Uncover Your Art Style | Elaine Kehew | Skillshare

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Uncover Your Art Style

teacher avatar Elaine Kehew, Painter

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. Introduction: Uncover Your Art Style

    • 2. Lesson One: Concepts and Materials

    • 3. Lesson Two: Analyze Your Work

    • 4. Lesson Three: Art References

    • 5. Lesson Four: Chart the Synthesis

    • 6. Lesson Five: Create the Image

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About This Class

Uncover Your Art Style 

In this 60-minute course, you will identify your Signature Artistic Style:

1-You will analyze 3 pieces of art you’ve already made using my 3-point Style Spectrum method

2- You will analyze 3 pieces of art you really love made by other artists, in styles you aspire to create in

3- You will create an 8 x 10” piece that represents your signature style (if you work larger, this will be a maquette of the larger work)

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Elaine Kehew



Elaine Marie Kehew is a fine artist and surface pattern designer living in Nairobi. She studied painting and printmaking at the Corcoran College of Art and Design and exhibits in East Africa and the United States. Her work appears in public collections in the US and Africa, and in private collections all over the world.

The artist earned a JD from Brooklyn Law School and specializes in copyright for artists, taxonomy, database design and legal research techniques and methods, and has applied that analysis to contemporary art. She is uniquely qualified to teach classification and categorization methods in most subjects, and especially art.

Public Collections:

The artist is included in the public collections of:
The Smithsonian Museum of African Art
The ... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Uncover Your Art Style: Hi, My name is Elaine Marine Key. You. I'm a full time artist and surface pattern designer in Nairobi, Kenya, and I am here today to tell you all about the process of identifying your signature artistic style. Who is this class for? Well, if you're a practicing visual artist with a portfolio of images and you're looking to hone in on a signature style, this class is probably for you at all. Like me, you are kind of all over the place creatively, and you need to take a really scientific formal evaluation of the work that you've done and hone in on your signature artistic style will be able to use the descriptions of this style in marketing your arm, and the exercise will also help you build a strong body work to share and market for future sales. After making art for a number of years, I began approaching galleries with a big portfolio folk art. I was a really versatile artist. I painted in many styles with lots of media, but no particular commitment. A subject matter what I received. Comments like It's good, but it's like 10 different artists at this, and I don't know where to begin. I knew it was time to get serious. In these lessons, we will focus on how to hone in on the aesthetic aspects of your work that are the strongest and most residents. I will show you tips and tools and how to examine your work with an objective lens and the scientific detachment. The process will have you gained some distance from the work and give you insight into your own process in your own best strengths and help you to make better work. You'll need three strong images of your arms. You'll research and find three images by other artists whose styles you admire, and you will complete an art synthesis with three plus three images. You'll choose words to describe the style elements of these six artworks, and you create a new piece of art that synthesizes thes stylistic elements. Let me tell you, I was reluctant to do this process. I have commitment issues, and I don't want to commit to loan style. In fact, choosing just three images is really, really hard for May. But I found that when I committed to a signature style, I made better art and I sold much more. I think we may all agree that selling more art. It's a super excellent gold 1/2 at the end of this class. So are you ready to get started? Let's jump right in. 2. Lesson One: Concepts and Materials: hi there. It's great to see you back. If you've made it this far, it's clear you're ready to take a laser like focus with your art. So what's the key concept with this course? It's simple if you narrow down your focus. If you uncover your art style and take a deep dive into it, you up your game. I've made a study of this idea from Vasari to contemporary art coaching books and our coaches, all of which are listed in the handout. The idea I couldn't get my head around is that if you concentrate on marketing your work and selling your work, your work becomes stronger. That seemed counterintuitive to May. I thought that art should be free and loose without the encumbrances of sales money and commercial thought. But actually it's opposite. Make a body of work that's consistent with your strengths, and it will be solid, strong and salable. If that idea seems to fly in the face of everything you think and feel, take heart. I was right there with you, but now that you're on this journey with me, embraced this process and see how you feel at the end of the course. Also, I am not telling you to stop taking artistic explorations and journeys and adventures and diversions. They're also good, and they all feed into ourselves as artists. But if you're like me with difficulty finding a strong, consistent voice, the's diversions will seem less extreme. After you finished this course, the materials that you will need for the course Orosz follows, and you'll need to take a few minutes to gather these up. Before we start one. You will need reference images of your best work. Digital images. Good copies or originals will work. You have 10 strong images. That's great. You're five short bridges that will work. Three is the absolute minimum, and I would really recommend at least five. So get your best pieces together, then make three copies of each image. If you can work digitally, no need to do the copying. You could do this and were Photoshopped. But if you're working off the computer in traditional media, make three photocopies of each image. Color is great, but black and white will work to number two. You will need to select three images from artists living or dead that you love. I used Google search and imported these digitally into photo shop. But maybe you have a print or picture from a book that's totally fine. It's very helpful if you select images that are very similar to the work that you do, and that will be explained later. And number three, you'll need some art supplies. A surface that's eight by 10 inches in the media in which most of your art is made. So if you work in oils, charcoal is crayons, clay, watercolor or, if you work digitally, Um oh, you'll need those materials if you work on paper, use paper. If you work on Canvases campus, you'd only need enough supplies for one image, and that will be here. Synthesis Image. The 3.5 I want you to download the PdF documents that have attached his course materials. These will make clear the categories and sorting tools, and finally, you should get a pen and paper to write down some of the terms. If you've got those materials together, we're ready to go to the next lesson. 3. Lesson Two: Analyze Your Work: It's great to see you back in this section. We're gonna get scientific. And now that you've identified your images to analyze, we're going to take a look at the mall and see if you can look at any admires. Here are the images have selected to work with. I selected 12 images created in the past four years. Almost all the paintings or prints have sold. I also chose only work that I created from my own creative impulse. These were not commissions for a client. What are we gonna do with these? Well, we're gonna put the sorting hat on them. But let's try to sort the images into categories by identifying style, similarities and subject matter similarities. Our first criteria is going to be palate, because then is the one that's jumping right out of me. The paintings all have some color in common. We can see pink mustard yellow right away. You think we sort from right to somber? We see a clear road. Second criteria is going to be subject matter for help with this section. Please take a look at your course materials available as a downloadable. Pdf for the skill share the painting seemed to fall into three subject matter categories. We have architecture, animal in the human figure. We can further sort those. Some of the architecture paintings are interiors or exteriors or combination. Or we could even love the animal human paintings into one group in the architecture rhythm paintings into another group. We could also get as narrow as fish or bird. I don't think it's useful to get too narrow. Now we're going to sort by style. You may be working in more than one style. Do you have some work? It is Impressionist, graffiti street, art illustration or other. Take a look at the style list and find out what category your work fits into. If you have more than two or three categories, that is really something to look at. There are also repeating patterns in the work. Some work has repeating elements is its whole gestalt with no focal point where others seem to have a clear point of focus. Some painting is all involved the use of pattern and texture, so we can easily sort a style spectrum here with one end very obstructed and the other highly representational. Okay, stay with me. We're almost there, we're going to do one more spectrum analysis, This one slightly less scientific. I want you to order your paintings from left to right from least favorite to most favorite . The reason I include this spectrum in the analysis it's interject some of your personality and your good feelings about your paintings or your illustrations into the analysis. If we do the study without this spectrum, it becomes a little bit flat in personality free. This way, you need to put your own best feelings about your best work into our objective announces. Okay, I need you to take your original selections from your images and just or them left to right . Least favorite to most favorite. Don't think about this too much. I want you to do it quickly with a kind of impulsive gut reaction. Super. If you made it this far, you're well on your way to uncovering your art style. Now we're going to implement a scoring system, which will help us focus in on finding your art style. So now we have four Spectra. We have created a color spectrum, a subject matter spectrum, a style spectrum and a favorite spectrum with your favorites and in the right hand side of the image. Now I want you to stack up that work to see if there are any outliers. The outliers are the pieces we're going to eliminate. Que place those four spectra in a stack make photocopies or important to photo shop. You can do this. It's super easy and so instructive. Now a little bit a scoring system. Take your stack image in the first row, which is the color spectrum. Let's score the images from the edges inward. Our end images get a score of zero the next images ones and so forth in your second row. That should be analysis by subject. We want to reward the commitment to clear subject matter. So let's great those images on the ends highly and those in the center lower in the third row. It's style analysis. We want to encourage blended styles, so let's put the high scores in the middle, starting from zero on the end images. And for your personal favorite, we're going to discount the scoring a little. So the objective analysis isn't totally eclipsed. Well, great from left to right, left being the least favorite and right being the most favorite image, with scores from 0.5 increments. Like So. Now you can Adam up, Let's see, which may just get high scores. From my final score images, I was able to select three finalists. There are a lot of Thai scores in this analysis, which I think is revealing, and I also found that I was rooting for some images to come out on top, and that was so interesting because I had never thought about my work that way. I think that those feelings are super valid. Make sure you include things like that into your thought process. When you're trying to narrow down and focus in on your art style, how did your scores go? Okay, if you've identified your final three images, we're going to go on to the next lesson, which is our art references lesson. 4. Lesson Three: Art References: okay. In this section, we're going to choose three reference images by other artists. These artists could be living or dead, but they really should be artists that you personally like. Fire when you're looking through our images by other artists, make sure and try to find images that are sadistically similar to what you painted. You might wanna get qualities such as color, my composition, overall habits or emotional constant. It's helpful. Also, look at subject matter. If you hating landscapes, look for other landscape parks in for paying portrait. Look for other portrait ours. One thing that I had to do was fine. I'm just very, very similar to the images that I had created. And it's amazing, actually, how close you will get when you do that. It's also helpful. You take a look Okay, collections from museums, collections from art galleries or other contemporary collections. You probably want to stick with the same medium that you're working. So if you're working in a clay sculpture, stick with that oil stupid And if you're drawing in graphite, also speak with that. And if you do pure frustration, I would suggest taking three illustrators that are well known and loved. Okay, on to the next. Okay, here's a slide of my own images that were the finalists that we wanted to use for this analysis. From our last lesson for the reference images, I selected one by Matisse, an interior featuring the pink that I mentioned earlier. In my color analysis, I selected a Degas image of jockeys on ponies because this images stuff with me for the simplification of the shapes and the great cast shadows of the horses. And I just love the noonday sun. He also uses shapes of architecture in the background. And finally, while I was searching for Red House on Google, I found this work by Malave image, which is eerily similar to my own painting. In our next lesson, we're gonna now put it all together and do some arts synthesis of our own. 5. Lesson Four: Chart the Synthesis: Welcome back. Quick review here the images we will use to former synthesis analysis and here are reference images. I hope you have those handy because they're ready for the next debt. Let's create the synthesis. Chopped Good. Do you recall? We selected these images as our finalists and a reference images, but now it's time to put it all together. There are a lot of similarities between the two sets of images. When we look at this for analysis, we have to decide exactly what we're going to keep. So for subject matter, we want to keep architecture er, Bircher, fruit table bottle, people at work and with pallet we want to keep for some of the other attributes. What I used here was a color you find her, which is an AF to really narrow down on those palette colors that without were really special between the two image sets. This is the act that I used color viewfinder. I think there are others as well out there. We also have to decide what we keep stylistically okay, cast shadows, odd perspective pattern architecture in the background with prospective distance atmosphere , perspective as well as high contrast modeling Those are all the style attributes that I thought were important in this analysis, and you may find others as well. So here it is, the palate subject matter and the style elements all in a list, and I suggest that for your synthesis chart, you stack up your three and three and you pull out all of those color subject matter and style attributes for yourself. I'm going to leave this up just a minute longer so that you can get all the notes you need from this slide. The next section. I want you to see that you can do this technique. This. Uncover your heart style with any visual medium. All right, we're going to take a look at fine art photography. An illustration. Here This first slide is a friend of mine, a photographer named Painted Crow, and she works in a kind of candid, self portrait style, but with a political message. The top three photographs are hers, and the bottom three are what I would have guessed of the influences of hers. It got Cindy Sherman, Alfred Stieglitz's and then uh, Nina catch Dorian, and I think that she is more of a contemporary actually, but take a look at those similarities. Also Eric Carle, well known book illustrator And here are three people who have probably followed. His style is kind of a cut tissue paper style, and they're doing their own thing with it in the next Listen, we're going to create your synthesis image. You'll want to have your materials ready and be prepared to create. 6. Lesson Five: Create the Image: but the creation of your synthesis image. We're going to need to gather up some materials Here. I got my surface, which is an eight by 10 inch painting canvas on linen pains, a palette knife and some solvent. I'm laying at my palette here. You may choose to If you're working in black and white, obviously you're not gonna worry about palette. And if it's a photography image, you may want to decide exactly what you're going to do for development. If you're working in watercolor insane. - Okay , we're finished with the demo, and here is the synthesis image. I think however, we could do better. I think we can do better because we take our sicknesses chart with the color palette and the image that we've just made. We could make some modifications to pattern palette. I think we should put a figure out there, and I think we should intensify the color. Let's see what happens when we do that you've made it by this point should be complete with all of the lessons and you're synthesis image . Now, I know this process has been revealing to you. If you're like me somewhere on the way, you started rooting for some images to win and that says that you actually know somewhere deep inside exactly how you want to make. Hopefully, this synthesis process was helpful, you know, to bring back to the service so much, particularly starting with me. But I hope to see you in the next.