The secret to getting an art style

Discussion in 'Art Tutorials' started by WanderingSketchPad, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. WanderingSketchPad Assisting in QA and support site-wide (gallery, forums, and blogs) SuperModerator [__________] Collections Manager Rambling Writer

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    Reposting this here from my da journal since i think its relevent to this forum topic =3

    Ok, the title is actually a bit misleading, but you'll understand why as you keep reading. I've seen a lot of posts about people wanting to know how to come into their own style, and people ask all the time about tips and tricks and who to study style-wise etc. I've also seen a lot of material regarding the subject of what to do about it, so I thought i'd summarize all my experience and my own struggles etc with this subject. I'll try to keep it as organized as I can, but I hope it will help any of you if even a little.

    Firstly, I suppose I should explain what style actually is, in my own words, and how I have come to understand it. I'm not saying this is the ONLY thing style is, but this is just my take on it, and I think that if you think about style like this is actually makes a lot of sense! Style to me is basically when a person draws what they want something to look like. It is aesthetically pleasing to them, and so they draw the features in that way because for them it looks really good, or feels natural to how they want to convey their art. Examples would be the difference between keeping your lines softer and more curved, or preferring hard lines. A really good example of the two is the difference between these two images:


    Note that on the left, the nose is much more rounded and looks softer, while on the right, the nose has a much sharper look. For me, you'll see me drawing softer, more rounded noses because it is my preference and that is how I like them most ^^ Though, of course both are completely acceptable and look nice depending on what you like.

    In summary to the above question, style is about how you perceive the world and want to convey it. It is what you like most, and what feels most natural. Does this mean you should keep drawing the exact same thing over and over, though? In my opinion it is really good to try and branch out and do things not in your comfort zone; you may be surprised what you learn, and it could also help you to realize what you like to draw. I think doing studies of people's art that you admire can also help you understand how they draw, and you can learn a lot by doing that as well.

    It's also a good idea to play with different mediums. As a traditional artist, don't be afraid to branch out and do different things. Watercolor, colored pencil, markers, acrylic and oil paint, spray paint and so much more! You can even combine these mediums to make all sorts of things and figure out what you like most, and you can also take the piece onto your computer and digitalize them too. For digital artists, it is also fun to mess around with brush settings to find the ones that suit you. Don't be afraid to try new brushes and make your own! Whether digital or traditional, don't be afraid to experiment.

    I am a firm believer that everyone starts off with a sort of 'base' style baring the above in mind, even if the artist cannot see it! I myself have been told countless times that all of my art shares similarity, even though for me I see all the differences from piece to piece. And I acknowledge that because I've also seen hundreds of artists who have thought the same as me and disparaged at the thought of never coming into their own personal style when, to me at least, it was right there under their nose the whole time! And even if you are just starting out, or if you simply like to draw based on the things you see, this is fine! It is a starting base, and you work from there to hone your art, and the byproduct of this is also honing your style.

    As such, it's important to realize that honing your style is something that happens over a long period of time. It is not going to happen over night, and for some people it could even take years of drawing experience to finally see any results, even if they are there to others. Not to mention, there are so many amazing artists out there that are still discovering what they like and still struggle to convey their art in a manner that speaks best to them, but this is perfectly acceptable! Every time you draw, you are learning a little bit more about yourself, what you are drawing, and how YOU personally perceive the world. It's perfectly fine, and in my opinion very normal to look back on the art you did years ago and say "hey, that doesn't look as good to me, the style is so different!" because as you grow and mature and change, the things you like will too!

    And on that note, if you've been drawing for 10+ years as I have, I think the best advice I have ever heard of is exactly what I said before: Go find art from when you first started to draw, then a piece from the middle area (IE if you've been doing it 10 years, find a piece from year 1 and a piece from year 5) and compare it to the pieces you do now. You wont be able to deny the changes you'll see, especially if you've been doing daily, weekly, or even monthly studies. Progress isn't easy to see when you merely compare it to your pieces from last month or even the same year, but looking back on old pieces like this can really bring in some much needed perspective. I also suggest trying those 'draw this again' memes, maybe taking the first piece and second piece you chose into consideration when doing so.

    I think to wrap things up, it's important for me to really grill in the fact that as an artist, whether you are just starting out or have been in the art scene for a really long time, your main focus shouldn't be worrying about your style but instead worrying about your improvement as a whole. Always strive to better yourself and never give up hope. The more you draw, the better you will get, and your style will simply come naturally from this ^^

    I hope this helps! And if anyone would like to add anything to this, feel free to do so in the comments =3
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  2. Punkae Artist, Writer, and Sleepless Tea Addict ♥ [_____________] Author [Varied-Genre] aesthetic

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    I tend to think of style as an artistic translation of what each artist sees through a lens. The lens is the actual way the artist perceives the world, and style is the specific way that information is translated into art. If you and I were both to draw the same character without any rules about how the styling should be done, naturally, we'd both produce very different-looking art. This is because although the character may have defined features, a lot is left up to the interpretation of how we as artists see the things around us and translate them into new art. It's something that happens between the brain and hands, I guess, and it's what makes the art world such a diverse and exciting place. With so many different individuals creating art, the number of styles is vast.

    You are absolutely right, @WanderingSketchPad, in that styling takes time to develop, and it's all about how you as an artist feel something looks good or what feels right for you. It's also great practice to mimic others because even if you end up doing something different, you can learn important skills that are used as building blocks for developing your own style.

    Regardless of medium, there are two important ways to practice style mimicking that I think people should be encouraged to try: direct observation and deconstruction. Direct observation is watching the original artist actually create the piece and taking mental (or even physical) notes on the process that artist uses in order to create the work. Deconstruction is done by looking at an already-completed piece and breaking it down mentally and trying to rebuild a similar style or technique from how you think it was made and the steps you think were taken to achieve the desired look. Doing both of these can be really good because you may find multiple ways to achieve a similar effect, of which one may be preferable to you. You can also accidentally discover new techniques and styles of your own during this process, so I think it's a really healthy thing to do as an artist of any skill or experience level!

    Altogether, I thought this was a really awesome article, WSP! Thank you so much for writing it. I know a lot of people, myself included, can get some really useful information out of it, and I think it will really help people! ♥
  3. WanderingSketchPad Assisting in QA and support site-wide (gallery, forums, and blogs) SuperModerator [__________] Collections Manager Rambling Writer

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    Yea i myself watch videos every day of awesome artists making art. When i have access to a computer again im going to be sharing some of the people i watch on youtube so others can see ^^

    I feel like just watching others process can help you learn a lot.
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