Acrylic on Canvas Panel
16 x 20 in/ 40.6 x 50.8 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2014
It's so easy to look at famous paintings and painters as well as current paintings and painters and think, "I want my paintings to look just like that."
I do that myself, way more than I should, I'm sure. It's because you see either a style of painting or a palette of colors or certain motifs, or all three, and you wish to emulate that type of work.
The thing is, your paintings never look like the ones you admire. Of course, one way to learn how to paint is to paint an exact copy of a painting you admire. Many students are taught that method as a way to learn. I remember one visit to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. where several students were standing before some of the world's great masterpieces with their easels and oil paints painting exact copies.
Not a bad way to study, I suppose, but then it's not your own work is it?
I believe you have to be comfortable in your own painter's skin, so to speak, and let your natural style show throughout your work and let this be the no. 1 goal. In addition, once you have found your style, all your work will have an identifiable character, and that's what collectors like.
And another thing, isn't it great that we all paint differently? Because if we all painted alike what a boring art world it would be.