Monday, 10 October 2011

Developing an artistic "style"

This is a topic which vexes me a fair bit. I know that I do have a style, as people tell me they recognise my portraits. The problem is, whether this is a style I'm happy with or not. Clearly, I'm not entirely happy with it, or I wouldn't waste any of my valuable time thinking about it.

So, in what direction should I be moving? Should I be working towards a more painterly approach, or towards a more photo-realistic approach? The former appeals to me most, as I'm not sure I can see the point in the latter, although I admire the skills of the artists who paint in this way. Having said that, I know that my natural approach is towards realism.

Some time ago, as an educational exercise, I copied a portrait by one of my favourite artists, Daniel Greene. This is his painting "Caroline" - most definitely something to aspire to.

In a recent burst of energy, I threw paint at my version in an attempt to see what I could do with a different approach. It is much darker than my usual palette (which perhaps isn't obvious from this photo), and there is a touch of Harley Brown's influence perhaps. I quite like it, although it isn't very different from what I normally do in all other respects. I need to go further, for experimental purposes, if nothing else. (Just to add that, of course, I can't do anything with my painting, as "Caroline" is still very much in evidence in it.)


At the VivArtist exhibition yesterday, I watched a portrait demo by Surrey artist Roger Dellar. I was captivated by his ability to render an excellent likeness of the model in about 90 minutes or so, without obsessing over small details. If I was anything like a decent blogger, I would be posting an image of Roger and the portrait but, alas, when I pulled out my camera, I found that the battery had died! Here is a link to his website instead.

Roger runs courses at his studio in Surrey and elsewhere, but unfortunately the one I am interested in is fully booked. What a shame. I'm sure Roger would have helped me loosen up a bit.

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