The more you paint, the better your technical ability becomes. More time painting, means better familiarity with your palette, a more succinct and confident drawing hand, and the closer you move to developing a style….a style that’s you.
As artists, (myself included) we are guilty of envisioning a style and then working from back to front to develop it. It’s a natural tendency to see something that moves us and then move in that direction. My personal opinion is that we have a lot of cart, and no horse in sight. The apprentice/traditional method is just the opposite of this method and the direction I would have you travel.
This way of thinking targets the bigger picture. What if we spent our time developing a super skill set, starting with good drawing, then moving into a limited painting palette, and finally embracing a full spectrum of painting skills? With this war chest of knowledge and technical ability, we could then focus on style.
I freely admit that I backed down this same road at breakneck speed. And I’ve had to take a circuitous route to find exactly what I want to say with my work, and how to say it.
I’m not sure if this is a by-product of American teaching methods, our drive to be free to create unimpeded, or if we have just lost the knowledge of basics and foundations altogether.
Please consider my, for lack of a better word, “theory”, and let this sit on the back burner for a while and percolate. The discipline and hard work will be difficult and demanding. Just remember this: the road to find your style and artistic voice are tough. And you alone are responsible for the artistic path you choose. Choose one that gives you skills, and the road to developing your own personal style will be rewarding and a process that defines who you are as an artist.
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