Have you also heard many times that you need to find your drawing style to stand out from the crowd? I’ve heard it often enough. Especially as a textile designer, I’ve also been told the other way around that I’ve lost my style. I would have always said that I am still searching for my style. Be it in drawing or in my clothing style. But I have drawn and dressed, so probably also within a certain style. More or less consciously.

The advantage for me personally with this was that I never really committed myself and could adapt relatively easily to certain tasks and requirements for my work. This was especially advantageous in my studies, each professor was then presented with a different style. Nevertheless, I always had the feeling that I, at least, had to find my drawing style. Maybe I just wasn’t satisfied with the style I often use. As soon as you draw, you use a certain style, I would say. Whether it’s one you’re just copying or one you’re just comfortable with, or one that comes easily to you.

My drawing style

I always try to draw as realistically as possible. That seems to be the basis of my style, and I always come back to pencil drawings because that’s the easiest way for me to draw as realistically as possible. Over time, I started adding colour to my drawings. And from that, I developed the style I’m very happy with at the moment: Pencil drawings combined with watercolours.

This development took a few years. On the one hand, because I often stopped drawing completely, and on the other hand because I could not say what I like.

With the style of my last drawings, however, I was now so satisfied that I think I have finally found my style. I made these drawings as part of a cooperation, and you can see them in the following videos.

Sketch of three Costubers
My most recent three sketches.
Play Video about Thumbnail Video Portraits of Costube: Sketching Rachel Maksy
Play Video about Thumbnail Video Portraits of Costube: Sketching SnappyDragon
Play Video about Thumbnail Video Portraits of Costube: Sketching Kaitlyn Bower

My recommendation for discovering your own drawing style

But what did I learn regarding finding my style? And more importantly, what would I recommend to others?

  1. You always have your drawing style. Simply by drawing, copying certain elements, and above all being good at some things and not too good at others.
  2. One’s style develops by itself, but it is a prerequisite that one draws.
  3. Trial and error is, in my opinion, the most important thing to find your preferences and to work them out.
  4. It is worthwhile to copy others and learn from them. Not to compare yourself, but to learn something new and combine it with the techniques you have already learned.
  5. The combination of different techniques can produce incredibly exciting results.
Portrait of SnappyDragon in pencil next to the original photo
The original photo next to my sketch.

So if you are looking for your drawing style, my recommendation is to try it out. Pick techniques you like, copy others. YouTube is a treasure trove, but please don’t be discouraged because others seem so much better, they just have a lot of practice time behind them. And the most important thing of all: practice! I used to get mad when I got to the point where I realized that that’s exactly what I was missing, the motivation to practice. Because others are just so excellent at their technique, and I’m not, right? No, I just haven’t spent that much time trying out and improving this or that technique.

One last tip to end with: You don’t need materials like the best pens, the perfect paper, and other stuff. I’ve bought a few things, but the works I’m most satisfied with, in retrospect, are completely independent of the material. The worst pencils on paper that is intended for watercolour has nevertheless produced a portrait with which I am satisfied again.

And now a very last tip: Trickery is allowed! For example, I’m not very good at getting human proportions right. So I started to draw them from photos. Of course, some artists can do this without any problems and would turn up their noses at it, but I’m just not there yet and maybe never will be. Still, by using this trick, I can create drawings that I’m happy with and that don’t look like the person pictured is coming out of a nightmare.

Now the most important three points summarized:

  1. Practice, practice, practice…. (even if it’s only a few minutes a day).
  2. Try different materials and techniques until it just feels good and natural to work that way.
  3. Have fun and be curious, the rest comes with time.

Material I used for the sketches shown here:

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