Let’s talk about style today. More specifically, finding your artistic style.
Have you ever wondered how to find your artistic style? Maybe the following reader question echoes your own.
I am 67 and my life became so much more adventurous due to colored pencils.
I would very much like to develop my own style, but I hope I am not too old to do so, because I think it needs a lot of time and patience to develop a personal style. What are your thoughts about developing your own style?
This reader is right in one respect. It does take time.
But I would replace the word “develop” with the word “find,” because I think that’s how most artists come by their style. They find it.
Or have it pointed out to them by other people.
What is Artistic Style, Anyway?
An artistic style is the style of an artist’s body of work. There are literally hundreds of different things that go into an artist’s style, but the main ones may include the subjects they prefer, the colors they use (also known as their “palette”,) how they combine the colors, the drawing methods they use, and even their favorite drawing sizes.
All of those things and more contribute to the overall look of each piece.
Style happens when a large collection of pieces all look similar, even if the subjects are different.
Most artists don’t deliberately set out to develop a style. It just happens as they create. Given enough time and enough artworks, style emerges.
How I Found My Artistic Style
I know from personal experience this is true.
After years of painting horses and showing art at local county fairs, I missed a year. Later, a neighbor asked why I didn’t have anything at the fair. I asked how she knew I didn’t and she said, “I didn’t see anything that was your style.”
Up to that point, I hadn’t thought about style and didn’t know I had one. I just liked painting horses.
So it’s likely that your style has already begun taking shape, and you just don’t realize it.
Finding Your Artistic Style
Yes, it will take time and probably dozens of finished pieces.
But it will happen.
When you create consistently and over time, people will recognize your art without having to see your name on it.
And it’s quite likely that other people can already see it.
Is It Ever Too Late to Find Your Artistic Style?
No! So long as you have breath in you and the desire to make art, you will develop an artistic style. It’s bound to happen. In fact, you won’t be able to keep it from happening!
Unless, of course, you focus so much on style that you don’t draw.