How to find your style in drawing
Every aspiring artist rushes about in an attempt to find himself in the visual arts. It is one thing to learn to more or less tolerably copy masters of painting, illustration, or reality. And it’s quite another thing – to find your own unique recognizable style by which anyone recognizes yours among thousands of paintings. Today I will discuss my observations on this topic. Of course, there are already many articles on the Internet and books in which different authors share ideas about developing their own unique style. Most often, these ideas come down to trying different techniques, drawing different objects, looking for what works best and following the call of your heart. This is all great and wonderful. But what should be done to a person who does not understand what is best for him or does not know in which direction to move in the field of drawing in general. I’m self-taught myself, I don’t have an academic art education behind me, I generally started painting for about 30 years. Also, I can’t say that I already unequivocally found my unique style, rather I found some vaguely clear direction where I want to move. I’ll tell you how I did it. When you understand the general principle of “searching for yourself” as an example of one thing, it turns out that in other areas these skills are useful. For example, I already found my first favorite thing – shooting a video, I decided that I like to shoot and in about what format. I highlighted my themes, designed YouTube channels, came up with elements within the video and design ideas for framing them. I still have much to strive for, but I understood how finding the desired unknown in the muddy stack of universal diversity works. The idea is that you need to focus on your sincere interest. You need to ask yourself a question: what do I like? See as much as possible what is, and choose what causes positive emotions and arouses interest, curiosity. Any online gallery of pictures, google search on pictures or the Google Arts & Culture project, where works of art in high resolution are collected, will help you in drawing. The task is to find your favorite paintings by artists that you really really like. No need to find the first ones, no need to take some generally accepted masterpieces of world classics, no need to search for too many paintings. It is optimal to choose three or four of the most beautiful work in your opinion. If you liked some paintings or illustrations, this does not mean that you will copy some artists and take their style. These will be your references, on the basis of which you can roughly understand what exactly you want to do. Choose one picture from each author, you do not need to take several works of the same artist, especially if they are similar in style. These should be 3-4 paintings that you would like to have in your home. These paintings can be made in any technique – oil, watercolor, gouache, ink, pencil, markers and so on. Do not think about whether you know how to draw these materials or not, it does not matter. It’s important to simply choose what gives you inspiration, paintings that delight you in color, design, shape. It can be both very old works, and the works of modern authors. The main thing is that there should not be more than four of these works! Now make a collage, put your chosen work next to it so that you can easily capture their eyes. I decided to put my favorite paintings by artists in a collage and add colors from typical flowers in Photoshop: When I was just starting to shoot a video, I did almost the same thing – I chose my favorite bloggers and the types of videos that I like to watch. Only by observing the surrounding reality can you understand exactly what you want. It is necessary to objectify the idea that arose in your head. Do you want to draw? And how exactly do you want to draw? How exactly do you want to portray? What do you want to portray? What tools? What colors? In what scale? What art techniques? I think that not one person on Earth should be afraid to lose their uniqueness when searching for references that are consonant with themselves. On the contrary, you can better study yourself, understand what gamma pleases your eye. Designate your landmarks. After you have found the best 3-4 pictures, you need to carefully consider them both at a large approximation and from a long distance. Try to understand what is hooked in these pictures. Write 30-40 words and associations to the selected works. Write down the analysis of the paintings as you can! Everything that you liked in these pictures. I prefer to analyze first each picture separately, and then take a look at all the pictures as a whole. What is the mood of the paintings? Sit down and write down the answers to all the questions in this article. I will do my analysis with you, and you can write yours in the comments (just be sure to write your choice of paintings). Analysis of my favorite paintings: Flowers “Roses and Peonies” by Van Gogh The mood of the picture is tender and a little sad. Flowers stand in a vase with their buds slightly bowed, and some of the flowers have already dried up and lie on the table by the vase. Distant flowers are blurry, as if in a photograph with a depth of field. The flowers are dim, but the background is very saturated, like the vase itself. I like the combination of green, red and brown in their dark deep tones. The bottom of the picture is made quickly and casually, there is no drawing of the details of the table or tablecloth, it can only be guessed or thought out. I like it when there is an understatement in the picture, hints of a detail that cannot be considered, but can be thought out. I like that the picture has dried flowers and vibrantly blooming, as well as still unblown buds. The whole cycle of life and death is shown. I like it when the picture depicts not only something generally accepted as beautiful, but also what is generally not considered to be such. For example, fallen flowers from a bouquet, dried leaves, voids in the bouquet itself, which could be painted with buds, but they remained untouched. I like the image of reality without embellishment, but harmonious reality, without trying to show that everything was so. I like the hint of the reflection of the buds on the table, you would think that the surface mirrors a little. The color scheme is dark, a lot of shadows, the background is only slightly highlighted. I like the image very light on very dark and vice versa. I love it when the picture has clear visible boundaries between the shades, and the shades themselves are composite, mixed from many. I like that even the background is made up of many shades of red-brown with yellow and green. I love it when in the picture every color is repeated in every object, but with different strength and intensity. The flowers themselves are light, pink, and cherry. And fallen buds contribute yellow, blue, gray shades. I like that familiar objects have unusual shades. I like the fact that the vase has no details, the leaves are also without drawing, everything is done as if in a hurry, in a single burst of momentary. Color does not fit uniformly, there is a sense of line and punctuality, the colors are convex, there is no sensation of lickiness and correctness. I like that the picture resembles a sketch, there is still much room for imagination. At the same time, the leaves are spelled out very precisely in shape and arrangement, this picture, although not detailed, but not distorted, it is very true and realistic. I generally love flowers, roses. And peonies too. I like that the picture does not have a pure white color, it is everywhere a little milky, warm. All shades are more warm, except for some part at the bottom of the work. An interesting combination of warm (which is the majority) and some cool shades. The movement of the brush is soft, wavy, ornate, emotional, bold. There is a stroke on the contour to create shadows, the stroke is a little graphic, cartoony. Forms due to the smoothness of the lines are soft, like marshmallows, velvet, something like cotton. I like the feeling of softness and kindness, which seems to me to be created through small wavy and rounded strokes. I like the work to be created in one session, alla prima, without layering and subsequent detailing. I like that in this picture there is a protagonist – this flower, located a little to the right below, looks into our faces. You always look at him first, apparently due to its location and the colors of neighboring elements. And only then, when the eye begins to walk around the picture, you notice all its neighbors, including the fallen ones. “Landscape with a House and a Plowman” by Van Gogh It is not recommended to take two paintings of the same artist, only if you are not a fan of Van Gogh like me! In this landscape, I am primarily attracted to the brown colors and ocher. Strokes of one color over another create a pleasant immersion effect. I like how not too contrasting colors look together on the same color platform – green and orange, dusty pink and light brown, gray-purple and blue-blue, red-brown and olive. Against the background of slightly contrasting mixed shades, there is a bright spot in about the same place where the rose was located (the main character of the last picture). The main character is bright red side by side with the most contrasting light yellow and green-blue. The painting is made in the style of illustration, all forms on the one hand are far from realism in execution, but at the same time very well convey space and perspective. There is a sense of the fantasticness of this place, as if they took a photo and put a lot of the most stylized filters on it, wiped off the excess and painted it in the most liver colors. From the picture comes the mood of tea with cookies and waffles. The shades are very warm, like caramel or maple syrup made from crochets. She just wants to bite her. The lilac and gray shades of the distant slopes closely intersect with the shades of fallen flowers in the last picture, although these shades convey some sadness and sadness, but it is somehow pleasant and pacifying. “Winter landscape” Kandinsky I like that the picture has a very clear flashy contrast. I like the clear line between deep blue and egg yellow. The picture seems to be drawn in ink in places, the trees you might think are generally depicted as purely decorative isographs. I like the combination of painting and line art. Houses and mountains have clear strokes, there are blocks of flowers inside of which there is a riot of dotted and banded layers, somewhat reminiscent of Van Gogh’s past landscape in terms of the style of applying colors. The picture has a perspective, I like the road that goes into the distance, which does not go to some infinity, but rests at home. You can go somewhere along this road. There is curiosity, I want to go on it. After all, there is clearly something at the end. The yellow house is drawn very schematically, the tree frames its outline, and in general this yellow house is my main character in this picture. The sloping slope on the left leads us to the house, the road too. This yellow house is very similar in style and colors to the house from the landscape of Van Gogh, I liked that the house is simple and very contrasting. The color scheme of the picture goes sharply from very dark to very light. I like this scatter of colors. I like that the general feeling from the picture is very positive, joyful, although again with a little sadness. I like that there are no people in the picture, but there is a feeling that they might be there. There is no feeling of emptiness and loneliness, even in the house there may well be people right now. I like the pale shades of pink, orange, and lilac used in the work. The brush moves superficially, barely touching the canvas, a lot of small color spots, all this resembles a play of light on water or snow at the time of magic hour, when the sun falls at an angle and the most unexpected shades appear. The picture is calm, there is no snowstorm or hurricane, the sky is bright, nothing portends trouble. The picture has a lot of very bright and white places, it shines, sparkles, burns like a Christmas garland. If we continue the comparison with food, then this picture is most similar to the holiday donuts (donuts) with multi-colored powder. “Absinthe Lover” Picasso Probably most of all I like to watch and draw portraits of people. In this portrait I like the complete surrealism of the image. A woman who loves to drink absinthe alone. A man who hugs himself. Absolutely unrealistic at first glance hands, and indeed hands. A mirror in which the environment is not visible. Some strange unit with a nose. Glass on the stand. Hairstyle gives a woman only with a flirty curl on her forehead. I like in this picture the number of questions that are born when viewing it. There is total loneliness and at the same time, strength, support, hope for the future. In color, my favorite place is the top of the wall (above the shoulders), this is an incredibly beautiful subtle combination of coral shades. The wall literally burns behind the back of a woman. I like the skin tone, and the courage with which the hands are depicted. The character is made in the style of the comic book illustration of Mickey Mouse, his hands seem to have no skeleton inside. But the hands are shown even too realistic. If you look at the woman’s face, then there is a complete feeling that the hands are just like that and the person should be in a similar position. But the hands themselves, when viewed separately, surprise with the unusual shape and color. The main part of the picture for me is the face of a woman. I like that it is as figurative as possible, there are no cilia, moles and wrinkles. But there is an emotion. Longing, heaviness, burden, humanity. I like that the main attention from the point of view of detail is drawn to the decanter and the glass – they are very realistic, there are many highlights and reflections. I like that the main thing for me (the woman’s face) is depicted superficially, and the companion for me is depicted too realistically. There is some kind of injustice in this bias, which is nice to see. Conclusions. So how do you find your style in drawing? When you do this analysis, then you will become much clearer what exactly you like in the visual arts. If it seems to you that you are not versed in painting and cannot choose the right or right words to describe and analyze the paintings, do not worry and just try. Use your imagination, write your thoughts in simple words, as you see and feel. It cannot be right or wrong, there is your vision and it is 100% true (for you). What to do next? After you have found and analyzed your favorite paintings, drawings or illustrations, try using your knowledge about yourself in your new works. For example, I found out that I like paintings without excessive ciliary realism, which means that in my works I should not go into too much detail. I found out that I like the combination of picturesqueness and line art, when clear dark lines invade color transitions. In my future work, you can try to use the “stroke” technique and not be afraid to introduce clear, clear lines, which I sometimes avoided before. I realized that I like paintings that convey a mixed feeling of loneliness and tranquility, I gravitate towards a warm range of shades. I should try to increase the contrast many times in my future works and add bright colors, I notice that my past works I just want to tint and shade a bit. All of the above does not mean that tomorrow I will start painting like Van Gogh or Picasso or that all my future illustrations will be a copy of the style of other artists. Of course not! The fact is that each person who found his own style, he first saw what other people did. Any new style is a good compilation. The man simply used the old tricks in a new way, introduced his vision into form and chiaroscuro, but he did not take it all from the unknown dark matter of space, he watched the work of other artists, looked around, was inspired by nature, people and the objects surrounding him. It’s impossible to just think of something “your own” from our heads, we still take everything from the world around us, just connect the puzzle pieces differently. Draw what you like to draw, what you like. Draw what surrounds you, what you have studied well. Draw what brings you joy and tranquility. Draw what you saw only in your imagination. Draw whatever you want. But no matter what drawing subject you choose, you may have your own style, with the help of which any image of anything will acquire your personality, like handwriting or fingerprints. Even if you take some techniques and techniques from your favorite authors, you absolutely certainly implement them in your own way in your drawings. Your drawing objects will be different. Your emotions will be different. A look at the world. Literally everything … It was this path that helped me to find myself once already, I hope it will help me more than once. If this article seemed to you useful or you just were interested to read it, write to me about it! And if you decide to conduct your analysis of the paintings, I will be very glad to read your thoughts below under this post in the comments! See you soon.