Part of the art journey is branching out and trying out different techniques and styles. I personally feel like I haven’t found the style I want to work with, that I’m also efficient with. I am constantly inspired by other artists, new and old, and I always want to try new things.
It feels as though artists might feel pressured to establish a “style”. Even the Master artists go through phases and experiment with different techniques, so it’s not wrong that we do the same, as we explore what works for us. And what works for us may mean different things too.
Think about the purpose of your art: Are you creating a portfolio towards a particular career goal? Is the style or subject matter your most popular work? Are you seeking commissions? Or is it a fun and therapeutic hobby? Questions like these help us establish which style we end up, however whatever it is we’re practicing day by day, it’s okay to change it up.
Here’s some examples of the different styles I’ve been attempting in recent times:
This style is straight forward. I like to sketch with lines and colour, so some of them become finished pieces like these. These take the least amount of time to complete and I tend to have a bit more fun with it.
Comic Book (detailed)
Defined by visible graphic outlines, simple shading, stylized proportions. I usually attempt more of a dynamic composition in these, particularly in the way the characters pose. Generally, it’s still challenging for me to put these together, so I try to slow my process down.
Defined by detailed rendering, “realistic” lighting, no visible graphic outlines. Influenced by very many concept and book illustrators, and masters such as Alex Ross and J.C. Leyendecker. This style is out of my comfort zone, and take a lot of time and energy for these but I’ve been enjoying the results and I hope to improve on this.
This is a style I’ve been working on in 2020, and to me it feels like a combination of everything I enjoy in the process. It’s a more simplistic cartoony style to characters with more detailed rendering, mostly influenced by artists like Amanda Duarte or Loish. I feel like this is the first style I’ve ever enjoyed drawing in, and it’s interesting that I’m circling back again to it now.
As with anything having to do with my art journey, I’m still working on things, and I’m never really 100% happy with anything I do. That’s okay, as it pushes me to keep trying.