Discussion of Style...
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Thread: Discussion of Style...

  1. #1

    Default Discussion of Style...

    I thought it may be fun to have a discussion of style, a word we throw around alot. Let's talk about it a bit deeper.

    You know how when you see a miniatures (or any piece of art) and you instantly recognize the artist because of the 'style'...what makes that happen?

    Is style the use of color? The use of light? Other intangibles?


    Do you think style is completely intended, or does it just 'happen'?

    Lastly, define your own style.

  2. #2

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    I think style is a mixture of all you have mentioned.

    You may have a style where everything is NMM

    Or you always use OSL...........my uncle paints and has a very particular style. Basecoat a very extreme highlight and extreme shade...e.g. for flesh it's Flesh bascoat, White Highlight, Brown shade, painted just in lines.

    Intentional or Happen - again I think it's both, it depends what you are comfortable with.......I never paint NMM as it looks to complicated, but if I did and it was easier than i thought, my style would probably change to include that on every model.

    I don't have a style, if it works I'll keep it, if it doesn't the mini gets stripped, each model is it's own unique type of style.

  3. #3

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    I'd say, imprecisely, that your style is the result of the specific methods you use to finish your painting. For example, if you blend/layer everything so smooth that the viewer can't tell it was painted with a brush, that's a style. If you use visible brush marks for a more dramatic look, that's another style. NMM v.s metallic paint, light source vs. flat lighting, and so on.

    I don't think I have a style, or at least a very distinctive one. I've tried various things and tried to emulate different artists, but every mini seems come out with its own look that doesn't tie together with other things I've painted. I do kind of like "rougher" paint jobs, where you can see the work a bit, over ultra smooth blends. But I have yet to achieve either one well...

  4. #4

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    I think it is ones personal methods of paint application. Each person has their own eye for what looks good and follows that intuition to make their works. Also each painter finds certain techniques that they prefer over others and exploits them to the best of their abilities. Automaton has great use of color and composition, Bohun loves to paint cracks and add minute details, Emuse has a sort of mystic quality to all of his minis, Jarhead loves his dirt, etc. It seems like styles develop after painting ALOT. From what I have seen on CMON it seems like once a painter finds their style their overall rating average goes up. I am still trying to find my style. I hope I find it soon because I want super high scores on my minis

  5. #5

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    Ha....all three of you are being modest!!

    Talion...your style is very much 'old schooly'. Both with model selection and painting. It's a very charming and appealing style to me.

    NSA...Again, I almost always recognize one of your minis BEFORE I see the name (or the little AM monogram..) You are not afraid to use color, and are very precise. Also, I love your ability to try all subject matters. You aren't locked to any genre.

    Aliengod3...Your style reminds me of a dark toned graphic novel. Beautifully smooth and fantastic transitions. Certainly recognizable.

  6. #6

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    I certainly agree that ones style is a function of ones eye and ones perfected techniques ... that may sound a bit formal, but I'm basically trying to say that when we paint, we have a sense of what we want to accomplish (our goal) and we "perfect" techniques that allow us to accomplish our goals.

    I've always been a fan of a limited color palette and I've preferred my colors to be soft but gritty. As a consequence, I have tried to perfect a "watercolor" technique for painting miniatures and large scale pieces. Some clearly find my stuff pale, low-contrast, and not as clean as a lot of the top painters, but it is my style and I know many have said they recognize my work instantly. I like that. I like having a recognizable style and derive a real pleasure from being able to produce what I like ... in the end, I don't do this for a living and deriving pleasure from painting is my sole goal.

    A comment about aliengod3's point about folks achieving higher ratings when they found their style ... I agree (in a sense) ... if you try to paint in a style that is not your own (to be what you think others want you to be) you will not do as well and therefore produce work at a lower rating.

    Mostly, just keep painting ... try stuff ... see what you like ... see what you can do ... maximize happiness before trying to maximize rating.

    jim

  7. #7

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    I only recognise a few painters works without seeing the name, wish I had time to paint my own stuff and develop a style.

  8. #8

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    as mentioned, i think style is a mixture of all the factors really.

    mine is messy but more realistic, i hope, i don;t use bright colours or a lot of contrast, in fact i could certainly use more. certainly not neat, maybe a little rushed
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/freak-in-a-cage/freakinacage-1.jpg

  9. #9

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    I always thought that Crackpot had an interesting quote on the whole idea behind this thread. It is something like, “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” It is actually by Scott Adams but Crackpot had it as his sig for a while

    I look at it as the people who have really developed a unique style worked long and hard to achieve it, and have struggled and made mistakes, and now it has become so unique that now it is its own form of art, aside from being a style.
    Last edited by Aliengod3; 08-02-2010 at 07:30 PM.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by generulpoleaxe View Post
    I only recognise a few painters works without seeing the name, wish I had time to paint my own stuff and develop a style.
    Sorry...you absolutely have developed a style. Or maybe you mean that you paint commissions and for others and not for yourself? Anyhow, your style is realistic, muted, and fantastic flesh tones. Always enjoy seeing your work.

    Quote Originally Posted by freakinacage View Post
    as mentioned, i think style is a mixture of all the factors really.

    mine is messy but more realistic, i hope, i don;t use bright colours or a lot of contrast, in fact i could certainly use more. certainly not neat, maybe a little rushed
    Freak...I think, not only is our miniature selection often very similar, so are our styles. Dark and realistic, and maybe a bit sketchy. Sounds exactly like what I end up with as well. I tend to lose my patience towards the end and settle for 'good enough'.

    That's the reason for this thread anyhow. I've noticed that while I envision a paintjob, I try to break from the style I've had. But, somehow, during the painting process, my 'style' takes over. That's why I ask how much of it is a conscious decision. I gravitate towards the same damn colors almost everytime.

    I wonder how much of the 'style' has to do with miniature choice itself? Maybe if I tried frilly unicorns, bright colors would start to emerge?

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by supervike
    Is style the use of color? The use of light? Other intangibles?
    Use of light is technically an aspect of use of colour since the 'colour scheme' is just the basic red, purple, green hue that each part is in, without any highlights or shadows.

    The way colours are darkened and lightened and the smoothness of the blends (or the use of patchy, irregular effects, 'texture', or brushmarks) is ultimately mostly what equates with a painter's style, if we focus on just the paintwork.

    Higher or lower contrast together with or separately from bright or dull colouration, combos of smooth and textured from some people, metallics v. NMM and other painted illusions, dirt & weathering v. clean, could each be considered separately or as aspects of colour use.

    Quote Originally Posted by supervike
    Do you think style is completely intended, or does it just 'happen'?
    Both, depending on the person.

    Some people just paint the way they paint and things end up looking the way they look; other people are definitely very much focussed on achieving a specific look as a pre-planned thing. There are a few people who are 'lost' in a technique or set of techniques and can't see past its suitability or limits, which I suppose is an example of the first group although their work looks so specific it might appear to be the second.

    Quote Originally Posted by supervike
    Lastly, define your own style.
    Er... smoothly-blended and mostly realistic? It varies a bit with different subjects though (and different styles of sculpt), although my stuff often does end up being recognisably by me for those who know my work well - particularly when seen in the flesh, less so in photos.

    Einion

  12. #12

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    I think the thing that makes it easiest for me to identify mini's with different painters is their colour pallete and blending style. I can eyeball easily the work of my fav painters without seeing their name.

    My style? Dunno. But I LOVES me my Vallejo Black Brown! So I'd call my style black-brown-a-tron.

  13. #13

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    Smooth to impressionist. Smooth where I can pull it off and impressionist where it fits.

    I think that the
    'everything uber smooth' robs a piece. Texture is a very cool thing.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by supervike View Post


    Freak...I think, not only is our miniature selection often very similar, so are our styles. Dark and realistic, and maybe a bit sketchy. Sounds exactly like what I end up with as well. I tend to lose my patience towards the end and settle for 'good enough'.
    ta jim, that's quite a compliment
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/freak-in-a-cage/freakinacage-1.jpg

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn R. L. View Post
    Smooth to impressionist. Smooth where I can pull it off and impressionist where it fits.

    I think that the
    'everything uber smooth' robs a piece. Texture is a very cool thing.

    Good point! Texture is very much one of those 'techniques' that becomes style.

    Can't help to think of your style as being heavily OSL dominated. That is a bit unfair, I think as you paint such a wide variety of things. But, you maybe forever labelled as the OSL guy...lol

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by supervike View Post
    I thought it may be fun to have a discussion of style, a word we throw around alot. Let's talk about it a bit deeper.

    You know how when you see a miniatures (or any piece of art) and you instantly recognize the artist because of the 'style'...what makes that happen?

    Is style the use of color? The use of light? Other intangibles?


    Do you think style is completely intended, or does it just 'happen'?

    Lastly, define your own style.
    It's hard to really quantify "style" I think. Sure, there are quantifiable pieces, such as typical color choices, choice of models, etc. But I think there's more to it than that. Some things that I notice when I spot certain models by certain painters are the use of freehand (and often this seems most telling to me; freehand styles jump out more than color choices), use of NMM or metallic paints, and how the eyes are done. The eyes are one of the biggest tells to me; I can tell the difference between a model from Haley or Alexi_Z by looking at the face and eyes alone.

    I think when developing style, it's both partially intended and partially self-emerging. I know I certainly take inspiration from other models that I like from other artists, and sometimes try to replicate some of those effects. Eventually, these things get blended into a unique style, which may also have elements added from "happy accidents".

    For me, my style is still evolving, though I kind of try to lean towards the more realistic than impressionistic in terms of shading and highlight (more "airbrush" than "cell shading"), though still play with bold colors occasionally. Now, hopefully I can find my stupid cable for my camera and get some stuff photographed (such a hassle with setting up a light box and all that) and upload some of the stuff I've been doing over the last couple of years while being kinda quiet in here.

    (For the record, I kinda morphed my tweening into two-brush blending, because I can get even smoother transitions than I was able to with tweening, but on some areas I still tween. I know Vike was going to ask about it... )

  17. #17

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    i can say, for myself, anything style-wise is completely intentional...
    i approach painting as a business model, with a 5-year plan...
    i am now almost two years into the 5 years, and i think that my painting has developed exactly how i want it to...
    it's a little frustrating that it takes so long to move through each step, but that's the way it goes...
    practice takes time...
    the pursuit of perfection may just see me through 'til the end of my days...

    when i first started on my quest to step into the ranks of the greats, i could paint well enough...
    i had already painted for a few companies...
    one thing that always bummed me out was when i painted for Mike Mcvey at Privateer Press, i didn't really adopt any of his painting techniques and style...
    i was too hard headed, and too commited to the 'Eavy Metal style that i grew up with...
    Mike had moved beyond where their style was stuck at 5 years ago...
    i was just concentrating on neat, clean, work...

    this is where i was in '05, the year i finally won a Demon:

    http://coolminiornot.com/233777

    i was kind of lost in the wilderness for a few years, not making any strides forward until last year, when i really attacked my painting with a plan to climb to the top...
    my painting was tidy, but lacked any personality...

    still an acolyte of the 'Eavy Metal crew, i tried to perfect my basic studio standard last year, and came up with this:

    http://coolminiornot.com/229183

    for a basic standard, i felt that i had finally achieved what i wanted...
    now it was time to try and step it up to the next level...

    just as Darren and Joe (Razza and Brokenblade) have done, i had to step out of the 'EM box, and use a few of the other techniques and styles out there to improve the atmosphere of my work...
    the first step was a little battle damage...

    http://coolminiornot.com/235831

    this guy was fun, and the battle damage was a good start, but the armor was still too flat, and bog standard 'EM style...
    with the next guy i made a very conscious effort to add a little more depth to the armour, and ramp up the damage as well...

    http://coolminiornot.com/237456

    this guy really felt like a step up, with more contrast giving a bit of life to the lighting and atmosphere...
    unfortunately the little flaws showed me how much further i had to go to perfect what i'm calling my 'Eavy Metal Plus style...
    with the lessons learned, i moved on to the next project...

    http://coolminiornot.com/244211

    i feel like i have finally nailed the 'EM+ style, and will just continue to refine it, or make less little mistakes...

    as a working artist, who makes a living from painting, i think it is important for me to show that i can paint in other styles, and use every technique, in case that is what a customer wants...
    i don't want to turn away customers because i'm scared to try something new...
    with the minis i painted for Dragonblood, i tried out osl and juicing for the first time...
    i still need to practice more, but it was fun to play around and experiment with something completely new...
    it was a hell of a change to go from black primer to white primer...

    http://coolminiornot.com/233996

    http://coolminiornot.com/233995

    with all those experiments behind me i wanted to show some freehand skills, and play with demi-metallics a little before i branch out and try NMM...

    http://coolminiornot.com/244209

    http://coolminiornot.com/251256

    then there is the experiment with sculpting, which is a whole new kettle of fish...

    http://coolminiornot.com/244106

    which brings us to where i am at now, after a year and a half of very hard, very focused work...
    i still have a lot to learn, and many new things to try...

    i've been commissioned to sculpt and paint another Blood Angels character (DC Tycho), and am working on my first display quality painting commission...
    the display mini is my first on a proper plinth base, which i fun as i have a little more room to work with...
    it is also my first foray into Mike Mcvey's painting style, where i highlight up past the color i want, and then glaze down with many layers of ink...
    he (The Butcher) will be up for votes next week, so you can see what i mean...

    it's been fun to really set strong, precise, goals for my work, and then do the work to achieve them...
    i don't feel that i have a personal style yet, as i want to perfect as many different techniques as i can (next up is NMM)...

    it will be interesting to see where i end up in a few years, after i have finished all the steps in my 5-year plan...
    it's a slow, hard, slog to the top...
    my scores have climbed steadily, and i've gone from dead last at 7,000 to #510 in a year and a half, so i feel like i'm on the right path...
    there are so many different kinds of sculpts that i like, almost as much as Space Marines, and they all call for a slightly different painting style, in my opinion...
    it's a fun journey, but i have no idea what my style will be at the end...

    thanks for taking the time to read this ramble...

    cheers
    jah

  18. #18

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    Jim/Sivousplay your is a almost instantly identifiable style as you know I admire quite a bit
    I feel that style develops as you learn as most here...there do seem to be jumps you make as you go along
    and you seem to unknowingly get "it"
    neat discussion SV
    Winter is Coming...

    http://tabstudio.com

  19. #19

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    @Valander Find that camera cable!

    @Jahminis That was an interesting read. You have an amazing approach to painting, which is definately why you are succeeding at it. Can't wait to see THE BUTCHER.

    @Tab.... Yeah, Sivousplay's style is certainly indentifiable.

  20. #20

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    I think style has a lot to do with each painters unique preferences. Every painter favor his or her own colour pallet. Style can be further broken down into technique and skill level. People who have been painting for a long time (experienced painters) have a good understanding of lighting, colour, and detail. I believe (this is my belief) that it takes a long time to find ones own style. A new painter is like a sponge (no particular style). Painting well has nothing to do with style IMHO. It is the cream of the crop that have "style". The rest of us just try to copy and imitate it. That's not entirely a bad thing because each style can be expanded on and perfected thus becoming a new style.

    Am I the only one who believes that "style" is something that is often held in high regards?

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