Realism vs Impressionism

To start painting, I love to learn more about art history and different art styles. Although I have not been in any school of art, I practice and learn it by myself. You can consider me as self-taught painter. I prefer word "painter" to "artist" because to me, "artists" refer to some who can create art with their own styles and characteristics. In other words, we can recognize their trademarks in way of brushing and coloring which I have not been able to do yet.
Indeed, it is possible to categorize the styles into Renaissance Art, Realism, Impressionism, Expressionism, Abstract and many more. Individually, I keen on realistic and impressionist art where I feel happy painting with.
Realism or naturalism began in France in 1850s. It is the art where artists took subjects around them and intend to make them lifelike. It is not necessary to be a photo-like picture but artist would like to capture the details and they would hide the brush marks while painting. To paint this style, oil paint is perfect because it takes long time to dry, which give artists time to blend or apply techniques. Below is one of my painting in realistic style although I use acrylic instead of oil.

spring in forest.jpg

Opposite to Realism, Impressionism just gives you the impression of the subjects and it is hard to capture the details. Therefore, you can easily find the brush marks and palette knife marks on the paintings. Put another way, artists would paint their feelings and visual impression in stead of focusing on realistic details. It is interesting that the name Impressionism came from a scathing review on artist Claude Monet's "Impression, Sunrise" where the critical author word-played its title. Because before 1870s, people got used to classical and realistic art so they believed that who painted in impressionist style did not know how to paint well.
As below is my painting of prairie in sunset with impressionist style. I used palette knife to paint this in order to create more random of subjects.


It does not matter which styles they are, it is better if you like them and enjoy painting them. The inner feeling of them is more important than what logical categories they belong to, that is the ART.


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