Finding Your Unique Style | Alycia Pace | Skillshare
Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
5 Lessons (21m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Lecture 1

    • 3. Lecture 2

    • 4. Lecture 3

    • 5. Lecture 4

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Welcome to class! 

We will be discussing in this course: 

-styles through the ages

-a few popular styles

-choosing a style for your media

-thinking of your audience 

-using reference without copying 

I will also show you several process videos so that you can see how I go about it. 

See the Class Project tab for assignments!

(So sorry that the videos got a bit clipped on the top and bottom of the screen!)

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Alycia Pace

Fortune cookie lover and art fanatic


Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Your creative journey starts here.

  • Unlimited access to every class
  • Supportive online creative community
  • Learn offline with Skillshare’s app

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.



1. Introduction : Hi, I'm Alicia Pace. I'm a freelance illustrator based in Utah, and I'm here to assist you in your journey to find your artistic voice. This class is perfect for you. If you have a strong, fundamental knowledge of drawing basics, you're comfortable drawing. And now you're just ready to hone those skills to achieve a specific look in college at BYU when people would ask the professors about style and how to find there's, the professors would usually respond not to force it, to just let it come naturally to focus on those fundamentals. And I agree that's true that you should focus on your fundamentals. But as I began my career as a freelance illustrator, I was just sort of waiting for the style fairy to come and grant me my style powers. But she never came. So I created this course to help you guys be a little bit more intentional about style in what style fits you and when to use certain styles. So I created a questionnaire that will help you look inside yourself in your artistic process to see what style would fit you. And then for your assignment, we will be creating a character using some of your favorite art to mesh together to create something new, something that's unique. So let's go ahead and get started, see you in class. 2. Lecture 1: Okay, let's talk about style. I, uh I wanted to talk about this to teach a class about style, because I just remember being in school and, uh, thinking a lot about it. Um, there's no rush to find your own style, but I wanted to teach this cost just to get you guys thinking about it in certain ways. Um, just to explore a little bit. So let's talk about styles through the ages. I just picked a few things that I feel have influenced my art. But I think it's good to look back, uh, into history and see what you like, what you don't like and move forward and let it influence your artwork. Norman Rockwell is fantastic. I loved his expressions. I thought when I was young, I thought so cool the detail that he was able to get. Now I'm a little bit more drawn to simplicity, but I really loved his expressions in the way that he was showing real life situations and friend humor in it. The Renaissance era. I liked some of the dreamlike qualities, the beauty of it. Ah u p a r Just the shapes so fun, so, so fun shape designers. Just great. Van Gogh took real life, but ah, simplified it just made it his own. And then our new though the design aspect of our new violate. So I encourage you toe look back into our history and see what you like and what you would like to influence your art. I made this timeline to show the variety of styles nowadays, um, as far as like, simplicity versus complexity. But I didn't I didn't do a great job. It was to more time. And then I thought, toe find drawings, photos online of Florida what I wanted to use. So anyways, this isn't great, but something to think about As you're looking at drawings, uh, think about simplicity versus complexity and what you're drawn to. Hit, drilling, do drilling. He, um that's changed for me over time, but, uh, this is something to think about. Uh, next we Oh, I wanted to explore some different styles that right now I am paying attention to to try to take little bits and pieces of for my own art. I have enjoyed sings thes simple line and color images on Pinterest. Um, it's ah, not there's not a lot of shading. So the reason why I have been looking at this is because I don't have a lot of time as a stay at home mom. So something quicker, something and I don't enjoy the cooling process as much as others dio I usually color as I'm watching TV at night with my family because just kind of like a mindless therapeutic thing, which is, you know, it's so what enjoyable. But I create creatively. I enjoy the line work more so things with heavy line work. I enjoy, uh, Mary Blair. Cute. That's what the board on Pinterest is called because I, uh I feel like Marie Blur kind of started it. Everywhere is, ah, small world. It's a small world. CIA designed a lot of the things for that, and, uh, she did a lot of things for early Disney movie concept art. But let me show you my Pinterest board, which actually doesn't have very many Mary Blair things on it. This was, um, that 1st 1 is minds. I know that one, but, uh, iw it's very, uh, cute. There's a lot of soft edges on the colors or more pastel. Just very, very Cuban sweets. Elegance was a tenderness to it. Ah, lot of these air Annette McEnaney and I also really like illusion. A generally I wanted to show you. Like Sam Nelson's work. He was a teacher of mine in college, and he loves lighting. He loves lighting. He loves shadow, texture and his class. He would talk. He was talking about Ah, lot of the like science behind the way that light affects things. So he's just very passionate about that, and you can see it in his work. So if you don't love this kind of thing, um, studying atmospheric perspective and shading and the way that light hits certain surfaces Ah, you. This might not be the style for you, Um, but it's just something to think about is ah, what? What you like, what you're drawn to, and later I will have a worksheet, um, at the end that we can go through to help you kind of discover who you are as an artist. So I wanted to the chat about certain styles and how they appeal to different audiences. So we think about Pixar and Disney. Those designs are geared towards a variety of age is a wide range of an audience because they want kids to enjoy it as well as their parents. Obviously, that's designed more for that middle age range of elementary school. Uh, but you can see in the designs is like the eyes have a little bit of realism to it. There's, ah, realistic lighting and shadow, but the shapes aren't just they're not as basic as, say, Peppa Pig. There at the bottom left, my little toddler is obsessed with Peppa pig, and they did a great job with the designs appealing to the toddler age range. Because look at those shapes. There's very simple, just basic circles. The color is solid. There's not a lot of there's no like shadow or highlighting. It's not complex in any way. That simplicity draws a younger audience. Ah, the nightmares book. I, uh I'm not sure that this is not for adults, but it looks like it is for like, a little bit younger. I'm not super young, but if you look at the character that kind of gives it away that it's probably a young adult book. Um, yeah, and then you look at myth of the Moon Goddess that looks more like it is on adult fiction book because of the realism because of the shadows because of the lighting, the snail and the Rose Tree looks like a Children's book. The colors, the shapes, the zombie chasers that looks like a Y A book because our an early reader book you see the simple eyes. But, um, it's more complex than, let's say, Peppa pig. So something to think about some cells were better for certain media types. This is something that I learned just getting right out of college. Um, because I kind of felt like I could draw like an animator and still succeed in picture books, which you can You can't don't get me wrong But I had an experience chatting with the publisher, and he was looking at my portfolio, um, for a project that he was working on, and he liked my really old stuff, as opposed to my newer stuff, that I had been working really hard on developing. Ah, concept art style. It was more digital, and he specifically said, I don't like that stuff because it is digital looking. I want something more texture based, So Children's books they like going back to the it looks more like it was done with watercolor, acrylic or traditional media. As you can see, these all work really well for Children's books because of because of that and, you know, colors involved in shape and stuff. And but just something to think about, uh, that the look of successful Children's books than animation uh, doesn't have as much. I mean, it's not as important that there's lighting and shadow because the model is gonna go in and it will still help, obviously. But, uh, as you're looking here, these are very successful, and they don't have a lot of lighting and shading. So if you don't, um, I mean, this is just a style that would work well for animation. The shapes are very exaggerated, and, uh, they're very character driven. So then groups be, do be, Do be go. I don't know much gravity games. I haven't explored this style very much, but ah, if you like, like sharper edges of you, like drawing things that air for a older, more mature audience, if you really like detail and costuming and creatures and that sort of thing, um, video game style would be very hopeful for you and then merchandise if you're looking to dio Sure designs journal designs, paper plates. Ah, I haven't explored this much. I have done some, but what is more successful, I've noticed is simpler. Uh, line work, solid colors, very iconic, just not nearly as complex. If you look around, you wouldn't see, Let's say, um, while he moved to the stirs up on a shirt, But like this, even you might. But you definitely don't see it being as successful as a very simple thing. So if you like drawing this way, maybe look into merchandise and or if you're looking to go into merchandise, um, this would be an interesting thing to study to think about. So I have a questionnaire for you guys that I want you guys to fill out, too. Ah, and I will talk about how this can affect it. Um, your style later, but just going over it. So how long do you take on a drawing? How long does it take you to lose interest? I think I added in the worksheets, What's your favorite part of the artistic process? Um, because I think different styles focus on different parts of that process. And I think this is an important thing to consider, uh, to name six of your favor artists. What is there? Are having common. Do you find any similarities? What? Do you enjoy more line work or coloring your drawings? Do you like to take your time? Be so precise, or do you prefer to work loosely and messy? What have you drawn that you leg toe? What did you like about it? Which strong's do you enjoy the process the most to enjoy simplicity and design? Or do you prefer complex city? What form of media do you dream of designing for? So this is just to get you thinking of. You may have not have considered these things when you were exploring what sort of style Um you want, so Ah, fill this out. You can Ah, you can post it. That would be great. Will be fun to see what you, uh, said you don't have to, but this is a sign one. So go ahead and fill that out. 3. Lecture 2: draw, draw, draw, End of lecture. Just kidding. So the first thing the mad like you guys to try is to take a lot of images from a Google search of styles that you like, and then copy several of them and then take a photograph of a person that you want to draw , and then you'll see that some of the things that you notice in that you drew while you were copying will show up as you're sketching. Ah, here I noticed I was using lines in a different way and just thinking about it from a different perspective. I took the line work. Ah, emulating Stevie Lewis or Stevie Ray is his name. I wrote it running there and then coloring it in a different way. So I'm not copping completely. I'm also taking a different spin on it, and it was already not copying because I had my own flair in there. Sorry that the top is cut off, but here I'm copying thes different drawings, and then I mesh a few of them together to agree it's something new. So that's kind of what we're trying to do here is you find the styles that you like, and then you try to mesh them together to create something that's personal to you. This is the sketch did not turn out very well, but you're just exploring this top. When I took the guy on the left and created a girl and then on the bottom here, I took kind of the bottom to the middle on the bottom and meshed him a little bit in style . And you learn a lot more that way by just not not just copying. So here. Same thing where there's a picture on the left that I was looking at, how they we're dealing with lines and shading. And and then I found that photograph and then created something new. This stuff is Carly Kito Kat toes. She's a friend of mine. I should know how to pronounce her last statement, but higher you forgot it was called Carly uh ends. Anyway, it's so just copping just to see I noticed, like on the bottom of the pants there that's not high would have handled that. So it's interesting to see how she did. And as you're copying these your learning thing, so it's just a form of study as an artist. So I encourage you to do that. Some of your favorites. Sorry that again, that this is cut off. This is Carly's again. And I was using an incomplete bleed pen, which I really like, So I also encourage you to explore different types of materials. As you're doing these, Just try to get different effects. Especially while you're in this experimental face. It's a good time. So do a bunch of that. Don't. I'm not copping reckless. I'm not taking a lot of time on these. Just quick. Try to get the shapes, try to get the feel and Ah, and I was excited to see what you guys come up with. 4. Lecture 3: in the last video. When I was copying images, I was doing it like this first sketch or just kind of lines. But I think you guys should try to do more of this brown sketch, which is drawing through the shapes doing like an under layer, showing the forms they say they call it, drawing through the shapes so that I moved on to a final sketch to show kind of how you guys should be approaching this. Where, ah, the sketches that I did have Stevie Lewis, Stevie Ray. I am sketching in that style and then coloring it simply like this Pinterest image. And then I go into the background and I'm not using reference for the background, and it goes so much harder and so much slower and just did not work out as well. I mean, I did grab that reference, but I wasn't falling it exactly. And as far as like, how to stylistically do a background I hadn't explored as much as I had with characters. And so it just did not go a smoothly, and I ended up just taking out the background because I did not like it very much. Silicate was just not great. So Ah, what I want. Oh, and then I move on to this Ah, just toe explore street views. I realized that I wasn't very good at drawing what street views. Just because I don't live in a city and I just, uh, don't have much experience with that. So I want you guys Teoh go forth and do 5. Lecture 4 : I just wanted Teoh. Talk about your assignment before you guys jump in. Make sure that you find good reference photos of the character that you want to draw, so you'll be drawing a character. I linked sartorial list. Martha. You'd say it. They have a lot of really fun characters. So pick a character and then grab a bunch of images from Pinterest and artists that you like. And copy, Copy, copy. Don't post them anywhere and claim that they're yours. Just copies, like those ones on the right. Those air. I mean, I I changed a little bit. Changing what you're copying will help you more than just copying it. And don't copy every single line. Just the idea is just the shapes, just what you like about it. Even you could just copy the hands. If the hands are the only things that interest you. So then drug Audra from those images that you like, and then move on to your final image and just go from the photo. Try to incorporate the things that you learned from your sketches, and you'll be surprised how much easier will be to create something that you like After studying and sketching from the images that you love. So here's a highly caffeinated Girl Scout leader from be assignment from the character design class. So go draw your hearts away and I can't wait to see what you guys do. I will do Cem drovers if I have suggestions of anatomy or anything but Post post away, uh, and I will see you guys in our next glass.