What is an art style?
Something that differentiates one artwork from another? Could it be so? Something so simple. What I am after here is an art/drawing style that is noticeably different from one another. A style that is different from next one. If you look at all the awesome art online, every piece is done in a certain way. Every artwork is different in content but also in style. In my opinion, style can be linked to one person. It can also be said that the style is his/her own way of drawing. Something that makes it his/her own. Let’s talk more about this and see if we can come to a solution here.
Gathering inspiration from art sites
It is always interesting to scroll through DeviantArt, Artstation, and Pixiv. Just to find awesome new artwork from everyone. Of course, I have my own watchlists and am always excited to see what people have created. Seeing new images and artworks from people always gives me so much inspiration. Seeing other artists grow and improve their drawing and art style is always awesome to watch. Also when you see these draw-again-works, those are just awesome.
Those truly show the progress. If you haven’t done those yet, please do and see the difference. I bet you will be surprised. Usually doing those once every year is a good starting point. You will notice how differently you approach the drawing process. It’s awesome. You can also see the evolution in your art style?
Recognizing drawing styles
If we think about all the mentioned art sites. You see some artwork on the page. If it is from someone you are following. I believe you can immediately say who made that artwork even before seeing the name. I think that is the core essence of having a unique drawing style. It is a style which one can associate with a specific person.
If you are still wondering and don’t know what I am talking about. I think Stanley Lau a.k.a Artgerm is a fine example of someone having truly unique and recognizable drawing style. Always when you see Artgerms artwork on different sites you most likely instantly recognize that oh, there’s Stanley’s new drawing.
I mean, the drawings just kind of pops out. Your eyes are used to notice those drawings. You are kind of used to see those drawings. That is because you have been following a certain artist for a while and know how they draw and how the drawings usually look alike. Same way you also develop a certain style in time. Just by drawing and learning new techniques along the way.
Drawing in a specific way and style
In my mind, ones drawing style is usually a combination of coloring, lineart, shading, lighting and rendering style. Artist draws eyes in a certain way. Uses a certain set of colors (saturation & values) in mind. Renders materials, hair, and skin in a way that she/he has developed over the years. These artists more than often draw images the same way, always. That is because they have produced the style and it is the style they like the most.
It is also the most productive way of drawing. You see if you always change your way of drawing with every piece. It quickly becomes exhausting and even irritating to draw. Soon the biggest struggle is to complete even one piece. It feels like you don’t know which way to go. What to draw and mainly how to draw.
tip! Choose one art style and stick to it for a while
What I noticed during the many years of finding my style. Was that it was crucial to kind of go through one style at a time. You first learn one style and draw a while with that style of yours.
While you do this you learn new things and the drawing style is not the one creating a block to your progress. If you constantly change your style you kind of start all over again. From the beginning. Don’t do that.
Focus on one style and learn to draw in general. After you know a thing or two. You can try new art style if you are not happy with the current one.
However, having certain style does not mean that you have to create images always using just that style you have honed over the years. You can change the style or you can have multiple styles. It is up to you how you want to create art and also how you want to represent yourself through art.
How I found my way of drawing
In the beginning, I was inspired by everyone I saw online. Dan Luvisi was the first artist that truly had my eyes opened and I was like I got to learn how to draw like him. I mean that guys artwork was astonishing. Every piece was so full of details and so much raw strength and I don’t know. They were just super awesome, characters and all. Exciting stuff. That was also the time I found ImagineFX magazine which had a tutorial written by Dan Luvisi.
Of course, I bought the magazine and downloaded all the brushes. Mimicked everything, and finally produced some quite good pieces of art myself. I liked the style, the possibilities and the semi-realism it offered. I too wanted to create awesome characters. Guess that was inspiration working my mind there. Below are some examples I created with “Luvisi” style.
Finding your style and way to draw
Going further in time I realized that cel shade as a style is something that always resonates with me more than other styles. Also at a deeper level than the semi-realistic style that I was following and trying to produce. I think I had some inner battle going on and it actually lasted few years.
Until I created this one piece. The character with the yellow coat and hat. Heavily inspired by Guilty Gear Xrd’s Ramlethal. It was the last touch of including the gradient like effect to the shadows. Making it slightly cel shaded in style.
This piece was done in 2014 and you can see it below. That gradient effect was the turning point. So small. Yet so powerful. Just by adding that one gradient I got this light bulb above my head and everything was clear. Cel shaded art was my thing and I needed to get good at it.
How to find your art style
One way of finding your art style is to draw an image and drawing that same image in various styles. In styles which you pick from online and refer to. Trying to see what is coming naturally and what process you like the most.
Finding your style is not easy but it can be fun. Just try different techniques on the same drawing. Soon you will see what pleases your eye the most and what not.
After that piece, I have been creating cel shaded art and never give up on that style. Cel shading is definitely the style that just pleases my eyes. That is also the style I will try to improve and master over time. Even though cel shade as an art style is one of the easiest to produce. It is also somewhat limiting and those limits I am trying to break. One limit being the gradual rendering of the shadows.
Yes, you can always use gradient but that is not cel shading 😉 Cel shading gives you plenty of challenge. Don’t doubt that. Mastering something is always different than being just good at something.
How to proceed with the whole art style thing
I believe the searching begins by watching the artists that you truly idolize. Trying to search the feeling inside you if that is also the art style you would like to master. Truly think what kind of art you would like to make. What style honestly pleases your eyes the most.
I think the more you draw the more you will see what things you like. How you draw things and also the way you start your drawings. All those affect the outcome and will eventually become one with you.
Time and drawing(s) will show you the way.
Showed me the way at least. It took a long time but I found my inner artistic voice and now I’m able to improve from there. Could it be that you can truly progress in art when you have finally found your artistic voice?
Start finding your style, it will come to you but it might take time. It would be awesome to hear your thoughts on the subject. Have you found your style? How did you find it? It would be awesome to hear from these stories of yours. See you in the comments section!