From realistic renderings to cartoonish illustrations, there are many types of drawing styles available for every artist to explore and master as you develop your art style. Each style presents its own unique outcome, enabling you to create artwork that perfectly expresses your vision.
Creating a successful drawing demands various skills from an artist, depending on the type of project.
For more intricate projects, tenacity and attention to detail are essential; for others that involve bolder strokes, freedom in expression is key. But not all drawing styles suit all artists, and some types of drawing styles are better suited to other artists.
In this post, I cover 9 types of drawing styles for you to consider and try right now using any type of pencil, colored pencil, charcoal, paint (oil paint, acrylic paint) etc to suit your style.
- Anamorphic / Anamorphosis Drawing Style
- Architectural Drawings
- Cartoon Drawings
- Doodle Drawings
- Fashion Design
- Line Drawing
- Photorealism / Hyperrealist Drawings
- Pointillism Drawings
- Traditional Sketching
Let’s Go Into the 9 Types of Drawing Styles To Try Right Now
Let’s take a look at 9 types of drawing styles I think you should try right now and I follow this list with some additional types of drawing styles if none of these were of interest to you.
ANAMORPHIC/ANAMORPHOSIS DRAWING STYLE
If you want to master the art of creating three-dimensional illusions using what is called distorted projection, then anamorphic drawing is the way to go. This technique requires a high level of skill in perspective and other visual principles such as geometric drawing and is suited to artists who are or want to be technically skilled.
With a bit of practice, you can create stunning works of art that will leave your viewers in awe. The results are truly astonishing. I have linked to a few online resources that can help you get started.
Here are some books that may help you get started.
I first came across anamorphic drawing back when I was a teen and saw skull in Holbein’s The Ambassadors with a memento mori. Can you see the skull central bottom? It looks like a weird design or bread roll until you view it from an angle. Yes this is a painting but there are so many drawings out there using this technique.
ARCHITECTURAL DRAWING STYLE
Architectural drawing requires a great attention to detail, but it is no less artistic than any other types of drawing styles. Even if you don’t have an official design background, non-architects can still create beautiful pieces with superior precision. From replicating classical buildings and bridges to fashioning your own imaginary structures – this kind of drawing calls for exactness and creativity.
For centuries, cartoons have provided laughter and satire in magazines around the world. In more modern times classic cartoons from Disney, Marvel and DC comics down and now to anime/manga, this type of drawing style has come a long way since its first appearance. What was once the domain for kids, cartoon drawings have now become a respectable art form with the adult acceptance of graphic novels being turned into blockbuster movies.
When creating cartoons, you can let your creativity flow as far as it will go while still depicting the natural forms of your subject. There are no limits as to what is achievable with cartooning. You can even use your cartoon drawing to make pop art.
I started drawing cartoons at a very young age and made a nice side income in school selling hand drawn cartoons. All it took was a notepad and a black felt tip pen.
Doodling can often be misunderstood as being a mindless activity, yet it’s an effective tool for letting our consciousness express itself. The great Leonardo da Vinci is renowned for having doodles in his notebooks. Using minimal lines, you can take the mundane objects around you and transform them into pieces of creative art with a simple sketch.
My daughter loves to turn random doodles into art by adding to them and looking for patterns in random shapes.
Doodling also has the added benefit of being great as a warmup exercise for artists who like to draw.
Creating fashion drawings is a key element of the design process and a very respectable type of drawing style. These vivid sketches often display exaggerated, elongated figures to look like models on the catwalk with little-to-no facial features as clothing remains at their core. I sometimes wonder if art is copying real life or the other way around. Fashion design as a type of drawing style is particularly popular in the streetwear and hip-hop scenes where fashion designers create their own style. There is lots of cross over when it comes to using fashion designs, they appear in Manga/Anime and Cartoon drawings.
If you want to take your drawing skills to the next level, try continuous line drawing or contour drawing as it is also known. This practice requires that a pen or pencil never lift off of the paper in order to craft an impressive single-line sketch without any shading or contours. As lines lay at the root of all artistic styles, like doodling, this exercise is ideal for honing your skill and warming up prior to working on a drawing for long periods of time.
PHOTOREALISM / HYPERREALIST DRAWING STYLE
We have all seen thos hyper-realistic or photorealistic drawings of eyes and lips on Instagram and yes they can be a bit overdone but they do have a place as a type of drawing style. Photorealistic or hyper realistic drawings can be incredibly elaborate and, as such, require patience.
It is not unusual for an artist to spend hundreds of hours perfecting a piece so that it appears almost photographic in composition.
Portraiture remains one of the most popular subjects among artists practicing this type of drawing style.
Check out the works of Chuck Close who is one of my favorite photorealistic artists.
POINTILLISM (STIPPLING) DRAWING STYLE
Though we may associate pointillism with the artistic works of post-Impressionist artist Georges Seurat, it is also an incredible method for drawing. In drawing we like to call it Stippling. In this type of drawing style, an artist will use hundreds to thousands of tiny dots to cast light and shadow on paper, when the work is viewed from afar all the dots blur and appear as a normal image thanks to our brains filling in the gaps in space.
As you get closer to the artwork and inspect it, you realize that the images are made of tiny little dots (a bit like an inkjet printer).
Traditional sketching is a classic drawing style that many budding artists begin with when learning the fundamentals of art. These types of drawings heavily focus on creating the forms and contours of an object rather than the details and shading. This allows you to quickly capture an image and manipulation of shapes, before delving into the finer details.
Other notable drawing styles to discover
There are many other types of drawing styles to discover that you may enjoy that will increase your drawing skill, from:
- graphic design
- concept art
- caricature drawing (which I found much harder to do than anything)
- digital illustration and digital art which may seem at first glance easy to do but is harder than it looks
- gesture drawing (which I have written about here)
- abstract art drawing art using geometric shapes and the like.
Types of drawing styles – Wrap up!
Outstanding illustrators don’t limit themselves to a single style of drawing, but they continually explore different art styles in order to boost their skills. Though they may center on one particular technique, by remaining flexible with their work and trying out different approaches, these specialists can gain invaluable insight into other kinds of drawings that will ultimately help them refine the artistry behind their main focus.
If you’re seeking to cultivate your own signature style, experiment with the various types of drawing and if you like a bit of one style and a bit of another, there is no rule in art that says you cannot merge the two or more styles that you like and make something your own.
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