Developing Style

Learning about other artists, getting to know how they use materials and approach a subject, is valuable and inspiring. Many of us want to learn how to draw like another artist.  For a while I wanted to be as detailed as Andrew Wyeth, then as loose as colorful as Claude Monet, later as creative as Georgia O’Keefe.    One of the best lessons I’ve learned is to value my own voice.  Drawing style is something that develops with time and experience.   These days I’m quite content to draw like me.

Recently I was sent a photo of a drawing I did over 30 years ago when I was just starting to experiment with watercolor and ink.  It was fun to reconnect with this old drawing. What I’ve discovered is that while my technique has improved, I have a similar style after all these years.



Now here’s a similar subject  from last year.  Right now I’m enjoying vertical lines with some strategic color. Ten or twenty years from now I may be doing something quite different.  I’m comfortable knowing that my work will develop and change.

On the Waterfront x

I encourage all who are on their own drawing journey to simply enjoy drawing and see what happens.   Learn technique, value, composition, materials, and let style come naturally.   Then it will be truly your own voice which speaks.


Tip of the week:  always photograph your work – especially pieces that you sell or give away.  Because I didn’t take photos of my early work, I have very few examples of my progression as an artist.  It was a delight to get to see this drawing of Charlie Taylor’s Boathouse.



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