Do you consider yourself an artist? Whether you are a beginner or a veteran, having your own art style is the mark of a true artist. How to find an art style is a process every self-respecting artist should know how to go through. The process involves getting inspiration, honing skills, and continually developing your expression through art.
In this post, I will guide you through how to find your own art style. Let’s begin.
How to Find Your Own Art Style
Learning the cold artistic skills – such as creating lines or combining colors – is not what makes artists. Each renowned artist tries to express something in their art. For example, Leonardo da Vinci expresses joy in his famous Mona Lisa. And to express that joy, da Vinci used a special technique called sfumato, which uses delicate shading melded into one another to create soft outlines.
The point is, as you develop your skills and techniques, you should also develop the ability to use those skills to express something.
Find Your Niche
The first step to developing a unique art style is finding the art niche or form in which you are interested. Go at your own pace in this step. Different art styles, forms, and niches exist; don’t try to go headfirst into the first two or three you find. Some sample styles are abstract, figurative, minimalist, geometric, or surrealism. Two examples of art forms are painting and drawing. And even those styles and forms have more styles and forms within themselves.
Get Inspiration from Others
Once you find a niche you are interested in, try to get inspiration from artists you admire. These artists can become your mentors, so to speak. Find out their motivation, their processes, their tools, and so on.
One method I find helpful is looking at the pieces of an artist whose works I find fascinating. Seeing an artist’s growth from a newbie to pro through his works inspires me. It shows that even seasoned artists began from somewhere. Looking at their works also shows the elements the artists incorporate in their work. You will see the similarities between their works.
And if you find work different from an artist’s other pieces, find out why it’s different. Getting into the way of thinking of artists whose style you want to find fascinating helps you develop a similar style.
Mix Elements from Favorite Artists
But you don’t want to have a style similar to another artist’s, do you? The cure for this is to incorporate different elements from different artists. You can combine different drawing styles such as cross-hatching or pointillism. You can even combine diverse mediums such as pencils and watercolor.
Art is very nuanced. As long as you get to express what you want to express, there’s no limit to what tools, styles, or forms you should use.
Develop Your Skills
It is so easy to lose interest in a style if it just exists in your mind. If you can’t put your ideal drawing style into paper, it’s easy to feel discouraged. So how do you combat that discouragement? Develop your skills.
I don’t advocate focusing on and staying within one art form. I don’t like not venturing beyond one medium. As I’ve already mentioned, art is nuanced. It is fluid. I like learning about different mediums and styles and trying them out.
Having different skills in my arsenal allows me to combine diverse techniques, mediums, and styles to create something truly unique.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Practicing is the only way to develop your skills. Practice is the only way to see which elements and techniques you find most appealing. And practice is the only way to find your art style.
The more you create art, the more you will see the similar elements and techniques you use. You will begin to see patterns within your work. The patterns may be a color scheme or a specific theme that repeatedly appears throughout your work. Who knows, maybe those patterns are the art style you are trying to find.
Expand on Your Style
Once you identified the style you naturally produce, work on delving deeper into it. Try to use that style in more advanced pieces. One practice I find fun and educating is re-creating a piece of art using my style.
For example, if your art style involves pencil drawing with different shading techniques, try to re-create an oil painting using your style. You may not be able to make the piece more beautiful than the original or do justice to the original. But by focusing on developing your style, you become more skilled at it.
Don’t Limit Yourself
I don’t believe in limiting an artist to whatever style he’s produced so far. Once you’ve found your style, don’t stick to it. Find more inspirations you can meld into your style.
Let’s go back to Leonardo da Vinci as an example. Da Vinci studied anatomy partly because he wanted to depict the human body in his paintings and drawings accurately. One of the fascinating aspects of the Mona Lisa is how da Vinci understood the skull’s shape beneath the skin.
The point is that he wanted to express something, and he went to different fields of studies to do so. He studied biology for his art. He made drawings, oil paintings, and diagrams. Although he did not do all these only to develop his art style, they did help him become a master.
Likewise, don’t be afraid to venture out of your style. As you learn more techniques and flourish on other styles, you can incorporate all of them into one style.
A unique art style constantly grows. Your art style is your voice as an artist. It should remain at constant evolution throughout your life. As you grow, as your skills increase, as you learn more techniques, your interests change, and your emotions mature, so should your art style.
There is no one way to find an art style. But the steps I discussed here should get you going in the right direction. The style is already in you; you just have to find it. Find out which styles resonate with you, then try to create it. Practice creating it. Then expand on it. This general process is how to find an art style.