Finding my art style – part 2

In part 1 of my blog posting on style I explained that as a custom painter I usually paint images my clients request me to paint, so I never felt I developed a recognizable art style of my own. Often I just copy an image for them with my airbrush.

I was going to start by looking at my doodles and cartoons, but that didn’t seem right, because my painted artwork is rarely cartoon-ish in style. In fact, I tend to paint realistically when I do my own paintings.

Then I also realized something else. We all recognize the works of Van Gogh and Picasso, even though their paintings when they were younger look nothing like the ones at the end of their lives. So, style can be a process too.

But going back to my realistic style I recognized something else: The thing that comes easiest to me and that I enjoy painting the most are portraits of people and even though they are realistic portraits, I still recognize the difference between a portrait I did versus a realistic portrait done by someone else. I’m not entirely sure how that works. It must be the different may I interpret light and color, or how much, or little detail I put into my work. I’m not sure, but 10 artists can make a portrait based on the same photo and they will all look differently.

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The first airbrushed portrait I ever did of Bono

Recognizing that is a good thing, because I feel that now I can start experimenting with my portraits, playing with effects, backgrounds, subjects, but keeping my portraits as the center of these pieces of art.

When we were in Awassa, Ethiopia I encountered a homeless lady with a little child on her arm. After giving her some money she allowed me to take her picture. At the time, I thought they would make a great painting. So, that will be my next painting, and because I paint it, it will be in my style!