When I first began adding art to my journal, I used what materials I had on hand which happened to be a fine point pen and my children's pan watercolors. As I searched for information online on sketching in pen and watercolor, I ran across the work of Claudia NIce. I immediately fell in love with her artwork and ordered one of her books.
The problem was that every time I tried to mimic her, my artwork fell short. I really enjoy the pace and flow of watercolor, and I also enjoy sketching with ink. However, if I try to use ink as the main shading or texture— which is one of Claudia's many fine talents— my sketches veered off into scary territory. For example...
(I promised it looked much better before I tried that stippling effect. Yeah, I know.)
So as much as I admire Claudia, her style just isn't mine. How do I know this? Because after a few failed attempts, I no longer had any desire to do what she does.
Sure, I gave it a whirl. Claudia was the first artist I ran across that enjoys using the same tools I do, and we both are attracted to similar subject matters. But the fact is we don't use these materials and explore our subject matter the same way.
The good thing is that through this process, I discovered that I am happy with who I am.
Sure, I want to improve my skills, and I'm certainly open to gaining new ones. I'm not crazy about all the artwork I produce - not by a long shot - but I've discovered what materials currently work for me and I'm learning how to use them to suit me.
And that, my friends, is what personal style is all about.
So I encourage you to embrace your style. Sure, your style may grow and change as you do, and that's okay. Because when that happens, your style will still be a part of you, the You who is an ever growing and always changing being.
And that is one of the many things that makes You such a beautiful piece of artwork!
Today you are You
That is truer than true.
There is no one alive
Who is Youer than You!
P.S. By the way, I still highly recommend Claudia's books! If you enjoy sketching in nature using pen and watercolor, her books are full of great information. This is the book that I ordered [affiliate - thanks!] and it is a fantastic resource for learning how to handle these tools well.
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