Learning To Love The Limitations Of Your Art Style – A Ramble

2017-artwork-when-something-is-incompatible-with-your-art-style

Although none of the paintings that I’ll be talking about will be posted here in full for a month or two, I thought that I’d talk about a time when I tried to make a type of art that was incompatible with my own art style.

Basically, after watching quite a few episodes of the ITV adaptation of “Poirot” on DVD, I wanted to make some art that was set in similar kinds of locations. I wanted to make 1920s/30s-style art, with Art Deco architecture, vintage fashions and a slightly decadent atmosphere.

After all, I knew how to make new types of art inspired by cool things that I’ve seen. But, despite two attempts at this, I failed.

It was only a while later that I realised why, everything about my own art style was the opposite of the type of art that I was trying to make. The type of art that I wanted to make was bright, highly minimalist and almost modern/timeless in style.

However, my own art style and aesthetic preferences include things like giving the impression of lots of detail, gloomy locations , a focus on the more recent past (eg: the 1980s and 1990s) etc…. Although I probably could make the type of “art deco” art that I’d wanted to make, I’d probably feel like it wasn’t really “my” kind of art.

My kind of art looks a bit more like this:

 This is a reduced-size preview of a painting that is slightly more typical of my style, the full painting will be posted here on the 11th June.

This is a reduced-size preview of a digitally-edited painting that is slightly more typical of my style, the full painting will be posted here on the 11th June.

The only way I could even try to make the 1920s/30s style art that I wanted to make was to add a lot of my own style to it, to change the lighting and to change the detail levels to something more in line with the type of art that I usually enjoy making.

Here is a reduced-size preview of the best of the two paintings in this style that I attempted to make. It looks more like something from the 1990s than the 1920s, and it looks considerably gloomier than the things that inspired it:

The full-size painting will be posted here in late May. The other one will be posted here on the 9th June, and doesn't really look as good.

The full-size painting will be posted here in late May. The other one will be posted here on the 9th June, and doesn’t really look as good.

One of the problems with developing a unique art style (eg: how you draw people, buildings etc..) and/or a unique aesthetic (eg: how you use colours, lighting, patterns etc..) is that it’s going to limit what you can and cannot make. For example, if your art style/aesthetic is very bright and whimsical, then you’re probably not going to be great at making gloomy gothic art and vice versa.

But, this isn’t the giant problem that you might think it is. Your limitations can actually improve your art. After all, trying to make another type of art fit into your own “style” will make your art look more unique. It’ll make it stand out from the things that have inspired you.

Plus, finding a type of art that you can’t make because of your art style may possible also be a sign that you’ve actually found your own style. Of course, it could also be a sign that you need more practice but, if you feel like you could technically make the kind of art that has inspired you but would feel like it wouldn’t quite be “right”, then it’s probably a sign that you’ve found your own style.

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Sorry for the rambling article, but I hope it was interesting 🙂

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