to say we shouldn’t have recognizable art. 

It is true that some people just have it from the start, but others, it develops and emerges over time. 

It can range from stylistic choices to specific color pallets that run through your work.  The range is wide and here are 5 tips to get you working toward creating your own style.

Tip 1 – Experiment

There is more than one way to get to the end result.  Try new techniques, supplies and supports.  Just because you have done it one way for a very long time doesn’t mean it is the easiest or best to get the result you are looking for

If you are unhappy with the outcome of your work or get frustrated easily then this is a good indication it is time to experiment and try new things.  You may be surprised what you may find.

Tip 2 – Try Different Styles

Regardless of the artist that you consider yourself, the best way to develop your own style is to experiment in different styles. 

What you learn from one can carry over to another because you pick up things along the way….looser or tighter or somewhere in the middle.  Try the extreme of what you normally do and bring it back in.  You will inevitably pick up some technique that will translate into your original works.

A good example of the first two tips is the piece I am completing for the duration of this video.  I am completely out of my element with this piece. 

Not only did I try a looser style, which I had no idea what I was doing, but I also used all supplies I have never used before including inks, inktense blocks and inktense pencils. 

I learned a lot with this project including how to use each of the supplies.  It isn’t meant to be a perfect piece by any means.

In fact, I wasn’t even going to put this video up, but wait for the bonus tip to find out why I ultimately decided to.

But beyond that, Sometimes just letting go and not worrying about what happens or making it perfect is just what the artist needs.

Tip 3 – Just Create

Your style will emerge and change many times over anyway.  This is just the nature of creating.  Let it work through its natural cycle.

Tip 4 – Don’t Box Yourself Into One Style

If you see a style you like, study it.  Why does it appeal to you?  Is it the subject, colors, soft or hardness of lines and the list goes on.  Decide what you like and practice it.  By combining different elements from art that appeals to you, you will create your style.

Tip 5 – Change and Adapt the Way You Do Things

If you keep doing the same things you will keep getting the same results.  You have to be willing to change and start a new path. 

Looser means more body movement and using your complete arm.  Tighter and more realistic means you need to hone in on your observational skills and notice things the average person doesn’t about subjects.

By adapting and changing you will be amazed at the difference it makes in your art.

Bonus – Be Confident in Your Art and Style

This tip is probably one of the most important. It is okay if everyone doesn’t like your art.  In fact, if everyone did, that’s when you should worry.  That is what makes us human is our different likes and dislikes. 

And definitely don’t compare yourself to other artists.  This is a rabbit hole you don’t want to go down.  Instead use their art as inspiration and say one day I will be able to do that and work towards it.

Decide what skills you need to work on in order to get to those inspiring artists.  The difference between you and them is they just did more experimenting. 

You are exactly where you need to be in your journey right now.  Keep learning and trying new things.  Not only will you improve overall but soon your style will emerge.

I hope you enjoyed this video and these tips help you improve and create your own style.  Let me know in the comments below what your favorite tip was. 

  Until next time…keep on arting!

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