Finding my style

It's officially March! Hard to believe, but true. At the start of the year I decided I was going to dedicate this year to being creative (ofcourse working around my full time job), so far I've found that being creative, and productive with creativity is harder than I thought. I've been working on painting, drawing, and printmaking, in the effort to make a start on a body of work that is 'mine' and has some kind of defining factor so that people can recognise as my art. I've never found one medium that I really 'clicked' with, except for printmaking, (I just love printmaking), so I've been exploring a few techniques trying to find a unique 'style' that I like and am proud of.

I love researching other artists, and have treated this as a project, gathering information and inspiration. One great source of inspiration is seeing artists sketchbooks and their processes, I love seeing how they problem solve visually and simply explore different mediums and techniques. When I find something that truly inspires me I really look in-depth into it, I try to pinpoint what appeals to me, whether it be their subject matter, technique, or simply a colour. This is a fun thing to do if you are stuck in a creative rut or trying to work out what works for you as an artist, or artist in training.

I thought I'd share a bit of my creative and thought process as I work towards developing a style that is 'mine'. There is a lot of trial and error involved but I think I'm getting there! Robins are my favourite birds, and I have lots of photographs of them to use as inspiration so I thought I'd start with them. These first three pictures are using Gouache, as well as Indian Ink pens, I like the idea of having a solid shape, then adding detail with a pen, or fine paintbrush, but I just don't feel that paint is my friend.



robin-patternI bought myself a few coloured pencils to experiment with them, and quite surprisingly really liked working with them. I like being able to blend but also like the soft colours and the different tones you can get just by adjusting how much pressure you put on the pencil.

coloured pencil robin

I tried a few sketches using a very fine tip japanese pen, just black, and really liked the simplicity of these sketches below. I've tried to add dimension to the birds by shading in areas so they're not completely flat.

The Paperbird Society



Below is a drawing of our special parakeet Kakariki, I really love these birds, and am a tad obsessed with them at the moment. They are very rare, although probably un-recognisable in my drawing without their striking green and red plumage, I really like this image and and quite encouraged to continue using this technique, although I wish the pens came in more colours than just black! kakariki

I did a quick sketch of some Saddlebacks using these pens, and quite like these, I added white pigment pen over top to give a little bit of subtle detail on top. I did these drawings quite small so if I want to use them for anything I will need to re-draw them. I also made them into a fun pattern.

saddlebacks drawingsaddleback patternBelow is another pen sketch, using coloured pigment liners, but I think I like the black one better, it gives more of a tapered line that I like more. I want to create a few Robins that I can make some prints of, as I have so many drawings, and feel it's a waste not to share them. My problem is that I'm so indecisive, hence why I try so many different techniques. Anyway if you read this I hope it gives an insight into my process and I would love to hear any thoughts or comments you may have!  grey-robin