Since I've only been painting for a short time, I'm still working on mastering my style. While not fully understanding all the techniques of painting, I do have this huge desire to create. At the same time, I'm reluctant to go to "art class" because so often the teacher unwittingly wants to impose his/her style on the student.
To compensate for this lack of knowledge, I devour art books and magazines. Especially in art magazines, the artist tells what size brush they use, what color paint, and sometimes even show works in progress. So, for instance, I read an article about some guy who used dioxazine violet for his shadows and cremnitz white in his highlights. Having never heard of either color, I went to Texas Art Supply, bought both, and started experimenting. At least four of my paintings have been influenced by that article and those colors.
Also recently I bought a book on brushwork essentials. About halfway through reading it, (looking at the pictures) I have noticed myself paint more carefully as a result. The goal is to be master over the painting, not let the painting be master over me.