Not just copying other people's drawings, but having your own identity, making unique and recognizable works for the public, this is the question that many beginners as well as experienced drawers ask themselves. Here we give you some hints to help you understand what it means to have your own style of drawing, and the tools that can help you practice it.
What is "having one's style"?
When you hear someone say that a cartoonist has "an incredible drawing style", it is usually because he or she already has a certain notoriety, and is recognizable among all the others. If we were to summarize, "having one's style" would be the way to be recognized, as an artist, among all the other works, and this, from the first glance. To develop one's own style of drawing is therefore to join a set of techniques with a particular graphic style. This could be similar to all other arts, such as music or cinema. Some artists, because of their vocal technique, their way of filming, the sound of their instruments, or even the material they use, have a touch, a style, directly recognizable, even by neophytes. In the drawing, it is the same thing, and we see it well with great painters, like Van Gogh or Picasso, who have a way of arranging the forms and the colors well with them, or more recently Matt Groening, creator of Simpson and Futurama, or Franquin, draftsman of Spirou, Gaston Lagaffe and Marsupilami, which with each new series of cartoon or comic strip carried out, keep a way of drawing well with them and very recognizable.
The computer, an aid to progress in the search for style.
We will see it later, but working on your own style of drawing takes time and can be expensive, being in constant search of new techniques, and therefore the purchase of equipment. That's why for some time now, the graphic tablet, well known to graphic artists, designers, or illustrators, who must adapt the style of their work to the demands, is increasingly used by experienced designers, but also by beginners seeking to learn the basics of drawing. The graphic tablet allows you to draw on dedicated software, such as Photoshop, or its vector counterpart Illustrator, experimenting with an infinite number of brushes, pencils and other markers, which will give similar renderings to traditional techniques. It is then possible to mix all this with the use of layers, without having to spend a single cent on the constant purchase of new tools. However, the graphic tablet requires a particular mastery, with its specific hand-eye coordination, which may not be suitable for everyone. That's why specific tablets, like the ISKN Repaper, can be used as a standard tablet, in order to draw, color, or make modifications on the software, but also as a drawing book, thanks to the attachment of a sheet of paper, on the work surface, the rendering being displayed directly on your favorite drawing software. This option allows you to draw easily, with your favorite pencil, whose angle and position are transmitted by a magnetic ring, and thus to get rid of the stylus, sometimes not very convenient, but also to avoid learning a complex hand-eye coordination.
What are the characteristics of a "design style"?
As we have seen, having one's own drawing style is above all an alliance between a drawing technique linked to a "graphic style". But what are the characteristics of this graphic style, which makes all the difference between being a seasoned drawer, or being a simple copy of existing artists.
It may not seem like a big deal, but all the drawing tools you use will be part of your future style. Whether it's a pencil or pen that makes it easy to draw, or more original drawing materials, all of these will help you perfect your drawing style and make it unique.
The pencil stroke.
The drawing stroke you will have is really representative of the artist's style and universe. Even if at start, the beginner, in order to know how to draw, has to learn the basics, and copy existing styles, with experience, each one acquires a very specific way of making his or her sketches. The way of drawing the lines of a sketch is, just like writing, a real distinction between the different artists. Some will accentuate certain parts to make them stand out, while others will have a lighter touch, etc. It is certainly possible to copy the drawing style of another artist, but when you create your own original works, you can put forward your own particularities.
Colouring and graphic additions
When looking at how to draw uniquely, it is important to consider the graphic details and how to colorize your drawing. When talking about colorization, one realizes that certain shades can be favored by the artist. Thanks to the color, they will make their works darker or more sparkling depending on the graphic style they want to put forward. The techniques of colorization with the brush or with colored pencils for example, also takes part in the achievement of your style of drawing. Concerning the graphic additions, some use shadows more or less marked, hatching, or elements giving perspective or relief, or a particular atmosphere to their sketches. All this will finalize your work and make it really unique.
Finally, all the inspirations that you will be able to pick will make your drawings unique works drawing their roots in a multitude of existing arts. Whether it is in realistic drawing, cartoon, comic books, caricature, ... All these styles, where each artist brings his or her own touch in each of them, can influence you to create a unique final sketch.
The graphic tablet, an essential companion to draw naturally.
Knowing the basics of drawing
Drawing with your own style requires patience, and it is important for beginners to learn the basics of traditional drawing techniques. Indeed, the more time you take to learn how to draw each drawing technique, the more diverse and varied your influences will be, and the more you will be able to sketch with a unique style that will belong to you alone. Taking drawing classes, or going to art school for those who want to make it their profession, can be a great help in learning how to draw, and help you become a better drawer.
Drawing a lot and everywhere.
We can never say it enough, but finding your drawing style is first to make simple drawings, or elaborated ones, in a regular way. It is important to draw every day and in different places, to be inspired by what surrounds you. Making an observation drawing can help you discover a different way of working that will influence you in the future. Nature, human constructions, art exhibitions... Everything is a good excuse to develop your own style according to what you see and what you learn. Arm yourself with a drawing book, or better, a specific graphic tablet, like the ISKN Repaper, allowing you to draw with a pencil, on paper, anywhere, without clutter, and to rework it at home, on your computer, becomes essential to practice and accumulate knowledge and make your style evolve.
Broaden your horizons
As we have seen, creating unique designs requires a great deal of versatility, mastery of different techniques, and many influences. It is therefore important to leave your comfort zone and explore other universes. Are you used to drawing manga characters? Draw realistic portraits. You like to draw the human body or animals? Take the opportunity to try drawing a landscape or illustrations. When you change your style, start with an easy drawing. You are not asked to specialize in each graphic style, but to know the main concepts in order to bring out some interesting aspects of each one, and to mix them together to obtain a result that will look like you.
You know the graphic styles at your fingertips, you are starting to get the hang of it, but you still lack that little something to make your sketches become real works of art. It's time for you to experiment with new things. Like great artists like Jean Teulé who mixed photography and drawing to create unique comics, you can try to free yourself from graphite pencils or traditional markers and turn to new drawing tools. Arm yourself with brushes and experiment with an alliance between drawing and painting with Indian ink, watercolor or acrylic, unless you prefer to try charcoal, pastel and why not chalk... The art of drawing has no limits, and using all kinds of hobby objects to paint and draw, will make your work stand out among the others. Here too, a graphics tablet like the ISKN Repaper can help you practice, both on paper and in tablet mode, to experiment with different tools at a lower cost. It's a real plus for experimenting with new things and considering jumping into a unique way of drawing.
Changes in style throughout life.
Finding your drawing style is not something that can be done with a snap of fingers. You won't just need a few tutorials on the techniques of comics or realistic drawings to sketch something new. It's all about hard work, experimentation, and curiosity to get creative when sketching your future works. If you want to draw manga for example, don't make the mistake of stopping at the reproduction of your favorite artists, you would only become a pale copy. Taking inspiration from other forms of drawing or art can make your pencil stroke evolve and give a real identity to what you produce. This is why, throughout your life, your stroke will change and become more precise, as you learn.