Developing a Unique Drawing Style.
Art – Developing a Unique Drawing Style.
Louie: It’s him all right. Should I shoot him gangland style or execution style?
Fat Tony: Listen to your heart.
Drawing styles is what separates artists from one another. Even when some artists copy each others styles, they aren’t exactly the same.
Styles are important enough that artists are more or less successful, sometimes, on style alone.
So a lot of developing artists are in a HUGE rush to get one. To find the style that will “make them somebody.”
I think this is the wrong way to think. I think worrying about style is a waste of time.
Today, I’m going to be talking about drawing styles.
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I think I have a style. I’m not sure, but I might. If I do, I didn’t develop it, create it, or go out of my way to make it.
As animators we’re not trained to have a style. We’re not really supposed to have a style. We’re supposed to be chameleons of style. We are trained to emulate ALL styles.
In the animation industry, I would even go so far as to say that, having a style might be a detriment. I would say, that this might also be true with artists in general. If you only have one style, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
I think it’s better to be a good draftsman and draw well, then to have a style. What style actually is, is your favorite short hand solutions to drawing problems. It’s how you want to draw knees or faces…it’s the way you want to express certain things.
It’s something unique to you, and it just happens.
When you study a lot of academics, artists, and drawing solutions, the amalgam of all that work develops into your voice. Your style will develop without you trying hard. It will just happen.
Style is just you’re go to solutions. That thing you always do.
People will say,
“You always make one eye bigger than the other. You always draw eyebrows like that,” and you’ll say,
“Because that’s what I like,” and that’s what’s going to end up happening. Your style will begin to develop naturally.
The problem is that the people who don’t know how to draw as good as they want, are the people that want to skip to style right away.
Develop your draftsmanship FIRST. Then you’re style will develop naturally. It will just happen, because you will develop short hand solutions.
Mastery of All Styles
I would even go so far as to say, that even when you develop a style, break from it. Try other styles. Do other things. Try emulating other people’s styles. Be a style chameleon. Don’t be pigeon holed.
Be able to do any style. From realistic to cartoony.
For example, if you look at someone like Frank Frazetta, he has some very “realistic” paintings. His style is very naturalistic. That’s what everyone sees when you google him. It’s these beautiful fantasy paintings:
The thing is, he was an incredible draftsman. Yet, he was also a fantastic cartoonist. He was able to draw the “Looney Tunes” style, perfectly. You would have never guessed it was him if you saw them:
For more of these cartoony Frazetta comics, visit Sherm Cohen’s blog.
When I first saw his cartoony stuff, I thought to myself,
“That’s Frank Frazetta? Really? That’s fantastic!” I wouldn’t have known.
He was really really versatile. Style didn’t matter. His draftsmanship skills where so good, he could do anything.
THAT’S what you want.
The Handy Cap of Style
You don’t want to pigeon hole yourself into one style. What happens when your style goes out of style? When no one wants “your style?”
Well, then you’re out of a job. You’re a one trick pony. Don’t do that to yourself.
Be a style chameleon. Be able to do draw anything in any style. The only way to do this, is to really work at developing your draftsmanship skills and master drawing.
That’s what I would recommend when it comes to style.
So what do you think? Leave a comment. Did you like what I said, do you disagree?
Drawing a Limited Edition Serigraph Cel
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