Another journal about art… stuff… styles? Yeah. People have been asking me about developing styles. I’m no professional on styles. In fact this might probably be all rubbish. Even if it is, what does it matter if it’s helpful rubbish? If rubbish is helpful is it still rubbish? *shot* Okay okay…

What is a style?

Upon referring to a trusty dictionary, a style in art is a particular collection of techniques as with a reference to form and character. That means a person’s “drawing style” is the techniques they use to represent a particular thing. All artists develop a style as time goes by and hopefully this entry will encourage you to grow your own. This being said, do you currently have a style? How do you know?

Do I have a style?

I don’t know the answer myself. The way to tell is to look at your own art. Let’s say you want to draw the eye of a 30-year-old male. Do you just draw an eye or do you refer to the ‘style’ you have developed within your mind to instruct you? That depends how often you draw the eyes of 30-year-old males. In other words your style is a collection of everything you’ve learnt about the art of drawing in itself – what works for you and what doesn’t – and if you haven’t drawn something plenty of times before, how can you expect to know exactly how to draw it? After all of this, are there procedures and techniques you follow and use when you draw particular things? If yes, you probably have a style.

What style do I want?

The best way to find a style you like is to try drawing in as many other styles as you can. If we’re talking anime and manga, which one is your favourite in reference to the way the characters are drawn? Perhaps you like the way they draw that funky hair from DBZ. I used to >_>

There are existing major styles in anime that can be recognised either by their target audience or their genre. Josei (or Redikomi) is for women, Kodomo is for children, Seinen is for men, Shōjo is for young and teenage girls and Shōnen is for young and teenage boys. Similarly, there are the genres such as Dōjinshi, Mecha, Gekiga, Yuri, Yaoi, and many more. I won’t go into those. I’m trying to inspire you to go and see what’s out there. Go beyond anime and manga if you want, but it’s entirely up to you. Some people like the style where it looks like everyone still has some of their baby chubbiness and have gone around smearing dirt just under their eyes, and on the other hand some like it when people have eerily long and narrow eyes and the boys look like girls without breasts and with extra parts. It all comes down to appeal.

I know who I want to draw like. Now what?

Easy there. Don’t go copying people’s styles. Of course, you may trace and copy, but don’t claim things as your own when they’re not. It’s not really that useful to copy someone’s style directly and then pretend it’s yours. As for myself, I have combined three ‘styles’ to develop the one I have today – which I am still developing. My style was inspired by three things: concept art for the Fire Emblem game series, the FullMetal Alchemist anime, and the concept art from The Ocarina of Time Zelda game. That’s pretty specific, but I literally went along comparing parts (mainly the face) from each style to see which I liked best. Hopefully my style will be completely unique and recognisable one day. You can do this once you have a sound knowledge on drawing in itself. You can’t really develop a style by choosing elements of other styles if you don’t have pretty good drawing skills first. That’s not put in a derogatory tone. I’m just saying that by my own experience it takes mounds upon mounds of practice and ‘artistic study’ before a solid style can begin to grow.

Why don’t my pictures look like this person’s?

I don’t know. Well, I might if you showed me… Styles include medium as well as the lineart itself, and there is colour and light and brushes and the list goes on. You would be surprised how many artists start off with very simple and rough sketches. It only turns out looking so good at the end because they’ve done it so many times before and have experience with every step of an image – presumably – so it’s no good quitting early, or for that matter, quitting at all. I have the ability to draw like a baby or infant. You don’t lose that talent. It’s something that builds up over time. You simply gain a wider potential as you practice more. You can’t get worse unless you do not practice your best skills. People who think they’re getting worse at art probably need to push their strengths more but at the same time not let their weaknesses fall behind. I simply cannot emphasis that practice does make perfect. Sure, that’s debatable, but then again I bet your logic is, too. Mwahaha…

Okay, I have valid points, but I lost them in the bulk of this entry. I hope it helped anywho. These are usually written for one or two particular people, but I just like sharing them with y'all <3

I’m gonna finish this one here. I’m actually meant to be studying at the moment ‘cos I’m at TAFE <_< Maybe I should actually start doing work... But hey, when inspiration hits, it hits, right? I’m working on another picture, too. Gah I have so many in my mind. They’re so vivid in my head. That’s why I’m drawing so fast… >_>


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