Paint With Style II

In my previous blog, I broadly summarised art periods and dwelled a bit more on the painting styles of the Modern art period and I left you thinking about how important to you and your audience is your own personal style.

For starts, you do have to actually have a personal painting style.

Sometimes it takes a long time to discover and develop it, especially if you are naturally gifted and curious to try different things. Why do I say this? It is my own experience that if you can do many things well it is harder to understand what is really you. One thing is for sure, you need to experiment and try a bit of this and a bit of that before something really clicks with you. You will notice that you keep returning to a particular artist, subject matter or technique for more and more inspiration and then one day you would just know who you are and what you want.

A word of caution though – don’t let your desire to have your own recognisable style be in the way of experimentation, learning new skills and growth.

With saying that lets have a look what we were up to in the studio:

Suzanna and I had some fun trying new ways of painting portraits. After painting several portraits in a very realistic style, she felt like she needed to try something different, something faster and more expressive and so I decided to join her and have documented the process we went through for you.

1. Using acrylic paint I covered the canvas with brush in 3 colours: red, violet and turqouise.

2. I drew my face with white charcoal and started applying dark colours with palette knife.

3. The first dark colour was a mix of red and black. The second was a mix of mostly red with little blue and yellow.

4. Next came the warmer and lighter reds. I was using a large palette knife and trying to keep the strokes bold.

5. Finally I got to the light side of my face and applied some warm yellow/orange and yellow/white colours.

6. To bring the face forward I used complimentary blue/green and turquoise for accent.

I have enjoyed this technique and will definitely give it another go.

Suzana was extremely successful with her portrait – she broke the mould of realistic painting and arrived at a point which is clearly describable as an expressive style but carrying traces of realism. A beautiful place to stop at and call it a finished work– the result is a beautiful, soulful portrait – well done!

John returned from two months painting in the Beverley Arts Station as an artist in residence. During his stay there he sold 6 paintings, congratulations! Below are two beautiful works from him.