How To Find An Art Style : A step by step guide to finding your Art Style in a Week
Are you an artist who doesn’t have a specific art style and desperately wants to find one but can’t seem to get any closer, even though you’ve been drawing for quite some time? If you can relate to this, I know exactly how you feel. I’ve been there myself and I know it sucks. I have since learned that finding an art style is not that important as long as you are enjoying the process. However, it’s an advantage to have one, especially if you want to make a career in art, as it helps people recognise your art instantly and helps you get a broader audience. Moreover, I feel that it allows you to more easily improve.
If this situation sounds familiar, you will definitely find this post useful, as today I am going to share a simple way to find an art style. However, I won’t say that it’ll be easy, as you have to put in some effort. And, If you do that, you might be able to find a unique style in just a week or two. After that, you can keep developing it as you improve your skills.
I never got to try it because when I was a beginner, I had no idea what I was supposed to do. I often got depressed after looking at other artists and how amazing their artworks were—and, most importantly, how they had a unique style. I loved that artwork but I’ll admit that it made me feel like giving up. It was a constant reminder of what I believed back then—that I wasn’t good enough. The only thing that helped me keep going was that I enjoyed drawing like nothing else. But now I have figured out that finding an art style is possible for any beginner artist. You don’t necessarily need one but if you want one, just follow these steps.
Step 1: (This is the most important step, so be sure to take all the time you need.)
The first thing you need to do is simply find the artists who inspire you the most. Then take a good look at their artwork and find your favourite pieces. If you use mostly digital mediums, it’s better to pick your favourite digital artists, while if you often work traditionally, you should pick your favourite traditional artists. However, you are free to combine both if you want.
I recommend starting with five or six artists and then narrowing it down to three. Take your time and find the ones you feel connected to. By “connected,” I mean that the work should make you feel something (in a positive way, of course). For example, it might make you feel very pleasant, or maybe happy in a sad way (I hope that makes sense lol), peaceful, or something else. Just be sure it triggers a positive emotion. I know it sounds funny but when you consider your emotions, it gets a lot easier to figure out whether you truly love a piece of art or, instead, seem to like it because it’s trendy or people around you make you believe that you like it.
While observing the artwork, make notes on what made you love that art so much, what separates the art from others, and why you find it so inspiring. (This exercise will come in handy later.)
Also, I recommend that you consider the following before you get started. I am mentioning these based on my own experience, as I have recently realised that I never truly liked a lot of the things I did when I drew—for example, adding too much gloss and too many details and making each and every single character look the same. I happened to believe that this was what having a style was all about: drawing the same facial features, expression and all, as I had no idea what I was doing back then. And some of you probably already know that I’m self-taught, so it was also a bit confusing for me. However, now I know exactly what my priorities are. I like my art to be quite simple because that’s what feels like me. Now I absolutely love to draw expressions and I no longer feel like I have to be better than someone else. I enjoy what I draw even more.
That’s why I think that considering these small things can make a huge difference. It will let you determine whether the style you find by the end of this process will make you happy, assuming that’s the goal. Here are a few things I highly recommend that you consider and always keep in mind:
- Whether you want your style to be more detailed or simple.
- The particular part you want to focus on. I love to focus on expressions nowadays, but you can choose whatever makes you happy. And by choosing something to focus on, I don’t mean ignoring everything else. However, when you have something specific to focus on, it helps your style stand out with less effort.
- What kind of colours make you feel good: bright, vibrant colours or pastels or muted colours?
- Most importantly, consider what you enjoy drawing the most. Don’t draw everything that looks pretty; draw what makes you happy, draw what you feel connected to, draw what you can draw all day long without getting tired (at least, that area should be your specialty).
Step 2: Pick one work of art from each artist that you loved the most. I know, it’s not easy, so take your time. There’s no need to rush. To make this somewhat less difficult, you can first pick 10 pieces of art and then keep narrowing it down until you find the one. Again, try to figure out exactly what it is about the artwork that caught your attention—whether it’s the aesthetic of the art, the line art, the way it has been coloured, or the way the artist captured a certain expression.
Step 3: Once you have found the three most inspiring pieces, it’s time to create a unique style for yourself.
The first thing you need to do is find the line art style. To do that, carefully observe each of the pieces of art that you picked and figure out which line art you liked the most. You can use the notes you took in the first step to get a bit more insight for your decision. Once you have decided, separate it from the other two.
Next, you need to find a colouring style—how you are going to colour your line art, including the kind of colour you prefer and would like to incorporate in your style. For that, use the remaining pieces of art and choose the one that feels more like you. Try not to overthink; choose what makes you feel more comfortable. Again, consider the notes to make it easier for you.
Now, finally, take a good look at the last remaining artwork and find one thing you really like other than line art and basic colouring style. For example, it can be how the artist added final details, the colours used for highlights, or anything that grabs your attention right away when you look at it.
Please keep in mind that you are not going to exactly copy any of these pieces of art. Instead, you are going to use them for inspiration. However, you can try mimicking (stay away from tracing) the artwork for the first few days (and be sure to credit the artists if you choose to share it anywhere). Then, gradually stop looking at the artwork you picked.
It might take some time to get used to it and find the style that you want to stick with, so don’t hesitate to make changes to your newly found art style along the way.
Step 4: Once you have completed all these steps, it’s time to put everything together.
To do that, simply use each piece of art you picked, respectively, for line art, for colouring, and to add finishing touches/details. Don’t try too hard to copy, as you will get frustrated if you do that. That’s why I highly recommend following what naturally comes to you after you take a good look at the references. For instance, you can use the references for five or six days, then slowly lower the number of times you use the artwork until you’re no longer using it at all. Then draw what comes naturally to you. Only then will you be able to make it your own. You will notice that what you have created looks nothing like the art you used for reference; it will be something completely unique yet familiar to you.
Now you have an art style that is unique to you. From now on, try not to compare it to anyone’s art. Instead, focus on improving your own style. Trust me, it’s so much more effective when you draw what feels natural to you instead of trying to draw like someone else.
Hope you guys found this post helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.