4 Stages of an Artist that will Help You Develop Your Own Home Decor Style

Updated: Feb 23, 2020

How to Grow and Develop as an individual even if you're not an artist.

This is an interesting concept regarding how an artist can grow and mature into their individual style. I feel this theory parallels how we all evolve in personal development.

First, let's explore the stages of an artist:

Stage 1. Realism:

Initially the goal is to learn eye-hand coordination. At this beginning stage, the artist transcribes exactly what he sees. Values and lines are transposed with precise control and accuracy. The artist strives to depict accurate proportions including the distance between objects, and depth of field creating the illusion of dimension and texture.

Stage 2 of an Artist Development


The next phase of developing as an artist is to capture movement. Artist often uses light as a way to create flow and energy through a painting.

Another way movement can be illustrated is through LINE QUALITY –  the changing characteristics of a line. Picture a thick, heavy line, strong and dynamic. In your mind’s eye, shrink it into a thin and delicate shape. Next, make it wavy. You have just captured the movement of a line. 

Notice how the curves and wiggles in my pen and ink Christmas Card drawing has intriguing movement.

The thick and thin lines represent Line Quality in Kate's Christmas Tree


Roughness can also add motion. Notice the movement created in the leaves below. By using thick, circular strokes of the palette knife, the leaves appear to burst.

Stage 3 of an Artist Development


At this stage the artist subjectively focuses on creating a feeling or idea, rather than an exact transcription of visual reality. This entails abstracting or composing hints of the original subject.

TEXTURE, LINE QUALITY, AND COLOR color created illusions of familiar objects.

The term 'impressionistic' sums up this stage. Think about Monet’s water lilies. Another example is my landscape below. Not every tree branch is painted, not every flower detail in the foreground is illustrated. This painting of mine is an impression of trees on the horizon.

Stage 4 of an Artist Development

Non-objective: Lastly, is ‘non-objective’ where realistic images are avoided.

Only 5 basic design elements (weight, direction, texture, discord, color) are projected.

This style can be enjoyable to view when you are willing to let yourself get involved in design. It allows you to appreciate an individual’s unique response. 

Viewers have told me when they look at the painting above they they see rain falling from the sky. Others tell me can visualize a grove of trees. The top is its trunk while the roots grow below. Lastly, I've been told they simply love the colors and movement.

These are the 4 stages of an artist

Now apply them to you as an individual to grow and develop

The pattern of development for an artist, is true for individuals, too.

For example, think of sports, in order to master the sport you need to learn the rules of the game, which would be like learning REALISM for an artist. Take for example baseball. The rules, briefly summarized: There are two teams who rotate, one at bat, one outfield. After three outs the teams change places. After nine innings, the team with the most runs wins.

Then you master the sport’s technique, like MOTION and line quality for an artist. Again, simply stated: In baseball, one technique would be learning to swing the bat parallel to the ground for the most successful hit.

Lastly, you find YOUR OWN STYLE. In baseball, for example, this would be learning your strengths and strategy, such as hitting a grounder to first base to bring a runner home, sure you’ll get tagged out, but the team scores a winning run.

As we grow into this final stage as an artist, baseball player, or as a person we become stronger in our own identities, our confidence. When we are strong, we can face the unpredictable challenges of life. And best of all, when we are strong we are at a point we can help and support others!

I challenge you to grow, to conquer

The 4 stages of Growing and Developing ... as an Artist ... or an individual ... whoever you want to be!

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