Both aspiring artists and seasoned drawing experts can benefit from experimenting with new drawing styles. So no matter your skill level, diversifying your drawing repertoire can enhance your abilities and unlock new creative avenues.
Ahead, we’ll explore why trying different drawing styles is a great idea, delve into 15 varied styles you can try for yourself and provide simple tips you can use to improve your drawing game and develop your own unique style.
Why Experiment with Different Drawing Styles?
Artistic curiosity is as good a reason as any to experiment with different drawing styles, but it’s far from the only one.
These are some of the many reasons why you should try incorporating new and varied drawing styles into your art:
- Skill development: Each drawing style demands specific techniques and skills. By trying different styles, you can expand your skill set, become more versatile and open doors to more artistic projects.
- Personal growth: Engaging with diverse drawing styles can help you grow as an artist and in general. That’s because you’ll learn more about your strengths, weaknesses and preferences throughout the experimentation process.
- Finding artistic identity: Exposing yourself to various styles can help you identify what resonates with you personally, and develop a unique artistic voice by amalgamating elements from different styles. This journey of self-discovery can in turn enable you to develop a distinctive and recognizable artistic identity.
- Problem-solving skills: Different drawing styles often present unique challenges, and navigating these challenges will quickly begin to sharpen your problem-solving skills. Whether it’s mastering proportions, understanding perspective or experimenting with different textures, you can become a better artist by figuring out how to overcome the obstacles that challenge you most.
- Inspiration for innovation: If you regularly expose yourself to a diverse range of drawing styles, you’ll always have a constant source of inspiration. Elements from one style can be seamlessly integrated into another, and such cross-pollination of ideas can lead to the creation of truly original and groundbreaking work.
- Audience appeal: Understanding different drawing styles will allow you to connect with a broader audience. Whether you’re creating art for your own enjoyment or for paying clients, learning various styles can enable you to communicate the desired message more effectively.
Pro tip: While you can certainly use physical tools like pens, pencils and paper to carry out your artistic experiments, digital tools like Procreate make it especially easy (and economical) to switch between styles and try various tools without wasting valuable supplies.
15 Drawing Styles to Try
Diversify your artistic abilities by exploring these 15 drawing styles:
Cartoons are typically characterized by simplified, exaggerated depictions of characters and scenes. Cartoonists tend to use bold lines, vibrant colors and distinctive character features, often with the aim of conveying humor or telling stories.
This is a spontaneous and often unconscious form of drawing characterized by free-flowing lines, shapes and patterns. It’s a creative and expressive outlet that can take various forms, ranging from simple sketches to intricate designs, and can even serve as a way to warm up for a more structured drawing session.
Academic drawing refers to a traditional and disciplined approach to art that emphasizes precise representation and anatomical accuracy. Rooted in classical art education and inspired by masters like Leonardo da Vinci, academic drawings often feature careful attention to detail, realistic proportions and precision.
This involves the creation of quick, preliminary drawings that capture the essence of a subject. When sketching, artists use loose lines and minimal details to convey a general composition or idea, and can use sketches as a foundation on which to base more detailed drawings later on.
5. Line Drawing
Line drawing is a minimalist approach to art and uses only lines to create an image. Simplicity and clarity are prized qualities of line drawings, with artists using lines to convey form, texture, and composition without the use of shading or color.
6. Pop Art
First pioneered in the 1950s, pop art is characterized by bold colors, iconic imagery from popular culture and a sense of irony or critique. Pop artists often incorporate mass-produced elements such as advertisements and consumer products into their work.
Manga is a style of comic book or graphic novel illustration that originated in Japan. It features distinctive artistic elements such as exaggerated facial expressions and large, emotive eyes. When used in animation, manga-style art is also known as anime.
As its name implies, pointillism is a technique in which small, distinct dots (i.e., points) of color are applied to create an image. When viewed from a distance, these dots blend together to form a cohesive and detailed picture.
Architectural drawing focuses on the precise depiction of buildings, structures and the spaces between them. It can range from artistic representations of buildings to detailed floor plans, and can be used to showcase technical architectural features as well as the look and feel of a city or town.
Fashion drawing involves illustrating clothing, accessories and people wearing them. Fashion artists often emphasize fabric textures, unique details and the overall aesthetic of the fashion piece.
11. 3D Drawing
With 3D drawing, you can create the illusion of three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface. Shading, perspective and depth can all lend 3D drawings a sense of volume and realism.
Abstract art is characterized by a departure from realistic representation, and often focuses on shapes, colors and forms that don’t directly mimic the visual world. Artists working in an abstract style typically seek to convey emotions, ideas or concepts through non-representational and non-objective imagery.
This type of drawing aims to create meticulous and accurate representations of natural subjects, such as those used in scientific documentation, botanical studies and zoological illustrations. In general, scientific illustrators prioritize precision, detail and clarity in their work.
Geometric drawing is a style that relies on the use of geometric shapes and mathematical principles to create precise and structured artworks. This style employs clean lines, symmetry and the thoughtful arrangement of basic shapes such as circles, squares and the like.
15. Hatching and Crosshatching
Hatching and crosshatching are shading techniques characterized by the use of closely spaced parallel lines (hatching) and intersecting sets of lines (crosshatching) to create dimension and texture in a drawing. The density, direction and arrangement of the lines determine the final look, and by tweaking those elements artists can depict light and shadow.
How to Improve Your Drawing Game
Elevate your drawing skills with these practical tips:
- Practice every day: Improvement in any skill requires consistent practice, and drawing is no exception. Daily practice not only hones technical skills but also builds muscle memory, and the more you practice, the easier it will be for you to execute your ideas. Not sure what to draw? No problem—our list of 102 things to draw can help.
- Use perspective for realism: Understand the principles of one-point, two-point and three-point perspective to accurately represent objects in space. This technique adds depth and dimension to your artwork, which can make it more visually appealing and lifelike.
- Use grids to master proportions: Proportions are the foundation of a well-balanced drawing. By utilizing grids, you can break down complex compositions into manageable sections, thus ensuring more accurate proportions. This method is particularly useful when tackling intricate subjects or when striving for realistic representation.
- Enhance your shape drawing skills: Shapes are the building blocks of any drawing, so improving your ability to recognize and accurately depict shapes enhances your overall drawing skills. Pay attention to how shapes interact and combine to create complex forms.
- Embrace mistakes for growth: Mistakes are an inevitable part of the artistic process, but they also offer valuable learning opportunities. Embracing mistakes fosters a positive mindset, and can help you learn to analyze errors, identify areas for improvement and refine your techniques.
- Simplify complex anatomy with basic shapes: When tackling complex subjects like human or animal anatomy, start with simplified forms and structures. Using stick figures, for example, can help you break down intricate details into manageable components.
- Experiment with various techniques: Don’t limit yourself to a single drawing style. Experimenting with various techniques allows you to discover what resonates with you and can lead you toward the development of a more unique and personalized style.
- Study other artists’ work: Learn from the work of other artists and you’ll never struggle to find new sources of inspiration and education. Analyze their techniques, styles and compositions to expand your artistic vocabulary.
Develop Your Unique Drawing Style
As you journey through different styles and incorporate valuable techniques into your practice, you’ll find yourself naturally gravitating towards certain elements. Embrace this evolution and take note of the aspects that work for you. Your unique drawing style is a fusion of your influences, experiences and personal flair, which means no other artist can develop one quite like it.
And if you want to truly make your drawing style the best it can be, there’s no better place to do so than Skillshare. Our free drawing exercises, online drawing classes and Procreate resources make it more convenient than ever to broaden your artistic horizons.
Psst: Interested in turning your drawings into animations? Procreate Dreams is the app for you. With powerful and easy-to-use animation tools, you’ll be creating original animated videos in no time.