Elements of style

Cross posted from DA:

Art style, that is. Did you think I was talking about the (extremely awesome) book? 🙂

From time to time, I see folks talking in their DA journals about their styles. Mostly, trying to establish a style. They gripe about their styles changing. They fret about trying new styles.

As I look through their galleries, I can see their style, even if the brushstrokes and renditions of characters vary widely. A style isn’t sticking yourself to only cell-shading, or inking everything with extremely crisp lines, or keeping everything very smeary and painterly. Those are all techniques, not styles.

A style is like handwriting. It’s unique to every artist. No matter what medium they use, or what art techniques or subjects, their style will always bleed through. Because they are the ones making the art.

As an artist, nobody can make the pictures that you make, because nobody sees the world exactly as you do. Every artist is unique, and so is their view of the world, all the way down to their perception of color.

So, as an artist, don’t feel like you are trapped in a “style”, which usually is confused with “technique”. Try different techniques, mediums, and subjects. Don’t worry about your style. If you can draw at all well, you already have a style. Worry about making art. That’s why you’re here, right?

(Notice the different techniques I used in those different artworks? But they’re all still obviously my style.)

3 thoughts on “Elements of style

  1. Will: If you look closely at the dinosaur, you’ll see he’s actually in space. Like those whales that jump out of galaxies.

    Farmgirl: Very true! 🙂


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