Creating Your Own Style

I’m no expert, but I look around and see hundreds of artists struggling to make their mark. I know the feeling of sitting there with a blank canvas and wishing, this could be the breakthrough moment, the picture I paint today is going to set me on the path.

I’m not sure it works like that... I think you have to make the time to experiment with colour combinations and mark making... this allows you to decide for yourself, what moves you. It doesn’t happen overnight... and can take a lifetime of wasted paint and canvasses.

Probably the biggest step towards developing your own style, is letting go! Stop painting what you see and paint what you want to see.

Imagine, feel and then transfer that feeling to the canvas... Take time to consider, allow yourself to say out loud what’s inside your head, without worrying about what other people think. It’s your journey, every step you take adds to your experience.

I often set myself tasks. For instance I might say, today I’m going to work as fast as I can, or, just use on colour with different shades. I think this helps develop decision making and mark making.

It’s amazing the happy accidents that come out when you haven’t time to fuss around. If you do this over and over, you’ll remember the feeling and this will become part of your style.

Your style is not what you paint, but how you paint. It’s like your signature. Remember the feeling when you sign your name. It should feel just the same.

Colour is so important in setting the mood for a painting. The way I tackle this problem is to choose an overall colour for the background...

I might see something on tv or in a supermarket... I think wow that’s a nice colour.... I paint the canvas that colour, no matter how strange it feels, and away we go, the scene is set... hold your brush or knife against your background with another colour and see if it feels right. Then another and another.

Be honest with yourself. Paint what you want to see and not what you think it ought to be. If you like blue grass instead of green then do it. The Sky doesn’t have to be blue. The sand doesn’t have to be beige.

Create your own world of colour and mark making, so that people can see the real you. Not everyone will understand, so get used to the negative comments and strange looks.

Do listen, consider but don’t be put off, it’s fine to be different. your on a journey! Not the finished article and you won’t be until your last dying day.

Understanding perspective and being able to draw reasonably well is a bonus... but if your not great at that don’t be put off, find another way to express yourself. Your colour choice, scale or technique might be what gives your work its own personality.

Be bold!!! and your on your way... Thanks for reading Joe.


 The Roseland House on The Hill

Pictured: The Roseland House on The Hill