A recognizable style: a good or a bad thing?

Discuss all topics related to sketching

A recognizable style: a good or a bad thing?

Postby Andre Jute » Sun Apr 19, 2015 1:41 pm

Something to ponder:

Do you consider it a good thing, or a bad thing, to acquire such a distinctive sketching style that others can instantly see that something is different when you change something or something goes wrong?
User avatar
Andre Jute
one of the regulars
 
Posts: 922
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:15 am
Location: Ireland

Re: A recognizable style: a good or a bad thing?

Postby Alitogata » Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:50 pm

I consider it as a bad thing anyway, not because some others will detect differences if you change something, but because you typecast yourself. Typecasting means that you afraid or don't experiment and so you don't allow yourself to develop further.
User avatar
Alitogata
one of the regulars
 
Posts: 553
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:23 am
Location: Athens

Re: A recognizable style: a good or a bad thing?

Postby Rebecca » Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:31 pm

Andre Jute wrote:Do you consider it a good thing, or a bad thing, to acquire such a distinctive sketching style that others can instantly see that something is different when you change something or something goes wrong?

Would it be best to mix it up, so no one can tell if something is intentional or that the artist acquiesced to self consistency? This reminds me of something I saw... There is a group from Russia which makes it their goal to have no style. They "achieve" this by scrambling the drawing, light sources, perspective and depth references, and by treatment of statement or their media. They use their extensive training in traditional art to assure each mark contradicts every "rule" they were ever given. I've seen some of their work... The artworks deliver a slippery side step dance with a good hard slap in the face. Unfortunately for these artists, this goal of resisting rules exactly pigeonholes them. They can't escape the fact that they have training. It is embedded in their point by point resistance to it. If they mistakenly indicate something rational, or reveal some failure to address something that should have been present in their knowledge, it will show. Attempts to avoid knowledge or style only reveal where the holes in their knowledge and awareness lie.

No matter how hard anyone tries to avoid detection, artworks reveal thought, lack of thought, process and lack of process, including flubs and experimental forays.

Is it good or bad to practice style avoidance? I believe avoidance is a fruitless pursuit. Getting caught is unavoidable, so it is bad if you believe you could pull the wool over thoughtful viewers' eyes. However, if avoidance gives satisfaction, then by all means, enjoy!
Rebecca
User avatar
Rebecca
one of the regulars
 
Posts: 726
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 3:54 am
Location: USA

Re: A recognizable style: a good or a bad thing?

Postby mpainter » Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:17 am

I think left to itself your "style" is natural and organic. Just like your handwriting. When we learn to write in cursive we initially just copy the examples our teachers gave us of correct ways to form the alphabet. As we progress and learn our handwriting becomes very unique. I can tell my wife's handwriting from other peoples easily. Those who know me and have seen my handwriting know its mine.
So I think unless your purposely trying to force a style or copy others your own uniqueness cant be helped.
i don"t see how having your own organically reached style can be bad. Unless you work in illustration and they want you to illustrate in someone else's style, it may be hard.
However with great popularity comes expectations. Those who love Claude Monet's paintings expect to see his impressionistic style. If he suddenly switched to the classic renaissance style renderings, some peoples expectations would be hurt.
Rob K.
mpainter
one of the regulars
 
Posts: 186
Joined: Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:35 pm

Re: A recognizable style: a good or a bad thing?

Postby Andre Jute » Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:58 pm

Everyone in any of the art forms, if he practices enough, develops a more or less distinctive style. It seems to me that the question is rather how far you should let it go.
User avatar
Andre Jute
one of the regulars
 
Posts: 922
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:15 am
Location: Ireland

Re: A recognizable style: a good or a bad thing?

Postby Rebecca » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:47 pm

Andre Jute wrote:...if he practices enough, develops a more or less distinctive style. It seems to me that the question is rather how far you should let it go.

Are you thinking of something in particular?
Rebecca
User avatar
Rebecca
one of the regulars
 
Posts: 726
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 3:54 am
Location: USA

Re: A recognizable style: a good or a bad thing?

Postby Andre Jute » Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:39 pm

Not of anyone here, Rebecca. Perish the thought! But I've been a writer all my life, so examples from literature are penny a dozen chez Jute.
User avatar
Andre Jute
one of the regulars
 
Posts: 922
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:15 am
Location: Ireland

Re: A recognizable style: a good or a bad thing?

Postby mjs » Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:20 pm

I don't know that I'd worry about it. I believe that style is something that happens when you do something for a period of time; it's a combination of factors, many of which are unconscious or out of our control, and it evolves (changes) with time as we grow. I suppose that one could influence the direction but if you put enough work out there eventually the rest of us are going to see it and go, "Oh, look: something new from so-and-so!"

I'm concentrating on becoming "good", by my definition of "good". Other factors will take care of themselves, I think.

Mike
mjs
one of the regulars
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2014 8:06 am

Re: A recognizable style: a good or a bad thing?

Postby Rebecca » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:17 am

Andre Jute wrote:Not of anyone here...

How about dead artists? Any examples from them?
I'm trying to picture what kinds of things occurred to you that made you formulate this question.
Rebecca
User avatar
Rebecca
one of the regulars
 
Posts: 726
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 3:54 am
Location: USA

Re: A recognizable style: a good or a bad thing?

Postby Andre Jute » Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:39 am

I'll give you a really wretched example of a carbuncle on someone's style from literature, where the bad habit has become a caricature. Hillary Mansell, the author of Wolf Hall, has a pretentious stylistic twitch of not identifying the speakers, sometimes letting two different characters speak in the same paragraph without identifying them. Aaargh! That sort of stupidity went out over three centuries ago. She doesn't write well enough to bring it off by character differentiation; i doubt that anyone now alive writes well enough to bring it off, or even has the space to spread out enough to bring it off, because reading speed has increased at the same time as attention has been divided. If that isn't bad enough, she arbitrarily leaves off quotation marks from speech in one place and uses them in another, sometimes in the same paragraph. Even i, who generally speedreads and pass by a lot of subtleties and thus also equally by a great many solecisms, was repeatedly irritated by these stupidities. Lot of readers on the net are irritated, so it isn't something just picked up by the literati.
Last edited by Andre Jute on Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Andre Jute
one of the regulars
 
Posts: 922
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:15 am
Location: Ireland

Re: A recognizable style: a good or a bad thing?

Postby mdmattin » Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:58 am

Iris Murdoch (recently alive, though alas no longer so) could pull that off, sometimes with several characters over several pages. It wasn't a stylistic trick, in the sense that it did serve the narrative, and while it wasn't always obvious who was talking, one could generally connect the dots by identifying the more readily identifiable characters and picking up on sly hints in the conversational dynamics.
On the larger topic of individual style, it seems to me that there are two ends of a spectrum, which might be termed Classical and Romantic, with the Classical being the pursuit of an ideal form transcending our idiosyncratic quirks, and the Romantic being the exploration and celebration of our individual psyches and inner lives. I can't alway pigeonhole artists into one or the other; some of my favorites, like Hopper, seem to inhabit the middle, playing off the tension between, say, an austerely classic approach to composition and a romantically emotive choice of subject matter. A classically inclined artist's style may be a bit harder to discern, but it will still be there. A romantic artist's style will be in the forefront, but one has to look deeper to see their foundations in traditional forms. Michelangelo was a consummate Classicist, interested in ideal beauty, not the inner Michelangelo - but instantly recognizable in style. Van Gogh is a Romantic if ever there was one, and with an unmistakeable style, but also a strong grounding in composition and drawing.
These distinctions are pretty subjective, though, and dependent on context. I remember back in the Minimalism-dominated early Seventies hearing Hopper denigrated as a kitchmeister, guilty by virtue of having any human or emotive qualities at all.
Matthew
User avatar
mdmattin
one of the regulars
 
Posts: 961
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:04 am
Location: Western Massachusetts, USA

Re: A recognizable style: a good or a bad thing?

Postby Andre Jute » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:40 pm

mdmattin wrote:Iris Murdoch (recently alive, though alas no longer so) could pull that off, sometimes with several characters over several pages. It wasn't a stylistic trick, in the sense that it did serve the narrative, and while it wasn't always obvious who was talking, one could generally connect the dots by identifying the more readily identifiable characters and picking up on sly hints in the conversational dynamics.
On the larger topic of individual style, it seems to me that there are two ends of a spectrum, which might be termed Classical and Romantic, with


Hundreds of competent novelists in every generation can do what Murdoch did. The chief clue a good writer leaves is of course differentiated speech and thought patterns which differentiate characters. But there are also a major technical clues, the most common of these being starting a new paragraph for each new speaker, using quotation marks around speech, gender indications (he said, she said).

What Mankell does, apparently deliberately to create a "style" for herself, is arbitrarily to lose the quotation marks here and there without pattern, and to run different people speaking on in the same paragraph. To another writer this doesn't look like style, it looks like hurried, careless work on her part, plus incompetent editing and copy-editing at her publishers, and it draws unnecessary attention to the fact that Mankell isn't as skilled as, say Murdoch, at differentiating her characters in action (which in books like Murdoch's and even Mankell's is largely a matter of speech patterns); to a reader it is infuriatingly confusing.

***

I've been rereading selected volumes of Will Durant's History of Civilization as I have time (good books keep me on my treadmill; my gymn is where I read for pleasurethese days), and recently reread the volume on the Renaissance; his approach to history and civilization is twofold, through the philosophy of social order, and through the arts. He agrees with you about Michelangelo.

Amazing coincidence that you should mention good old Vincent. I currently look at a new Van Gogh every five minutes as the background on my screen, and it is also my screensaver when the Mac goes to sleep. (Subliminal influences creeping in? All to the good!) My wife and I on four evenings watched Van Gogh paintings (there are about 700 in the set I have) rather than drama or documentaries on the BBC or a movie, and were again amazed at what a consistently excellent draughtsman this supposed madman and iconoclast was.
User avatar
Andre Jute
one of the regulars
 
Posts: 922
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:15 am
Location: Ireland

Re: A recognizable style: a good or a bad thing?

Postby Alitogata » Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:07 pm

Sketching and painting are different things from writing Andre. IMO experimenting and never acquire a specific style on sketching is good ( or at least not that bad) because even the worst of sketches can teach you something new. Experimenting or stick with a specific style on writing, especially when your work is printed, can be disastrous for the writer and tormenting for their readers.

In any case I have noticed that there are more wannabe writers than painters. Sometimes I wonder what is the purpose of printing each and everyone's books. Who's reading all these craps..?? :roll: :lol:
User avatar
Alitogata
one of the regulars
 
Posts: 553
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:23 am
Location: Athens

Re: A recognizable style: a good or a bad thing?

Postby Andre Jute » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:17 pm

Alitogata wrote:Sketching and painting are different things from writing Andre.


You reckon? I've been in quite a few of the arts, and I see no fundamental difference.

Alitogata wrote: Experimenting or stick with a specific style on writing, especially when your work is printed, can be disastrous for the writer and tormenting for their readers.


Perhaps what you mean is bad habits; they're not a style, they're just incompetence or lack of good advice. A proper style, suited to the material, is transparent, just like Beatrice Webb said graphic design should be. You were taught that at college, weren't you? (If not, you should ask for your tuition back.)

Alitogata wrote: In any case I have noticed that there are more wannabe writers than painters. Sometimes I wonder what is the purpose of printing each and everyone's books. Who's reading all these craps..??


When I became a writer, there were perhaps 10,000 novelists in all the world, in all languages, winnowed by publishers who knew what they were doing. Now Amazon will make every wannabe a "publiahed" writer, millions of them, and by far the largest part of their output is exactly what you say it is, excrement. A series of articles I wrote to explain how this happened starts at http://coolmainpress.com/ajwriting/archives/254 and another set focussing on some horrid examples starts at http://coolmainpress.com/ajwriting/archives/1454
***
I think it very likely that the net, with its opportunities for having your work virtually exhibited, has probably multiplied the number of sketchers by at least a factor or two or three. It may be that there is some horridly bad work out there, same as in "literature" but that I just haven't seen it. Or it may be that writing suffers under the special disability that wannabes think the ability to operate a keyboard is synonymous with being able to write -- it clearly isn't! -- while most people believe they cannot draw or paint, and don't even try.
User avatar
Andre Jute
one of the regulars
 
Posts: 922
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:15 am
Location: Ireland

Re: A recognizable style: a good or a bad thing?

Postby Alitogata » Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:35 am

Andre Jute wrote:You reckon? I've been in quite a few of the arts, and I see no fundamental difference.


If it is so, can you tell me please, why there are not so many wannabe painters like there are so many wannabe writers ? ( I know the answer).

Perhaps what you mean is bad habits; they're not a style, they're just incompetence or lack of good advice. A proper style, suited to the material, is transparent, just like Beatrice Webb said graphic design should be. You were taught that at college, weren't you? (If not, you should ask for your tuition back.)


No it is not a matter of bad habits unless we are not talking about Literature as a form of art. ( if you want to talk about the craps I mentioned before then we can talk about a whole different subject). What I'm saying is that it is not like writing an essay; something that has to have a form and specific structure that can be taught. You certainly can avoid repeating bad habits on such kind of writings, but this will not make an essay ( or a blog post if you want) a work of art.

[...]
I think it very likely that the net, with its opportunities for having your work virtually exhibited, has probably multiplied the number of sketchers by at least a factor or two or three. It may be that there is some horridly bad work out there, same as in "literature" but that I just haven't seen it. Or it may be that writing suffers under the special disability that wannabes think the ability to operate a keyboard is synonymous with being able to write -- it clearly isn't! -- while most people believe they cannot draw or paint, and don't even try.


It is easier to correct bad writing style than bad sketching style. Writing is after all the thing that it is taught extensively at schools, not sketching. But almost anyone can write something, this doesn't mean that each and everyone's writings are literature. Same with sketching. Each and everyone can sketch, draw shapes on paper. That will not make him a painter because painting is far beyond drawing shapes, I think that is about drawing...( how to say it)... substances. ( I found it!!)

I think that is not possible to acquire literature or painting skills because this has to do a lot with talent and talent is something that you either are born with it or you are not. There is no middle ground on this.

In any case, ( to get back to your initial question) I think that sticking to a specific sketching style shows insecurities. If you have the skill to go beyond this, why typecast yourself and not give to yourself the freedom of expression with any possible way?
User avatar
Alitogata
one of the regulars
 
Posts: 553
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:23 am
Location: Athens

Next

Return to Sketch Talk

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest