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How Do Artists Find Their Style?

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

"Taking a step forward out of the art boundaries."

Art is a process of creativity, innovation, and representation of subjects within an emotional approach to enhance the delivery of the artist's messages to the crowd, the art piece is a vehicle to carry the artist's point of view to the public.

Throughout history, breaking the ordinary form in which the artwork is introduced is a path that many artists followed, to stand out in the crowd, artists always tried to get their own style in representing art.

But before the artist breaks the rules, the artist needs first to know what is ordinary to imagine how extraordinary art would look like.

Thinking about taking a step forward out of the art boundaries, that's some of what the art world already has:

Realism Paintings

"The alphabet of painting, the basic teachings."

The ability of the artist to imitate the reality of light, shades, and natural realistic color tones, realism is the foundation from which all the art styles are evoked.

Chiaroscuro Style

"Caravaggio Style"

"Chiaroscuro" is a painting style in which the artists painted the subjects out from darkness to light, with the utilization of a strong contrast between light and dark.

Chiaroscuro Style Michelangelo Merisi De Caravaggio Saint Jerome Writing 1607
Chiaroscuro Style Michelangelo Merisi De Caravaggio Saint Jerome Writing 1607

Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

"The group sought a return to the Quattrocento Italian art."

"The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood Rejected Mannerism"

The Brotherhood believed the Classical poses and elegant compositions of Raphael in particular had been a corrupting influence on the academic teaching of art, hence the name "Pre-Raphaelite".

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood aimed to take art practices back to the cultural and artistic events of Italy during the period 1400 to 1499, collectively referred to as the Quattrocento from the Italian word for the number 400.

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood sought a return to the abundant detail, intense colors, and complex compositions of Quattrocento Italian art.

John William Waterhouse - The Lady of Shalott, 1888, Oil on canvas, Pre-Raphaelites Brotherhood Style
John William Waterhouse - The Lady of Shalott, 1888, oil on canvas, Pre-Raphaelites Brotherhood Style

Impressionism Paintings

"Started With A Sunrise Impression"

Monet Style

"Impressionism Pioneer"

Claude Monet was a French landscape painter; he was born on 14 November 1840 in Paris, France, and died on 5 December 1926, in Giverny.

Monet has a great impact on art, as he is the founder of impressionist painting and is seen as a key precursor to modernism, especially, in his trials to paint nature as he perceived it.

Beginning in the mid-1860s, Monet decided to pursue a different style in which, rather than trying to reproduce the scene in detail, Monet recorded on the spot the impression that a relaxed, fleeting moment vision might receive.

water lilies Claude Monet
Water Lilies Claude Monet

A number of identifiable techniques and working habits contributed to the innovative oil painting style of Monet and his friends (Impressionists):

  • Short, thick strokes of paint quickly capture the essence of the subject, rather than its details. The paint is often applied impasto.

  • Colors are applied side by side with as little mixing as possible, a technique that exploits the principle of simultaneous contrast to make the color appear more vivid to the viewer.

  • Greys and dark tones are produced by mixing complementary colors. Pure impressionism avoids the use of black paint.

  • Wet paint is placed into wet paint without waiting for successive applications to dry, producing softer edges and intermingling of color.

  • Impressionist paintings do not exploit the transparency of thin paint films (glazes), which earlier artists manipulated carefully to produce effects. The impressionist painting surface is typically opaque.

Van Gogh's Style


In Van Gogh's post-impressionistic artworks like "The Potato Eaters, Portrait of Père Tanguy, L'Arlésienne, and At Eternity's Gate" the tendency towards Expressionism is obvious.

In Van Gogh's painting above we see one of the early beginnings of expressionism, which focuses on painting feelings, with remarkably spontaneous Brushstrokes, while realistic color tones are not the challenge for the artist.

Van Gogh Portrait of Pere Tanguy 1887
Van Gogh Portrait of Pere Tanguy 1887

Expressionism Paintings

"use paint to convey solely inner life"

Expressionism is an artistic style in which the artist expresses not the objective reality but rather the subjective emotions and responses that objects and events arouse within a person.

Although Realism is about producing art related to the physical body, the artists of Expressionist paintings, used paint to convey solely inner life, frequently via the depiction of brutal and harsh topics.

Expressionism as an art movement can be very broad and difficult to characterize. Expressionist art was therefore not defined by a set of aesthetic principles, but rather as a tool of expression and societal commentary.

Anxiety 1894 Edvard Munch Expressionism
Anxiety 1894 Edvard Munch Expressionism

Abstract Paintings

"Abstraction was a theosophical simplification and superficializing movement against the complex Arts, philosophies, and literature."

"The philosophy behind the abstraction practices."

Abstract painting is an art that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality but instead uses shapes, colors, forms, and gestural marks to achieve its effect.

Abstract Paintings' value apparently is not about the artist's techniques, the realistic color tones or lines, and boundaries, but instead, it is about the philosophy behind the abstraction practices.

Abstraction of details or semi-abstraction style could help the artist to emphasize and focus on the core message of a painting, a step forward in reducing the distortion of thoughts of the viewer.

Whilst, full abstract paintings could be beautiful and creative but because of the low painting skill level it requires, it is indeed reproducible and lack the factor of uniqueness.

Hilma Af Klint (Abstract Pioneer) Untitled 1915 oil on gold on canvas
Hilma Af Klint (Abstract Pioneer) Untitled 1915 oil on gold on canvas

How To Find Your Own Painting Style?

"Art Is Not A Business"

"Get Your Internal Energy Out Via Painting"

"It Takes Years Before The Artist Approach A Unique Style"

"Art is an immortal message."

If you intend to choose art as a source of income, you should expect many frustrations

, You should know that the percentage of professional artists is very small in the field of a nation of amateurs,

As an artist, you will have to accept practice art as a part-time occupation for as long as it takes to make it to the professional artists' island in a sea of amateurs.

It is much better to be more realistic and to consider art as a way of exerting your internal energy out to the light, Art is your immortal message.

As an artist, you should think of art as a way to immortalize your ideology and declare your beliefs about illuminating humanity's pathways to a brighter future.

As an artist, your main concern should be declaring your messages in an emotional visual approach to the viewers, and yes it takes may take decades before the artist becomes able to outreach his art as a way of social commentary.

When you are ready to accept the art creation process as a part of your nature, you would be ready to find your "unique style".

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