Developing your own style

I hope to use this blog to get into technique very soon, but before that, the question is why?  So many classes, even at the college level refuse to teach the basics, they complain that knowing basics is stifling and destroys one’s ability and freedom to experiment and develop a style.  A very famous university in California does not require drawing to get a Masters in Fine Art. Many an instructor has accused me of being too rigid when discussing technique, drawing and color theory.

My experience is so clear, at some point, after much experimenting and playing at art, the student gets very frustrated, opts to read a book, look at pictures and tries to emulate a style that they like, adding further frustration.  They have in mind a place that they want to be, but have no idea of how to get there.  This frustration leads to a lack in confidence , which first of all, results in this inability to drawing.  Then the budding artist copies masters, which is why you see easels set up in museums, or finds a well-known and admired instructor to learn from and copies them. These are both important steps in developing a style, but should come AFTER the basics.  Copying an admired  artist is good in the short run, you learn by watching, studying their composition, palette, how they apply paint, but finding your style requires you to take what you learn and apply it, not continuing to copy.  You have a natural ability to make images and describe them to the viewer, if you use someone else’s style you have disabled your own ability to speak through art.

Learning the basics is a rigorous experience, sometimes exhausting, requiring effort and practice.  But as a process, when successful, brings substantial possibilities for your own self expression.


  1. hi, Anne, thank you for your posts. You are giving so much useful information, links to other useful authors, books. Will be glad to see more your posts and maybe with some illustrations.
    Bets regards, Evgeniy