Find Your Own Drawing Style: Tips For New Artists

Finding your own drawing style is like going on an epic quest. It’s all about checking out different kinds of art, getting good at the basics, and picking up tricks from artists you look up to.

Expect to try lots of new stuff, step out of what’s comfortable, and deal with both flops and wins.

Sticking to a regular drawing routine, listening to feedback, and being open to change will help you sharpen your style.

And hey, don’t worry about sticking to just one way of drawing; your style will shift and grow with you.

So, keep diving into new experiences, soaking up knowledge, and evolving—your personal drawing style is really just a cool reflection of your own journey in the world of art.

How To Develop Your Drawing Style

how to find your drawing style featured image

Study Drawing Styles To Learn What Is Out There

When I first started drawing I looked at all kinds of art from cartoons, fine art, comics, manga, you name it.

Every type of drawing showed me what’s possible, what I liked, what was popular and what was hard.

Trying different styles of drawing is kind of like trying different ice cream flavors to find your favorite.

If you don’t know where to start, social media and art websites are like an all-you-can-eat buffet for different art styles.

Learn The Basics For Your Style

Getting your drawing skills solid is the first step. Think of it like learning to ride a bike before trying tricks.

For me, learning simple shapes and line work was a game changer. These basics help you build up to more detailed drawings.

And remember, even the best artists had to start somewhere.

Analyze The Drawing Style Of Artists You Admire

I’ve spent hours looking at my favorite artists’ work, trying to figure out why I like their drawings so much.

Was it the bright colors, the way they drew facial features, or their unique line drawings? Figuring this out helped me see what I might want to try in my own art.

Mimic or Copy Art You Like

I’m not saying to pass off someone else’s work as your own. But trying to draw in the style of artists you love is a great way to learn.

It’s like wearing someone else’s shoes to see how they fit. Just make sure to add a twist to make it your own.

Push Your Skills

Leaving your comfort zone is how you grow. I tried everything from gesture drawing to designing original characters.

It felt weird at first, like writing with my opposite hand. But it taught me so much about what I like and don’t like in art.

Learn anatomy, learn proportions, gesture drawing, realism and abstract, soak it all up and mix it up in your mind.

The more you know, the better skilled you will be at not only adopting a drawing style but actually making one that is uniquely yours.

Pick a Medium

I never see this advice anywhere and it’s usually skipped but part of your unique drawing style is related to the medium you use that defines your style and also you.

Some drawings you look at and know exactly who it is because your recognized the medium as well as the style.

When I was younger, I used black felt tip pens to do all my drawings. I later moved to black gel pens.

These were tied to my drawing style. If I had used pencils to do my comics, they would no longer look like my style of drawing.

So my advice is to find a medium you feel comfortable with and use that medium on your journey to find your drawing style.

Don’t Get Frustrated If You Are Not Any Good At The Start

Trust me, my first drawings looked like they were done in the dark—blindfolded. It’s totally normal.

The main thing is to keep going. Every drawing, good or bad, teaches you something.

Be Ok With Failing

Failing isn’t fun, but it’s part of the art journey. Sometimes what I think will be my masterpiece ends up being a mess.

And that’s okay. It’s all about trying again and learning from what went wrong.

When you’re working out your drawing style is a pretty emotional journey. This includes dealing with lots of self-doubt, comparison to others, and the looking for originality.

This can be hard on your emotionally and psychologically. I have seen so many new artists almost quit drawing because they couldn’t deal with the pressures they put on themselves.

Develop a healthy mindset and some emotional resilience as these will give you lots of benefits in the long run

Practice, Refine and Grow

I draw as much as I can. Sometimes it’s just doodles in the corner of my notes. Other times, it’s sitting down for a serious drawing session.

With every piece of art, my own style gets a bit clearer. It’s all about putting pencil to paper and seeing where it takes you.

Finding your unique drawing style isn’t something that happens overnight. It’s a mix of learning, experimenting, and, yes, a bit of copying (in the right way).

I keep pushing my limits, learning from fails, and drawing every chance I get. It’s a wild ride, but totally worth it.

Understanding Drawing Style

an artist drawing portraits using various drawing styles

When I think about finding my own drawing style, it feels a bit like trying to catch a cloud with my bare hands—exciting, a bit elusive, and full of possibilities as I am forced to deal with my own limitations and skill gaps.

You Do Not Need To Have One Drawing Style

I’m on many Reddit drawing groups, and the one question or complaint I always see from newbies is that they don’t have a drawing style and they want to know how to get one.

The first step on our art journey is realizing that it’s totally okay not to have a set drawing style. I mean, who says you can only enjoy one type of ice cream for the rest of your life?

Just like with flavors, it’s cool to explore different drawing styles. Maybe you love detailed drawings one day and simple shapes the next. Good news is, that’s more than okay.

Drawing Styles Develop Over Time

Your drawing style is like a fine wine or a stinky cheese—it gets better and more distinct with time.

When I first started, my drawings looked like confused spaghetti. Now, they resemble somewhat sophisticated noodles.

It takes time, friends. Your unique style will emerge as you practice your technical skills and play around with different techniques.

Drawing Styles Change As You Mature As An Artist

Ever look back at your old drawings and think, “What was I even doing?” Me too. That’s because our styles change as we grow.

One day, you’re all about cartoon-style drawings, and the next, you’re diving headfirst into the world of fine art or maybe even tattoo drawing.

It’s all part of the ride. Embrace those changes; they’re signs you’re getting better.

Develop Multiple Drawing Styles

Thinking you must stick to one style is like saying you should only write in cursive for the rest of your life—why limit yourself?

Experiment with different art styles. Try your hand at gesture drawing, figure drawing, or even abstract pencil drawing.

Each type of drawing you try adds a new tool to your artistic toolbox, making your own style even richer.

Refining Your Style

Okay, so you’ve played around with different styles and techniques. Now what? Time to mix and match.

Combining elements from your favorite artists, using a color palette that sings to you, and adding your signature line work can lead to something magical.

Creating a mood board with your favorite pieces of art, colors, and subject matter is a great way to see what clicks for you.

Combine Drawing Styles To Make One Of Your Own

Think of your drawing style like a recipe. A pinch of line drawings here, a dash of bright colors there, and maybe a sprinkle of those unique facial features you like so much.

Mix it all together, and voila, you’ve got your own personal style stew.

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try mixing different elements you’ve never combined before.

Sometimes, the best discoveries come from the most unexpected combinations.

Remember, finding and refining your drawing style isn’t a race. It’s more like a leisurely stroll through a park or a wander through a gallery, taking in all the different styles, methods, and techniques available to you.

The main thing? Keep drawing, keep exploring, and most importantly, keep having fun with it.

Your unique drawing style is a reflection of your unique journey in art. Let it evolve, let it surprise you, and let it be uniquely yours.

17 Drawing Styles Listed – Explore All Styles

As we dive deeper into our quest to find our unique drawing style, let’s have a look at the more popular drawing styles with a brief explanation of what they are:

  1. Realism: This is aimed at capturing subjects as they appear in real life with as much accuracy as possible. This style pays close attention to detail, light, shadow, depth and texture.
  2. Photorealism: This is a more intense version of realism, where the goal here is to make the drawing look as realistic and convincing as a high-resolution photograph.
  3. Expressionism: This focuses on expressing emotional experience rather than accuracy. It often employs bold colors, distortion, and exaggerated forms.
  4. Impressionism: Captures the impression of a moment, especially in terms of light and color. This style often uses loose brushwork and light colors.
  5. Surrealism: Combines elements of surprise and unexpected juxtapositions. Surreal drawings often have a dream-like or fantastical quality.
  6. Abstract: Does not attempt to represent external reality directly but looks to achieve its effect by breaking down objects into basic shapes, colors, forms, and gestural marks.
  7. Line Drawing: Emphasizes the use of lines without shading or fill to create the form, structure, and detailing of the subject. Continuous Line Drawing is a version of this.
  8. Doodle: Don’t underestimate the basic doodle. These simple drawings can have concrete representational meaning or may just be abstract shapes.
  9. Comic Style: Used in comics and graphic novels, this style is characterized by bold lines and clear expressions to convey stories effectively.
  10. Manga: A comic style originating from Japan, featuring characters with large eyes, exaggerated expressions, and dynamic poses.
  11. Cartooning: Simplifies or exaggerates physical features to create easily identifiable characters, often for humor or satire.
  12. Concept Art: A style used in game, movie, and animation development to create representations of characters, scenes, and environments.
  13. Ink Wash/Pen and Ink: Uses varying tones of ink wash, as well as pen lines for detail, often resulting in a dynamic and fluid style.
  14. Digital Drawing: A broad category that encompasses many styles, achieved using digital tools like tablets and software.
  15. Charcoal: Known for its rich blacks and a wide range of tones; excellent for expressive and gestural work.
  16. Diagrammatic Style: The diagrammatic style is primarily used in technical drawings, charts, maps, and schematics to represent information in a clear and concise manner. This style focuses on clarity, precision, and the effective communication of data or the functioning of objects and systems.
  17. Figurative Style: The figurative style, on the other hand, is focused on representing the human form and other recognizable figures from the real world. This style can range from highly realistic to stylized interpretations but always seeks to convey some aspect of the physical or emotional world.

Finding your own style isn’t a race; it’s more of a leisurely stroll through the park.

Each drawing style you try teaches you something new about your preferences, technical skills, and the kind of stories you want to tell through your art.

Mix and match elements from different styles, challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone, and most importantly, keep having fun with it.

portraits drawn using various drawing styles

Finding Your Drawing Style Can Be Hard – My Experience

When I was much younger I so wanted to be a surrealist artist, I copied Salvador Dali, De Chirico and Magritte.

I wanted surrealism to be my style but every time I tried to make something that looked surrealist it ended up looking like a comic book.

So I tried comic books, and then manga. I found manga so hard to draw (yet my daughter can draw manga like its second nature).

For the life of me I could not find my drawing style no matter how hard I tried. To this day I move from style to style and I used to think that was a problem until a wise artist said I had a super power and not a flaw.

He wanted to have the ability to move from one style to another and not be stuck doing the same thing. So don’t panic if you don’t find your style. Maybe you have the same super power.

Strategies For Improving Technical Skills

To get better you need to practice and improve on your technical skills. Improving technical skills in art involves a blend of structured practice, study, and applying the various techniques into practice.

Below i’ve listed some strategies for artists looking to enhance their technical skills:

  1. Deliberate Practice: This is where you focus on specific areas for improvement instead of just practicing the same thing. What you do here is identify any weaknesses in your techniques and target them with specific exercises that are designed to develop those skills. This type of practice requires a lot of concentration, a high level of effort, and a feedback loop.
  2. Mastering the Fundamentals of Drawing: Deepen your understanding of the basics such as form, composition, perspective, anatomy, and color theory. Mastering these foundational elements is important for advancing your overall technical skills.
  3. Study from Life: Drawing or painting from life, instead of photographs gives you a deeper understanding of three-dimensional space, lighting, and real-world colors. Spend some time sketching outdoors, draw still lifes, or attend life drawing sessions so you can practice capturing the essence of live subjects.
  4. Learn from Masters: This was something I excelled at. Analyze and replicate works by artists you love. Study their techniques, look at their drawings up close, understand their use of color and light, and practice by copying their works. This is not about making a direct copy for display but instead you are learning to incorporate elements of their technique into your own style.
  5. Take Classes and Workshops: Enrol in art classes or workshops, these can provide you with structured learning and get direct feedback from instructors. It’s also a great way to expose yourself to different styles and techniques that you might not come across on your own.
  6. Use Tutorials and Online Resources: If you can’t get to a gallery or attend classes then the internet is a treasure trove of tutorials and video lessons for artists of any skill level and medium. Take advantage of free and paid resources to learn new techniques and tools.
  7. Experiment with Different Mediums: Working with a variety of mediums can expand your technical skills and creativity. Each medium whether it’s watercolor, oils, digital, charcoal, or ink, has its own set of techniques and challenges that you can incorporate into you developing drawing style.
  8. Keep a Sketchbook: Regularly drawing in a sketchbook encourages daily practice and experimentation without the pressure of creating a finished piece. Use it to doodle, sketch from life, jot down ideas, or experiment with new techniques. I don’t recommend a digital sketchbook; use pen/pencil on paper.
  9. Set Projects for Yourself: Create specific projects or challenges for yourself that have clear objectives and deadlines. Projects can be based on themes, techniques, or personal interests and should push you out of your comfort zone.
  10. Feedback and Critique: Look for feedback from peers, mentors, or online communities. Constructive criticism is valuable for identifying areas that need improvement and for gaining new perspectives on your work.
  11. Reflect on Your Progress: Regularly review your past works to evaluate how you’re progressing. This can help you see the minor improvements you’re making over time, allowing you to track and understand patterns in your work, and identify areas that still need improvement.
  12. Stay Curious and Flexible: Be open to learning new techniques and approaches. Art is an evolving field, and staying flexible in your learning approach can lead to significant improvements in your technical skills.

Improving your technical skills is a gradual and slow process that requires patience, dedication, and a willingness to step outside your comfort zone and fail.

By applying these strategies to your drawing practice, you can steadily advance your abilities and develop a more refined and versatile skill set, not to mention a more mature drawing style.

Embracing Creativity

an artist finally embracing his creativity, he is smiling and happy that he found his drawing style

Finding your own drawing style feels a bit like trying to catch a butterfly. It’s out there, fluttering around with its unique pattern just waiting for you to discover it.

For me, the quest began with a simple goal: to figure out what sets my art apart from the rest.

Let’s talk about how bright colorssimple shapes, and even different drawing styles can guide you there.

One day, I decided to leave my comfort zone and play with a color palette that I’d never tried before. It was scary at first as I’m colorblind and colors scare me.

It’s like stepping into a new world. But guess what? This experiment led me to add a splash of color that became part of my signature style as I used color combinations that were just not quite right.

If you’re a beginner, think of it as throwing paint on a canvas and seeing what sticks.

Staring at a blank page can be daunting, so I started creating a mood board with all sorts of images: from cartoon-style drawings to fine art.

This wasn’t just a collection; it was a map of where I wanted my art journey to go. Seeing all these different styles together helped me see what I was drawn to the most.

I got curious about other successful artists on social media. Not to copy them, but to learn. How did they blend colors? What about their line work captivated me? Taking bits and pieces from different artists, I began applying these techniques to my own drawings, which felt like solving a puzzle.

One of the best ways I found to understand my own art style was by focusing on the subject matter that excited me.

Did I lean more towards character design for a video game or detailed tattoo drawing? (I am totally hopeless at tattoo designs).

The answer wasn’t clear overnight. I tried crafting original characters, indulging in figurative art, and even dabbling in concept art.

Each path taught me something new about my preferences.

Gesture drawing became my daily practice. It’s a great way to loosen up and stop overthinking.

Fast, sweeping motions across the paper captured more emotion and energy than any of my detailed drawings ever did.

This practice wasn’t just about warming up; it was sharpening my drawing skills in subtle ways and developing my own drawing style.

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