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  • Julia Henze

HOW TO FIND YOUR DRAWING STYLE

Having your own style sounds like something exceptional that some lucky artists have already found, while some others, less lucky, have been desperately searching their whole life without any success.


Urban Sketch of Armchair Books Bookstore in a sketchbook painted with gouache and colored pencils

But the truth is, we all have our own unique style of drawing, like we all have a unique style of handwriting, talking, walking, and even cooking. Your style is your personality, your preferences, all the things you've absorbed over your entire life, but it's also the result of classes and workshops you've followed, tools you've explored, the ability to notice things around you, and to learn from your mistakes. All in all, your drawing style is not something you can find. It's already here, and it will change as long as you keep developing yourself as an artist.


So, let's take a look at some steps you can take to develop yourself as an artist.


1. Improve skills and learn techniques


Join a workshop or take drawing classes. Start with the fundamentals. Learn how to draw basic shapes, figures, perspective, how to deal with proportions, shadowing and applying textures, understanding and using color theory, and how to vary the line thickness. It will not only improve your drawing skill but also increase your confidence and make you more aware of your preferences.


If you are interested in a simple method of learning how to draw you can join one of my Skillshare classes today and get one month of Premium for Free!

2. Explore your drawing materials


Most drawing materials are much more versatile than we tend to think. A simple graphite pencil can be used in so many different ways, we can barely imagine. The better you know your tools, the more technique you can master, and the more varied your art will be.



3. Practice and experiment a lot!


I love this quote from Winston Churchill: "Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." As a child, we learn to think that failure is bad. You get low marks at school, your parents get disappointed, and your classmates think you are stupid. So you decide to become a perfectionist and try never to make a mistake. But when it comes to art, making mistakes is the only way to learn something. Failures often lead to the discovery of new techniques or methods. They just help improve your skill and your drawing style.


Of course, making mistakes without analyzing them wouldn't cause a lot of improvement. So, it's necessary to take some steps. And there is a simple system I developed for myself to learn from my drawing mistakes effectively that I want to share with you. So:


  1. Create a piece of art;

  2. Look at it carefully and try to find positive aspects and discover your mistakes;

  3. Determine the cause of the mistakes;

  4. Practice on a small format (make a quick sketch to look if you can get it right);

  5. Create a piece of art.


This entire process should happen in a positive mood, without any blame, expectations, or disappointment. You are learning, playing around, enjoying the process, and improving your skill anyway.



4. Get inspired by other artists

Studying other artists' art is very important. And not only the artists you admire, but also those artistic styles don't appeal to you so much. There is always something you can learn from others. For instance, by copying elements from one of your favorite artists' artworks, you can learn their technique and understand the similarities between different pieces. While by exploring a less familiar artist's single artwork, you can discover a special color combination, a unique line use, or a detail that might inspire you.


Taking classes and workshops of artists with different styles and techniques also works very well. You do not just copy someone else's style or technique, but you get an explanation of why they do it this or that way and a demonstration of how they do it exactly.



5. Get inspired by nature and your surroundings

Look outside! There are so many beautiful forms, colors, and textures you can apply to your art. The most amazing palettes of spring and autumn, graceful lines of landscapes, the softness of the morning light, patterns of clothes, shapes of architecture, expressions of peoples' faces and figures, and even your own art materials can be so inspiring. Curiosity and careful observation of the world around you can help you take your creativity to the next level, broaden your artistic horizons and make your art unique.



So, improving your skills, learning drawing techniques, trying out new tools and materials will take your art to another level. It always will be challenging, and it always will mean that you have to start the whole process all over again. But at the same time, frequently stepping out of your comfort zone and learning how to make and embrace your mistakes will help you become a confident artist. Someone who can enjoy the process without focusing on the result.


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