How to work out your drawing styleJune 19th, 2019 / Illustrations Basics
How is it that some people draw so that they do not even have to sign. At first glance, you know who created that drawing. Others create random things and each of them is in a different style. Of course, if you like diversity, there is nothing wrong with the second option. However, in this post we will focus on the issue of developing our own unique style, and we will also consider is it definitely necessary to have it in only one version. Because maybe you can have several? But to the point …
Let’s start with the basics first
Well, unfortunately, drawing is not so easy and please do not be tempted to excuse every your mistake with the words “this is my style”. I will write again and again on this blog – take a moment and learn absolute basics of drawing. If you do not know what the basics are, please feel free to check it. It is also worth more or less at the beginning to know what you are aiming at with your creativity, to practice some things more and some less – I described it in this post.
When you’ve learned the basics – you can draw freely whatever your heart desires. This is because you have devoted a lot of time to practice.
In reaching advanced skills – for example, when you learn how to create in your own style, there are no shortcuts. If you choose shorter way, you will miss some skills and it will be visible in your drawings. Practice makes perfect. With well learned approach to drawing that it is much easier to develop a characteristic drawing style. Once you have gone through this first step and built the foundations you can get inspired by others (more on this topic here) and begin with your own experiments to start looking for your own style.
Inspiration with other artists’ work
Watching the work of others, we look at what we like about them, what we would like to put in our drawings. In addition, the illustrations of other people are subconsciously enroll in our brain, and then when drawing somewhere they mix in our heads and affect what and how we draw. For example, many beginners in Poland create in the manga style – it’s a genre that strongly promotes drawing and that’s why many people have already subconsciously choose this style of drawing. For example, they draw realistically, but unconsciously add large, disproportionate eyes. Of course, some choose the manga consciously and this is also great. But many people who speak on this topic say that they would like to stop drawing such big eyes, but they still do it because they are so used to it. This is the drawback of getting inspired by others. You must be careful to learn only those elements of style that are desirable to you.
That is why it is worth to look at many drawings from many artists, only to get inspired, and not just steal someone’s style. You may like how one person draws eyes and in drawings from other artist you may like how he draws figures. To this you can add something more from yourself and slowly develop your own style. Note that I wrote word “slowly”. You can not act quickly in this whole process. You have to listen to yourself and draw a lot. In general, many people expect very quick results in many areas. Meanwhile, reaching an advanced level in any field, not only in drawing, requires patience and persistent work.
Your own experiments
What can such experiments mean? Well, for example the aforementioned mixing of different style elements. In addition, it will be helpful to get to know the objects thoroughly, drawing them from every possible angle and in different styles. Just like in a challenge where one character is drawn in many well-known styles such as Disney, Tim Burton, etc. It’s also good to play with form, color, different techniques – because each of them allows for different results. Drawing exaggerated body parts or funny shapes. Put, for example, heads in different shapes. You can draw triangular heads, square heads, etc. and see where it leads you and what you like about it.
Could you start from this experiments and not from the basics? Well, no, because a really good artist draws with good skill freely and with the illusion of depth. Even if it is a 2d cartoon, the characters look good. The rules should be broken consciously. Sure, if you want to create a cartoons, you do not have to strive for perfection with realism. However, you should devote some time for it. If you skip it completely, you will not be able to draw something at a certain angle, even in a simplified way. And this will happen because you didn’t learn perspective shortcut earlier in the way. The case looks different, of course, when it is purely a hobby.Then the process and its relaxing influence is pleasing, and the effects are not that important. But also many hobbyist may want to create something spectacular, right?
When you have only one style marketing is very good especially in the age of social media. Drawing in a similar way and with one medium is then very recognizable and attracts crowds of fans. However, some people are bored of drawing the same over and over again. If you are one of them like me. Do not worry, you can also draw in a few styles eg. 2 or 3. For example, one can be more time-consuming, others can be more simplified.
In my experience, I’ve noticed that when you draw a lot, whatever you’re drawing, in whatever style is it, it starts to looks similar and original. And it can be seen that the same person was drawing it. In addition, as we change, our style can change with age. Besides there’s a downside of using a completely unchanging style for a long time. It can happen that some your fans may get bored after a while and leave. That’s why it’s sometimes worth including a bit more diversity, either in subject matter, in techniques or in gently experimenting with the style of your work.
Avoid “syndrome of the same face”
According to the last paragraph, there is one more thing to watch out for, namely “the same face syndrome”. Some people focus so much on creating in a unique way and probably want to be recognizable on Instagram, that they start to draw the same person over and over again only with the changed color of hair, eyes or clothing and as a result they lose the impression that people look very different. It’s nice to have one style, but when you can draw different people in it: old, young, fat, thin, with angular or long face etc. etc.
First of all: chill out!
Finally, the last advice: try to approach the whole process with distance. Often your own style comes when you least expect it. Anyway, with so many things, when you focus too much and speed up the whole process, somehow it does not work out or the effects are bad. Also rejoice in drawing, become familiar with it, do not be afraid to make mistakes and do not wait when this style finally emerges. Do not start any drawing with the intention of creating a masterpiece – this approach will end with an artistic blockade, or in the worst case with a neurosis. Sometimes when you’re nervous you can draw too slowly or too quickly or don’t finish drawings at all. When you finish good drawing, of course you have the right to be proud, but always try to think about what could be done differently or better but without falling into extreme perfectionism.
When you apply all the advices, without too much focusing on it, you will most likely hear after a while: “Great!I love your style!” And then you’ll realize that you suddenly discovered your own, unique style. Or maybe you will approach it more consciously and it will be the result of your well thought out experiments? Let me know in the comment which way you will choose. And if you have already developed your approach to drawing, let me know what was your way to it.
See you next time!