Girl with Golden Disc – Finding my own Style

I have been experimenting with mixed media for over a year now which has involved trying new things, different approaches to creativity and unfamiliar media.  This has necessitated me trying to find my own style when working with those media and tools.  I am also now a third of the way through the Life Book course.  Being exposed to different tutors with their diverse styles and differing approaches to creating art has also meant trying on new styles.  It is a case of seeing what fits and what doesn’t, which approaches mesh with my own style and artistic taste and which don’t work so well for me.

I have been finding that when I get the most frustrated with attempting something new it is either because it is pushing me way out of my comfort zone – which can yield positive results – or it is because that style or approach just doesn’t connect with me so effectively.  When I am at all disappointed in my response to a Life Book lesson, I have to take a step back and figure out why.  I have to ask myself which elements I like – perhaps a colour scheme or some mark making – and what aspects are leading me to feel “meh” about the piece.  I am coming to the realisation that working intuitively is not successful for me because I always get back inside my head.  I am just too much of a control freak to let go to the required degree.  What I am, therefore, attempting to do now is find the balance between being intentional and then being playful within the parameters of what I am aiming to do.  I am also accepting the fact that my natural style is that of an illustrator.  Whether I am at the whimsical or realistic end of the spectrum, I default to a more illustrative approach rather than a painterly one.  That is completely fine by me.  It is a style I enjoy and it is where my strengths are as an artist.  All the practice with acrylic, however, is definitely helping me hone my skills with that medium.  I still have a long way to go but I have come on in leaps and bounds since starting the Life Book course.

I have, therefore, decided that – as and when time allows – I am going to revisit some of the Life Book lessons and see how successful I am at adapting them to my own style and to my own approach, meaning that balance between intentional and intuitive.  The first one I decided to revisit was actually a recent one, a lesson by Tamara Laporte on intuitive portrait painting.  My control freakery had completely asserted itself during the painting process and my style was, therefore, far too tight and rigid as a result.  I reflected on the resulting painting and analysed what worked and what did not work.  I liked the composition with the head on the right side of the paper and I liked the circular “halo” around the head.  I also liked the 3/4 facing portrait and the use of drips and splatters.  What I did not like was the hair or the geometric shapes.

I, therefore, used the elements that I had found to be successful and ditched the rest.  I wanted a more muted, neutral colour scheme so I went for browns but mixed with metallics – bronze and gold – and I worked as intuitively as I could manage on the background of the left hand side by dripping and splattering, my concession to a lack of control.  I allowed the spatter to continue into the hair of the figure in order to unify the two sides of the piece.  I am much happier with this version.  It is much more “me”.

Girl with Golden Disc A - Full

Girl with Golden Disc B - Close Up -

Girl with Golden Disc C  - Face


12 thoughts on “Girl with Golden Disc – Finding my own Style

  1. I really liked this post, following your thought processes as you analyse your work – there is a lot to be said for finding your own style! I joined up to consciously follow the teaching process as much as I could in order to experience all I could from any particular artist. Like you some of the lessons leave me feeling a bit ‘meh’ and others have allowed me to experience a shift in my own ability and processes. Really successful lessons inspire me to do my own thing entirely…… Life has ensured I’m way behind now though and I’ve left about 6 weeks worth of lessons to sit while I keep on with the current ones. For me, the aim at the end of this year is for us to have added to our kit of abilities, enhanced our experiences with different mediums and artists and become more confident with our own voices. However you do it is just right for you! And your current work is proof of that 🙂

    • Thank you for your lovely comment and for understanding the point I was striving to make. Following someone else’s style, approach and technique is a valuable learning tool. It’s why students are still encouraged to imitate the work of the old masters. But then that learning has to be applied to one’s own style. Marrying what I’ve learned with my own artistic style has actually demonstrated to me how much I’ve learned.

      As Tam often states, there’s no such thing as being “behind”. We can all work at our own pace. I’m striving to keep up to date at present because I know with certainty that I am going to have to miss lessons over the summer but my plan is to then resume and do the current week’s lesson plus one that I’ve missed. That way I should catch up again. If I can action that plan, of course.

      Thanks again for the visit and the lovely comment.

  2. Well, I definitely like your style! This afternoon I spent some time doing my own idea of a face shape and doodles. I zentangle when I’m bored and incorporated it into my project. I’ll post two projects I made and see what you think. Hugs!

      • To get photos to travel between my phone and my computer, I use Dropbox. That way I don’t have to physically connect the two things. I mostly use an actual camera, however, so then I use a memory card reader. I hope you find a solution soon.

  3. Its such a wonderful experience to merge an artist/teacher’s style with our own. It always bring what I usually call a beautiful disaster. We learn a lot from the teacher and we also learn a lot of who we are, how we present our art and how we think of it. I am so glad you are into this journey and had shared your feelings with us.

    • That’s precisely it, Carrie Lynn. Attempting something in my own style was also a good test of how much I’ve learned and how far I’ve come with my skills since starting Life Book. Thanks for your lovely comment.

  4. Laura, I enjoyed reading your reflection on your lessons and your understanding that you, personally, bend towards illustration. The way in which you reworked the portrait to find the blend between the planned and the spontaneous is marvelous.

  5. Pingback: Mixed Media Self-Portrait | A Pict in PA

  6. Pingback: Male Portrait with Silver Disc | A Pict in PA

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