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Favorite artists and why I can't paint like them

I almost wish I hadn’t enjoyed viewing so much lovely art…now when I am going through my photos to find something to paint or think of an idea…first I think have I seen that before? And almost 100% of the time it’s a yes so I move on. Unless my idea is supremely different in execution…

Yes I know every artist has a unique look but for instance I came across a great photo of a fish in ice I wanted to paint but I already admire Elaine Hahn and this photo was too close to a series she painted which is probably why it stood out to me! I almost want to do it at home my way and see how I translate it, but with me-I probably only love the photo because it reminds me of Elaine’s painting! Haha. Or I wouldn’t like my painting at all because it isn’t hers. This is one of a series of hers that I love: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/elaine-hahn/jumbled-up/178013

So many great paintings stand out in my memory… Sigh. Say for instance-the converse shoe here of my son’s I wanted to paint today as well. Yep they pop right into my head! Carol’s, Brenda’s (the late Brenda Ferguson), Raymond’s, James’s and those are just the few I could recall names quickly enough (because yes, paintings come right to mind but not names!) And when i looked up the links for this post I saw this great one!: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/6e8f12ed-ef2b-4640-85af-64af4dd46483 Hahaha.

I really don’t mind skipping by these ideas really. I guess I just want to have memorable paintings like they do some day!

Sorry for the long post… :smiley:

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I know exactly how you feel. I often print out some of the art of artists I like and stick them around my studio for inspiration. What you don’t know is others are loving your art in the same way. I got a friend request on Facebook from an artist who just “loved” my art. Turns out she was one whose art I had hanging in my studio! So there ya go.


I found your post very interesting Sunny.

@purplehaze Wow! That’s great. I wonder…

@woodworks Thanks Anne! I worried I went on too long.

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I think it doesn’t matter what you paint because somebody out there and maybe lots of somebodies have already painted it. So give it a go and paint it your way. If we spend to much time over thinking it we will go days without painting.


Just because a number of people have painted converse shoes, that shouldn’t stop you painting them - because you will paint them in your own unique way. Anyway, who is to say those artists you admire didn’t get their inspiration from another artist? We all get our inspiration from somewhere… and artists ARE often inspired by other artists.
The subject matter doesn’t need to be all that important - it’s what you do with it! :slight_smile:


When you see something interesting, just remember it and try doing it from memory, bet it will be nothing like what you saw. I often paint with other artist, all of us looking at the same figure or set up, and none of are picture look alike.


I don’t do well from memory. Except perhaps my dog’s face because I know it so well. :wink:

Thanks e’rybody! I think I am letting it help me procrastinate. Fear of success, fear of failure. Which is it? Doesn’t matter, they both impede my progress and I am going to sign off now and go paint something. :smiley:


Interesting note! Before I joined DPW I owned and operated a frame and art gallery! The very first time I purchased prints for the gallery, I chose a BUNCH of Elaine’s work! I truly do love her work also and it was a great pleasure to get on here and see more of her work! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who struggles with making myself paint! and it’s weird because I just LOVE it when I am <3


It’s funny that you mention this. I often enjoy admiring others artwork whenever I get a chance myself but when I tried to encourage an artist friend of mine who has a wonderfully creative and vivid imagination to check out the art she wouldn’t do it. She said that it stifled her imagination. It probably caused her to think of their artwork as well when she was trying to be original. It’s something to consider.

I think it’s possible to look at too many paintings and subconsciously be discouraged to paint our own.
A solution to this is to paint from your own references, either from a photograph or plein air. If you’re excited by what you’re looking at then paint it - your excited because what you’re looking at you’ve never seen before. Capture that excitement and you’ll have a wonderful painting.

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That’s lovely Ken, thank you!

Good advice Ken. I can’t tell you how often in looking at artwork I love I become discouraged to paint because I know mine won’t be as good. Oh to stop comparing!

Ahhh, don’t compare yourself to others. My wise teacher said there are always people who are better at it and people that are worse. Go paint your son’s shoes. Either way it will be special because they are his. Play around with lighting or put something else of his next to it.
As far as which style to paint in; your own. If you think you don’t have a style yet, well, you do. I remember for a class we had to draw a pumpkin in pen for homework. I couldn’t decide on which style (shading, washes, or both), so I did 6 small versions on 1 paper. Thatbgave me a good idea on what I liked doing best. This is like putting a group of people in a room to paint the same subject. You’ll get as many different versions.
Right now I’m working on a series of drawings of trees. I’m sure thousands of people have drawn trees. This won’t stop me, since these will be my own unique versions of trees. I would definitely follow advise given above to use your own photos or paint from life. If you have to paint from other’s pictures give them your own unique twist.

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I think it is important to paint something every day, if a picture inspires you why not add your own flare to it I don’t copy anyone painting it is just a way for me to come up with a different ideal if that makes sense paint on