Find Your Style: an Actionable Guide to Develop Your Illustration Style | Brooke Glaser | Skillshare

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Find Your Style: an Actionable Guide to Develop Your Illustration Style

teacher avatar Brooke Glaser, Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Find Your Style: an Actionable Guide to Develop Your Illustration Style


    • 2.

      Class Breakdown


    • 3.

      Artist Inspiration


    • 4.

      Master Studies


    • 5.

      The Elements of Style


    • 6.

      Shape & Style


    • 7.

      Color & Style


    • 8.

      Line & Style


    • 9.

      Texture & Style


    • 10.

      Form & Style


    • 11.

      Your Style Guide/Identify Your Current Style


    • 12.

      DTIYS: Create Your Series


    • 13.

      Win a Year of Skillshare


    • 14.

      Artistic Voice


    • 15.

      Dealing with Comparison


    • 16.

      Working in Multiple Styles


    • 17.

      Consistency & Deciding on Your Style


    • 18.

      Bonus: Style Advice with Gia Graham


    • 19.

      Final Notes


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About This Class

A fun, practical guide to find your illustration style with hands on drawing projects. Explore the different ways to draw shapes, lines, textures, and colors. Develop your unique art style, faster!

The traditional advice for finding your style as an artist is ‘Draw tons and tons, eventually your style will emerge.’ Well yeah, you can aimlessly draw a ton of stuff and you’ll eventually land on a style. But in my experience intentional, directed practice has dramatically sped up the development of my visual style. So let’s find your illustration style, faster!

My name is Brooke Glaser. I’m a professional illustrator and a Top Teacher on Skillshare. I’ve helped over 100k+ like you level up both their art and their creative careers. You can find my art on kids clothes, greeting cards, gift wrap, magazines, and more.

In this style class, we’re gonna explore different ways of visually expressing shapes, lines, textures, colors. You know, all the those visual elements that form what you art actually LOOKS like. We'll learn from artists you admire by integrating what you love about their work into your own, but in a way that’s unique to you. You’ll finish the class with a series of 4 illustrations in your brand new style. 

For those of you like me who suffer from Shiny Object Syndrome and are always eager to try on a new style? We’ll discuss:

  • Ways to work in multiple styles
  • Consistency
  • Having confidence in your work
  • Comparison and strategies for dealing with it.

This class is a fun, practical guide to finding your style.

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Brooke Glaser


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Level: Intermediate

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1. Find Your Style: an Actionable Guide to Develop Your Illustration Style: Let's find your unique illustration style faster. The traditional advice for finding your style as an artist is just draw tons and tons and eventually, your style will emerge. Well, yeah, you can aimlessly draw a ton of stuff and you'll eventually land on the style. But in my experience, intentional directed practice has dramatically sped up the development of my visual style. My name is Brook laser. I'm a professional illustrator and a top teacher on Skillshare. I've helped over 100,000 artists like you level up both their art and their creative careers. You can find my art on kids clothes, greeting cards, gift wrap, magazines, and more. In this style class, we're going to do hands on projects to explore different ways of visually expressing shapes, lines, textures, colors, you know, all those visual elements that form what your art actually looks like. We're going to learn from artists that you admire and find ways to integrate what you love about their work into your own. But in a way that's unique to you, and you'll finish the class with a series of four illustrations in your brand new style. For those of you like me who suffer from shiny objects syndrome and are always eager to try on a new style. We'll examine ways to work in multiple styles. We'll discuss consistency and having confidence in your work. We'll talk about the very real struggles of comparison that we all face as artists and strategies for dealing with it. This is a fun practical guide to finding your illustration style. So let's get started. 2. Class Breakdown: My partner, Dan has been learning to play the guitar, and he told me a story that I think relates perfectly to finding your style as an artist. Dan told me when he first started learning guitar that he was just noodling. Dling is when you just goof around aimlessly playing around on your guitar, and there's nothing wrong with noodling. It's part of the joys of playing the guitar. But Dan told me what he found more helpful to actually learn how to play guitar was, actually learning scales or doing specific exercises that helped him stretch his fingers to between the notes or exercises where he intentionally practiced moving his hands quickly between different chords. A lot of the style advice that I hear is simply just draw a lot and you'll find your style. And that's true. You can just kind of noodle around and draw a lot, and you will eventually find your style. I mean, it's there and it will come out. But alternatively, you can intentionally work at developing your style. And chances are you'll make progress a whole lot faster when you are intentional about developing your style. A quick definition here, what is style? Style is the way that your art looks. Stylization is an abstraction of reality. It's what you leave out and what you include in your illustrations. For example, you can draw all the details of an eye, or you can simplify it all the way down to a single dot. We're going to focus heavily on the external visual things that make up your style in this class. But it's also important to discuss that your artistic style is much more than just the way that your art looks. In the same way that the clothes you wear doesn't encapsulate the entire vibe of your style as a person. Like a business person style is more than just their suit. It's how they speak or the things that they do. So, what are we going to do in this class? This class will be broken up into a few different sections. First, we're going to learn from artists that we admire and then we'll dive into a series of hands on explorations of different ways to represent shape, color, line, texture, and form. Then we'll define our own unique visual style. We'll also talk about artistic voice, dealing with comparison, working in multiple styles, and consistency. Okay. Who is this class for? This is an intermediate class. If you're brand new to drawing, I highly encourage you to check out some of my other classes, like my how to draw class or my color theory class. It can be very difficult to find your style if you're still getting used to drawing, if you're working with a brand new pool or medium, or if you've only ever made a handful of art pieces. You may find this class more useful once you've gotten a little bit more experience under your belt. However, we all absorb information in different ways. So you may find this information helpful even as a brand new beginner artist. I'll be doing all of my demonstrations in Procreate, but the ideas and principles can be translated to whatever medium you work with. If you see me doing something in Procreate, and you're wondering how the heck does she do that? I highly recommend checking out my intro to procreate class where I break down all of the tools. But enough preamble, let's dive in. 3. Artist Inspiration: Okay, this is going to be fun. In order to start developing our style, we need to identify art styles we're drawn to. So we're going to collect a handful of pieces from five different artists that you admire. You can create a Pinterest board, a saved collection on Instagram. You can arrange them on a canvas in photoshop or procreate. You can print them out and paste them in a scrapbook. These can be modern artists. They can be old famous artists. They can be obscure artists that nobody's heard of. They just need to be artists that you like their art. We're going to refer back to these pieces throughout the class, especially during our hands on style exercises. For each artist, I want you to identify what is it that you actually like about their art. Now, if you're like me, you don't often think about why you like something, you just like it. But when you see a piece that's beautiful, you just say, Oh, my gosh, I love this. And that's great. It's instinctual. That's a piece that belongs on your inspiration board. But we want to delve deeper down into why we like those things that we can start integrating that into our work in the later lessons. Okay, so for example, this is my board. And I love Geneva Bower is also known as GDB art. I love her colors, her sense of light and using color to reflect light. I love her textures, her brush strokes. Another artist I love is Brittany Lee, and I love her composition, the flow of one shape to the next. I love David Sierra Liston has such great contrast. I love the way that he does hair. The shapes are really geometric, but they don't feel that way. They feel really natural. Joey Chu has such great use of color and textures. He pairs things down to the simplest shape to communicate the most, but then heavily textures it. I love Anne Draws works. She pairs things down to their simplest, most intriguing aspects, and then she uses just the right amount of details. Her contrast is really great, so like the color in the details is just dark enough to really pop on the underlayer of the colors that she uses. I love Lorina Alvarez's work. She's got a great use of color, obviously, but she also has little details in the background which keep your attention, but don't dominate the scene. So you can really look at her pieces for a long time and see lots of new things. So go ahead and create your mood board, and if you'd like, you can take a screenshot and share that in your projects. 4. Master Studies: Our first exercise is going to be a master study. I want you to take a piece of art by an artist that you admire and recreate it. Perhaps one of the pieces that you researched in the last lesson. Recreating a piece that you admire is the fastest shortcut to understanding how to create in that style. You can look at a piece all day long, but I guarantee you will learn a lot more by redrawing it. However, it's very important that you know that this is a private practice. These images, these master studies are not for public sharing. You're welcome to share these in your skill chair project, please credit the original artist strictly as an educational part of this class. But I'm giving you a heads up warning right now. This is not something that you should put on social media or in your portfolio. Copying another artist's work and claiming it as your own is more than frowned upon. If you try to sell or profit off of another artist's work, you can even get in legal trouble. And most artists, they may feel a little bit conflicted if you were just to share, like, Hey, look, I copied your work. So this is a private practice. But as a learning exercise, this is a freaking fabulous way to learn. I do these in my private sketchbook all the time. And if it's something that you do really want to share on social media, try doing a master study from someone in the public domain, like a famous Renaissance artist. Since I'm doing this for the class and it's a public thing, I'm going to use a Vincent Van Go piece for our class. And you're welcome to follow along with me with this Vincent Van go piece. But I encourage you to use whatever artists you admire because this is a style class, and you will learn more about their style by doing a piece that you actually want to learn from. Okay, ough dire warnings. I want to share some tips for approaching your master study. Quick story time. The first part of my creative career was working for paint and tip studios. I essentially got paid to practice painting. It was amazing. But occasionally, I wouldn't know what painting I would be teaching until I walked into the studio that night, and I saw the art for the first time. So I developed a method for making sure I could keep the class within a two hour time frame and still get good results. Here's some tips for approaching your master study. One, gather your color palette and decide on what brushes or tools you will need before you begin. Two. Starting with a rough sketch helps you focus on getting the style and the technique right instead of worrying about making sure that you're getting the shapes correct at the beginning. So start with a sketch. Three. Paintings often have a base layer of color under the strokes that you can see on top of it. So for some paintings, you may want to start with a base layer of color. Four. Before you begin, create a mental roadmap. How are you going to tackle making this piece? How would the artist have created this work? In what order would they have painted this piece? Would they have started with the background first or the main element first? All right, let's dive into it. For this van go piece, I'll be recreating this in Procreate, but the original was probably done in oil paint. I'm thinking he probably started with the background color of green. And then he probably also did an underpainting of blue for the coat and probably an under painted color of maybe some sort of orange for the skin. So that might be something that I will try to do. Also, it looks to me like all of these breasts strokes. They're very much the same size, like in his face and mostly everywhere, it's the same size. There are some larger breast strokes over here. And in the background, there are also some larger kind of different brushes. So I think that I'm going to use the same brush for the portrait, all the same brush, but a brush that I can adjust the size. So when I come down in here, I might make the brush bigger and when I'm working in all of these areas, I'll keep the brush a smaller size, but I'm going to use the same kind of brush to get the same look. When I'm considering what brush I'm going to use, I am noticing that there are there's some tapering to these. So I want to brush that if I use a little bit more pressure, I can get it to be a little thinner on the edges, especially like in these beard areas and a little bit thicker. So I'm going to use a brush that allows me to have some thick to thin edges so that I can kind of mimic this style. So I'm going to start with a quick sketch, and then I'll put in a couple of underlayer colors. And I'm noticing here that as I start the beard, Vanco is using a lot of up and down strokes, and he's very intentional about what direction that stroke goes. It's really showing the curve or the shape of the beard. It's showing the shape of the form. So that's really important the direction that he's using these hatches in. The further that I get into this painting, the more I notice that Vang doesn't always use dashes. Sometimes he uses an outline, like in the coat right along this edge right here. And also, I can see that in the eye here as well. So there's a line around this part of the eye, and there's also a line around here. So it's not always that he uses these dashed lines. Sometimes he uses an outline. And the question is, does he have a reason for that? To me, what I think is happening is The outline is always clear on the edges of something that needs to be separated from the background. It's probably to help keep elements separate from each other in a really distinct clear way. So the lines in the nostril really help separate the beard from the nose and the same here with the eye. It really keeps the eye separate from all of the other textures on the face and these folds in here. I think it's really meant for definition, these outlines. And I think that's something that I can take into my own art. Anywhere that I I want the edges of my objects to be really clear, but I want them to be really heavily textured on the inside. And I can see this action really clearly here in the button. It's rounded right here and then at a diagonal on the inside. I'm noticing while I'm layering the beard that the blues are on the top of the beard. So I wonder if he actually did the coat last and then use the blue from his brush to add more details into the beard. The order of how he laid things out may or may not have mattered. But, you know, people approach things differently, and maybe for me, what I can do is I can try adding a little color from parts of a painting that I'm using in unexpected areas or areas I wouldn't traditionally include them. Because I'm seeing that also in the skin, there's even a little bit of green from the background in the skin. He uses different strokes on the background that he does on the subject. So that's why I'm going to switch brushes here. I'm also noticing that the background colors are all the same that I used in the portrait part. So I think this I think the yellow here might be the same yellow that he used as the buttons and the lettering on his hat. So I wonder if he painted those at the same time rather than cleaning his brush and reloading the paint. It may be that he added these extra details as he painted. So maybe the yellow was an after thought in the background here. Maybe the same is true with the lighter and darker green strokes. Maybe he added them in the background, then returned to the beard and added a little bit more color in here. Okay. So after you finished your master study, what I would suggest is that you ask yourself, what did I learn from this master study? What are lessons that I can apply in my next piece. For me, one thing that I noticed was when I was creating a digital version of this oil painting, one thing that I really missed was having this blend of colors, like you can see right here. So my brush didn't mix and blend those colors. For me, I wonder if I could have messed with the color dynamics and created a brush that changed hue slightly, depending on how much pressure I used or how much tilt I used. How could I mimic this idea of a brush that maybe had a bunch of white paint in here coming and mixing with the wet blue. Maybe I could mess with the opacity settings on my brush so that the harder I press, the more white comes in, versus the less I press, the let s white shows so that I could maybe even create a blend of colors. So let's see if I adjust the opacity here, you can kind of see what I mean. So I press lightly there versus hard here, and I can sort of see the color coming through. So maybe that's something that I could do to get a brush that kind of mimics what I like in this painting. If you really enjoy doing the master studies, one thing that I would suggest that you could try is to do a slightly advanced twist on this exercise and try taking one of your pieces and drawing it in another artist's style, like I did here with a Sunday. Now, we're going to dive into these Sundays in a little bit. But this was my version of a totally Van go style Sunday. 5. The Elements of Style: In the next set of lessons, you're going to be trying your hand at exploring different ways of drawing in a variety of styles. We're going to learn about the elements of art and how we can use bits and pieces of style from artists that you admire to explore different ways you can put your own unique take on these different elements. While we do that, I want you to keep a couple of things in mind. When I was in college, I was working on illustrating a scene, and I was really struggling with how to make my rocks, look like rocks. And my professor suggested a few books and landscape artists whom I could use to get some ideas of how to draw rocks, and it blew my mind that I could look at what other artists were doing instead of just relying on my own imagination or observation. I felt as if that was somehow cheating. My professor suggested that I take inspiration from lots of places. And that's what I've done over the years. I've looked at how other artists represent a wide variety of things pulling from many different artists. I'd take what I'd see from them, and as I applied it in my work, I'd improvise and tweak things to fit better with the way that I liked doing things. And as you broaden your references, soon you will have a totally unique way of representing all kinds of things because you pull a little inspiration from here and a little inspiration from there. And this mishmash Frankenstein thing becomes your own. And now the key is I'm not copying all of the elements of one artist's style and then calling it my own. When you write a paper, if you copy from one author, it's called plagiarizing. When you copy from several, it's called research. Consider this the same as developing your art style. Put some of your own elements in there and elements from several other artists. Make it unique. As Marie Condo would say, do what sparks joy for you. You don't have to make the same choices that I do. Embrace the things and the styles and the looks that you love. It's okay to make ugly work. Remember, this is an exploration and an experiment. It's okay to make ugly work. By trying to do something differently, sometimes we discover what we don't want to do. This is the value in making ugly work. We learn by trying new things, even if we don't like the results. 6. Shape & Style: In this lesson, we're going to discuss shape as it relates to style and the different ways we can approach drawing our shapes. After we go through some examples, then we'll try a hands on exercise to try it out for ourselves. The first element we'll start with is shape. And when I talk about shape, I am talking about the contours or the edges of an image. For example, in this cacti image, you can see that there is the shape of the cacti and then there's the shape of the pots. Inside of those pots, they also have little details, and those are all made up of shapes. Sometimes a shape is made up of a collection of other shapes. For example, in Vincent Van Go's Starry Night. All of this swirl right here, everything is made up of little tiny dashes and those are actually shapes as well. Each of these elements, they come together to form that shape. All these little sushes come up and create this shape of the swirl in the sky. Sometimes artists create shapes out of the absence of something, and that's called negative space. For example, these ghosts are actually made up of blank canvas. What actually creates their outline is the edges of the trees. These ghosts are created by the negative shapes, the opposite. This tree is the shape, but the edges of that shape are what create the shape of the ghost. Shape is everywhere. It's in furniture. It's in architecture. It's in the designs throughout the years. Now, two artists can draw the same object and use completely different ways of conveying shape. That's what we're going to explore in this lesson. There are a few different ways to approach shape. You can either do shapes in a geometric way, an organic way, or stylized somewhere in between those. Geometric shapes are circles, cubes, triangles, cones, stuff like that. Geometric shapes are often associated with man made feelings because they feel artificial. Most things in nature are not perfectly geometrical organic shapes are more fluid. They aren't precise or exact in the way that a perfect circle or a perfect square is. For example, I have drawn these mushrooms in a very geometric style. You can see that everything about this mushroom is geometric. The mushroom top itself is made up of a half circle. Even these cuts in the edges are very triangular. They're very straight and perfect. Even the shading is very geometric. This is an example of very geometric style of drawing. Whereas this mushroom is a lot more natural looking. The edges here are not perfectly precise. The shading is rough around the edges. There's even not super clean lines. It's very much more fluid, it's much more natural. Maybe some people would say realistic. T mushroom, is somewhere in between them. The circles aren't perfect. They're a little bit rough around the edges. The little notches in the mushrooms are also not perfect. But it's not realistic. It's not totally organic. It's got a little bit of a geometric shape. It's just that those geometric shapes kind of flow instead of really are super organic in the way that these mushrooms are. This is somewhere in between those. What I want to do for our project is we are going to explore a handful of ways to draw these shapes by sketching a photo of this Sunday, and you can grab a copy of this on the Sill share Resources tab. I encourage you to try a version of a highly geometric shapes, organic shapes, realistic shape, and something in between. And I also want you to reference the artists that you researched before. So for this first one, I'm going to do a really realistic version. So I'm going to try and get these shapes as realistically as I can. I'm not worried about smoothing out my lines or making them super perfect because I want this to be very imperfect, this particular style. For this one, I'm going to stick with as geometric of shapes as I possibly can. So I'm going to get as straight of sides as I can. I'm going to get a real U shape, and I'm also going to keep the bottom triangular. And for the layers, I'm just going to draw straight lines. I'll make them different heights so that we have some visual interest here. For the chocolate drips, I'm going to really make them come down in triangle shapes. Okay, so I've done one that is realistic and one that is highly geometric, and I'm going to try and do one that's kind of in between, and I'm just going to actually just kind of draw this like in the way that I would draw it. I'm not going to think too hard about it. I'm just going to draw it. What's important to note is that I'm drawing the shapes that I notice, and I think are interesting. And even though I'm trying different versions of drawing those shapes, this is still my style because I'm drawing what I notice. You might notice different things that you want to highlight in this Sunday. You might totally ignore some of the things that I include. Then finally, I am going to reference some of the artists that I really admire their shape language. So I want you to go back. Look at the artists whose shape language you admire. For example, I love the way that David Sierra does this weird perspective. So he does the cups and the pie like this weird angle, and you can see inside the picnic basket or a cup. Annalise draws also does the same thing. I love this style of perspective. I'm going to do one of the cups with that skewed perspective. Okay, so we have basically just created lines of shapes, and we actually need to fill these in to make them shapes. So this brings us to the next important part of our shape, and that is the edges of our shapes. After all, it's the edges that define the shape in the first place. So let's talk about a couple of different ways that you can convey edges in your shapes. So I'm taking a look at a piece from Claude here, and his shapes are really, really, really loose. So here, instead of this dress being, like, fully connected, like a solid shape like this, it's very loose. So if I used like maybe like a Like I could use a very painterly kind of brush to create kind of a loose edge. So it's not like a solid line. And then on the other end of the spectrum, sometimes Van go here uses solid outline. So you can see that there's like a black outline around the edge of the house and along the edges of the hills. So he really blocks out those shapes. There is serious solid definition to this black mountainous thing in the foreground here, like, probably trees. There's a very solid edge to that line. And of course, you can change the way that you draw edges of your shapes throughout a piece. So for example, in the leaves up in here, I used a really fuzzy edge texture, and I used a very different rough, solid texture in the lines of the stucco on the wall here. But I also used solid outlines on the inside of the door to create the shapes inside of there. So I encourage you to try out a couple of different styles of filling in your shapes here. I'm going to do this one probably with a really solid strong outline, and maybe I'll do a little bit more of a texture with this. And we'll see as we go. But one thing I want to know, is that I'm just putting down some quick color here, and I'm not stressing about my color choices because we're going to go over color in the next lesson. So for this first Sunday, I'm sticking with really clean crisp edges. I feel like that's fitting, since it's this geometric cup that's really crisp and clean and in exact shape. For this second Sunday, I'm going to swap my brushes here and try for a less exact perfect edge. Instead, I'm keeping it a little bit more rough, a little bit more textured in this one. I want the edges of my shapes to still be distinct, but not perfect like I did with the geometric cup. Okay. Now, in this third Sunday, I want the shapes to be super rough, especially the insides of the Sunday with the layers. I want everything to bleed together and not stay as distinct shapes. I'm going to use a totally rough brush to do this. And I'll keep the outer edges like the size of the cup, solid enough that it's clear enough to see that the shape of the glass is distinct. I don't want it to be so crazy that it's all over the place. And finally, with this last Sunday, I'm just going to use a pencil brush and keep the edges precise But with a really nice textural edge that gives it a look like it's drawn by a pencil. 7. Color & Style: In this lesson, we'll first go over choosing a color palette and applying it to our Sundays. And after that, we're going to look at our artists reference for inspiration of unique ways to arrange and apply that color. And of course, after that, we're going to give it a go with our own Sundays. But I could go on for hours about color. There's so much to talk about. In fact, I have. I've got a color theory class and a live encore where I show you how to adjust a found color palette you found to your unique art. And if you want to dive much deeper into color, I'd highly recommend you check those two classes out. But in this lesson, we're going to stick to color as it relates to style. So how do you use color in your art? Do you only work in black and white or a limited color palette? Do you often use the same color palette? Sometimes your color choices are forced by the medium you're creating in. Banks only uses one or two colors. That's the nature of fast graffiti stencil work. It's also a limitation with screen printing. Sometimes you have to pay per color used, like a digital printing process where there's no limit to the amount of colors you can use. So sometimes the medium you are working in will affect how you use color in your style of color. Now, if you're like me, you love all the colors in the rainbow, and it feels really hard for you to pare it down to only just choosing a few. But even if it feels like you love all of the colors, I'll bet there are colors that you're drawn to more than others. So let's try and exercise to see if we can uncover your secret bias and define your unique color style. We're going to make a pinterest board and set a timer for ten or 15 minutes. I want you to just scroll through your pinterest or search for things that you're interested in. And anytime colors pop out to you, I want you to save that to your pintras board. Great places to look for good color inspiration is home decor fashion. I like looking at garden photography or food photography. All of these are great sources to find fresh color inspiration. Heck, you can even search color trends. And a fun way to do that is to search by season, so you could search by fall color trends or spring color trends. If you're an active user on Pinterest, I encourage you to search through all of your saved pins because that's a great way to see what colors you're drawn to without even thinking about it. Now, let's take a look at our Pinterest board and see if there's any reoccurring themes or color palettes that we keep returning to. What patterns do you notice? I do see that I'm drawn to a lot of these light pastel blue and yellow and pinks. But also, I like a lot of, like, dark pops in there. So you'll notice that a lot of my color palettes, there's at least one dark color in there, and I think that follows through with my artwork as well. I often kind of create a little pop of dark color. If you'd like, you can share your color inspiration with us by taking a screenshot and sharing it in your projects. Okay, so let's apply our color palette inspiration to the base shapes of our Sundays that we drew in the last exercise. And here's a fun tip for the procreate users. If you take a screenshot of your favorite color inspiration, and then you open up procreate, tap onto the palettes over here and tap this plus button, you can actually create a color palette from your photos. If you tap new from photos, tap your inspiration, it will automatically create a color palette for you. Now, I'm a little bit picky. I like to usually eyedrop the colors that I specifically want. And of course, if you don't have procreate, if you have photoshop or something like that, you'll want to color drop those as well. Once you've decided on your colors, I want you to play around with applying them to your Sundays. I'm happy with the original color palette that I created, so I'm going to stick with that. But for your pieces, you're welcome to keep the different color palettes you experimented with, you don't have to just stick with one solid color palette. That's fine. But now that we've talked about choosing colors that we enjoy, I want to talk about arranging and how we apply those colors. And I want to take a peek at our artist inspiration pieces and see if we can get some inspiration. You can absolutely follow along with the examples that I'm using. But since this is a class about developing your unique style, I recommend you examine the artists that you admire so that you're making your own color discoveries that are unique to what you're drawn to. Joey Chu does this amazing thing where he doesn't let something stay the same solid color. He uses slightly different hues, like in the ocean here. You can see that it's not just a light blue to a dark blue. It's a mix of teals and blues mixed together. And it's the same with the ground here. You can see that there's a gradation of orange and red. He also uses these streaky lines. It's not a solid block of color in here. And the same is true in the ocean. It's not a solid line going from teal to blue. They're actually curved wavy lines. Geneva Bowers, also known as GDB art does really fun things with color too. She adds these little sparkles on girls skin. And what I really like is that she uses really bright, boldly shaped highlights of colors. So if I take a look here, you'll see that the highlights in here, they're really thick. They're really bright and they're not just white, you know, there's some blue, there's some pink. There's lots and lots of different splashes of color. I love in here in the hair. There's these really bold shapes to create strong contrast and bright highlights. And as I saw in my master study, Van Go borrowed color from different parts of the painting so that one area was never a solid color. So, for example, he used some of the green in the background in his beard, as well as some of the blue from his coat in the beard. So it's not just one solid color, lots and lots of colors mixed from all over the palette. All right, so let's go back to our Sundays and see if we can take some inspiration from those color examples. Now, I want to make a key point about taking inspiration from other artists here. I am not making all of my stylistic choices from the same artist. I'm blending them, trying my own take on what they do, changing it up a little bit. Think of it like this. When you were in high school, if you saw someone with the coolest outfit, you wouldn't show up to school the next day in the exact same outfit, would you? You'd probably take some inspiration from their outfit, maybe the top or the bottom or a few of the accessories, or maybe you wouldn't use the same outfit, but you'd wear something that had a similar cut or a color or a T shirt with a different funny phrase. Use multiple sources of inspiration. Do not rely too heavily on inspiration from a single source. The first thing I want to try is some color gradation in this Sunday here. I don't want it to all be one solid color. So I'm going to maybe try the cool graphy pen, maybe the blotchy color here, and see what it's like to add color variation in here. And I'm just trying different things and different colors in here and just experimenting trace something similar in the layers up here. Personally, I want this to be very subtle. Maybe I'll try some different hues in this one. So instead of just coming in, I want to do some streaky brushes, so I will try something in the painting, and maybe I will use this old brush here. And I could come in here and just do a lighter pink, but I think I'm going to go actually a little bit orange with this. I'm going to slide the color over here. I think I'll do the same to this bottom section down here. Only I'll go straight across this time. Maybe I'll make the brush a little bit bigger. Yeah, that's fun. I might also go a little bit on the other side. If this peachy red is right here, maybe I'll so I'm going a little bit on the orange slide and maybe I'll go a little bit on the pinky side as well. Just really subtle, I think I want it to be really subtle. Maybe I'll make the pink a little bit lighter. Yeah, I think that looks cool. Another thing I could do is create a smoother gradient between this darker pink here and the lighter pink up here. Bring a little bit of lightness back in to keep it streaky. Yeah, I think that looks kind of cool. So you kind of get this sense that the ice cream or the cream or the milk or whatever from here and here are kind of melting together. And I'm just going to go ahead and continue that on different areas of this piece. I don't keep everything that I. Just trying different experiments. I'll also try some lighter streaks in the chocolate. Okay, I think I'm really happy with the way this one is coming along. So for this piece, I think I was using the oil paint so brush. So I'm going to go back to that, and I'm going to try mixing some of the paints mixing some of the colors that I have in different parts of the painting into unexpected areas. So for example, maybe I will take some of the teal the teal in the stem here and bring it up into the cup. Maybe I'll even put a little bit down here. Cool. I could also try maybe putting some pink in the cream up here. Maybe I'll even add a little bit of purple. That's a little dark for my taste. I think I'm going to keep it really subtle in the cream. I can even add into the cookie. Maybe I'll add some pink into the cookie. Yeah, I think this is a lot more of an interesting use of color in all of these pieces, actually. So I'm excited to move on to the next part. 8. Line & Style: In this lesson, we're going to cover line work. We'll explore how different ways of drawing lines can affect the feeling and style of our work and different ways to apply our lines. And of course, then we'll dive into applying that to our Sundays. Okay, let's go over the stylistic qualities of line. Lines can be implied like dots or dashes or they can be full lines. So, for example, they can be implied, like the dotted lines right in here. The lines right here are also implied. And the lines right here are implied. They can also be vary in thickness. So in this example, the line is thicker and thinner and thicker and thinner. Lines can also be jagged, so they could be very textured or they could be really, really smooth. These are actually pretty smooth. They also can be kind of textured as in the line quality itself, you can see this one is kind of faint and very textural. It's also important to note that lines have an emotional quality. Thick lines and delicate lines create different feelings. So the thickness of a line, like a thin line, like we've got really thin lines in the fabric right here can create a really delicate feeling, whereas we have some thicker lines right here. So if I draw something that is very thin, that can feel a lot lighter and more delicate versus something that's very chunky. Lines can be the same kind of weight all the way through. So the ends here are about the same on either side, or lines can be tapered. And that means that they get from thin to thick. You can see that in action here. The line starts out really thin and it gets thicker. About the tapered line. The shape of the lines also matters. So in nature, sharp, acute lines cause us pain. They're often like thorns or a sharp piece of glass. So sharp, harsh jagged lines can create a more dangerous or edgy or sinister feeling. So, for example, in this piece by Edward Gorey, these branches are rather sharp. They kind of are pointy. And kind of grabbing at the man here. So that is a great example of sharp edge lines. Whereas smooth lines can feel fluid and safe. These are lines that are often used to communicate something that's cute. So, for example, in this piece by Joey Chu, you can see that these lines are very calm and serene. Lines can create a sense of movement or motion, depending on how you place them. So repeated lines feel predictable and they create a rhythm which feels calming. Natalia Kaba uses excellent linework in her pieces. If we look at these lines right here, they are repeated in a really predictable way, and that makes this piece feel very calming and soothing. Whereas in this piece, the lines are a lot more unpredictable. They kind of jump out in different directions. So that creates a feeling of disorder or chaos. But it's not just how predictable or repeated the lines are. It's also the direction the lines are drawn. Horizontal lines give us a sense of stability. They give us kind of like, you know, where the horizon line is. Whereas vertical lines, you can kind of see this if you look right here. There's some very faint implications of lines right here. That kind of gives us a sense of height. Parallel lines give a sense of movement or speed, and curve lines can feel very organic and peaceful. So if we look at the lines right here that Natalia has drawn right there, they kind of create a sense of movement in the hair. You can almost sense the feeling of this hair is just like moving and vibrating. You can also say the same thing in the waves right here. They're also lines and lines that create those parallel lines create a sense of movement. Back to her piece with the twin cats, we can see that zigzag lines create a sense of anxiety or energy, you know, like these shapes right here. So these like these shapes can feel kind of angry. You might have seen these in Manga, or maybe there's some angry little lightning bolts or stress marks on somebody's face. And slanted lines create attention. They create a sense of movement in that direction. So these slanted lines are drawing our eye to the character in the center. And the same is happening with these implied lines, these little yellow dashes that are going in both directions towards the character. Everything is coming towards the character, so it's drawing our eye inward. And I want to point out that all of the emotional qualities that we've just discussed, these can also be applied to shapes as well as lines. So now we need to discuss where do we place lines. Where do we place our lines? Linework can either be an outline of a shape or it can be the details inside of shapes. Sometimes the entire piece is made up of linework, like this tattoo work by artist Susa of Suflanda. Conor lines are the outer lines that we use to define a shape. You've seen these in comics. Personally, I use line as an outline sparingly, instead relying on solid shapes and colors to separate elements. So for example, in the bread right here, I'm not using line work an outline to create separation between the background and the bread. But I am using a line right here to separate each loaf of bread from each other. I use line when some extra definition is needed to define a shape or to separate from other background elements? All right, enough theory, let's try some experimenting with different ways to draw line. Will you use lines in one thick consistency? Will they be textured and broken? Will they be thick or thin? Will you use lighter colors? Will you use contrasting colors, like a different color outline than the object that you've drawn? Or will it be a darker or lighter version of the same color? Will they define the outlines of your images or will they only add details to your images? I'm going to start with trying a thick to thin outline on the edge of this cup, and I want it to feel weightier towards the bottom, so I'm going to make it thicker on the bottom. Now, I don't want this outline to be so so obvious. I'm actually going to adjust the color, so it matches the edges of the cup. I'm going to make it a little bit darker, not exactly the same color, so you can tell this is an outline. I'm going to create a solid line to create some dripping definition around the edges of this chocolate because right now it just feels like one solid line of chocolate. But when I've got an outline around it, it creates that sense of like, Hey, these are separate. These are individual luscious drips of chocolate. I might even do the same along the rim. Another fun thing that I could do is create a lighter feel by creating an offset line. These outlines are really solid on the chocolate, and I want the whipped cream to feel a little bit lighter and more delicate. Maybe I will try creating an offset line. One that doesn't completely line up. I could also play with movement and motion by creating lines that create this sense of this moving like a liquid or I could create a circular swirl. Maybe I could even really emphasize these edges by kind of rounding them out. And that gives it a really that gives it a lot of movement. All of the ice cream is swirling together. I want to use rough, looser outlines in this piece because all of the feeling is very rough and loose. So I'm going to use a different brush. I'm going to use the old brush, but you can play with any brush that you like. So these lines are not at all solid. It's very choppy and just like almost suggested as an outline. Not completely there. For this piece, I want to try play with a sense of movement. So I will try just maybe like a pencil brush. I could try some wiggly line, so that kind of gives that sense that the cookie is about to move. I could create some emphasis lines at the tip of the glass. I can also use some lines to emphasize the different layers. So maybe I will do a lighter pink line right here to kind of separate the chocolate from the strawberry. And maybe I'll use a darker chocolate line here. That really creates a feeling of distinctness between the different layers. Maybe I'll just create some straight up outlines to create an edge around the glass. Yeah, I think that looks cool. So I'm excited to move on to the next part. 9. Texture & Style: Right after color, texture is one of my favorite elements to play with. Texture is what makes a piece of art look like you could reach out and feel the piece, like it's tangible. We can separate texture into two categories, actual and implied. Implied texture is when you draw something so that it appears like a real thing, like how we draw short fuzzy lines for fur or how we draw water to make it look like it's wet. It's how we imply with our drawing. This is a surface. This is a texture. This is the feeling, the physical feeling of an object. There are many different ways to convey these textures. There's probably as many different ways as there are objects in the world. Plus, probably there's more than that because artists use all kinds of ways to depict textures of the same thing. In our Sunday example, some implied texture could be what makes the chocolate on the rim look wet and shiny. It could be what we use to make the cookies look dry and crumbly. And then there's actual texture. Actual texture is what your illustration actually is made of the actual texture of the paper or the canvas you use, the watercolor or the texture of the colored pencils you use. It's inherent with the medium you're using. So watercolor paper or thick blobs of acrylic paint. If you work with physical mediums, in many ways, you're at an advantage to digital artists. Your art naturally and automatically has a sense of texture. You don't have to work to create it. Plus, I personally find natural textures like physical art mediums to be super appealing. And you get that appeal without any extra effort. However, on the other hand, digital artists end up having a lot more options and control over the textures that end up in their pieces. Digital brushes can give you all kinds of amazing textures. You just have to be much more intentional about getting a look that you want. Now, we can certainly look at your inspiration artists for how they use texture and what you might like to add to your work. But the next best thing to do is to play with the medium that you already have with the brushes and textures that you have available to you, whether that is physical or digital. Now, Procreate has absolute killer default brushes. But there's lots of amazing brushes that are available for purchase. You can also create your own. You can scan in your own textures and use blending modes and clip them to your shape layers. You can be realistic with your sense of texture or you can be totally abstract. I often use texture when I'm creating shading on an object, and we'll go over form and shading in the next lesson. But you can also just use texture to avoid a totally blank flat color on a shape. Some illustrators are very flat with their illustrations, and they don't use texture hardly at all. It's all about exploring your taste what you think looks good, and then figuring out how to make something look that way. Alright, we're going to do some exploration of texture in our Sundays. Now, if you've ever gone to the art store and you've seen a wall of pencils or markers, and they've got little test sheets that you can try them out, that's what we're going to do here. We're just going to try a bunch of experiments. You don't have to commit to anything if you want to create a duplicate document so that you can not worry about messing your document your art piece up. That is totally fine. And I want you to take inspiration from your artist images. But also, I invite you to try exploring some of the different brushes that you have available. And if you're using physical mediums, you might be wanting to do these texture tests on a completely blank new sheet of paper. One thing that I would recommend is once you have figured out your favorite brushes, create a folder so that you have all of your brushes that you use over and over again in the same folder, so you don't have to search for them when you want to use them. But for now, we are going to create some fun experiments in texture. So the first thing I want to do is I am going to create a new layer and I want to create some new textures in maybe, like, kind of like a grain. So if I go to the sketching tab and I go to Bonobo chalk, and I'll grab this pink color here. If I go on top of here, it creates a solid pink color. But a really fun trick that you can use is if you tap on this, it'll open up your blend modes, and if I use multiply, that will create a darker version of whatever color is underneath of it. So this is really fun to play with. I like to adjust the opacity sometimes so that I get a little bit more of a subtle effect. So I'm going to clear this and do that a little bit more intentionally rather than just scribbling it on. But I really like the way that this kind of creates a grainy effect. Now, another thing that I want to try is I want to add some texture to the chocolate sections here. So what I can do is, again, I'll create a new layer, and I will turn it on to multiply. And I'm going to grab the chocolate color here. And I am going to try calligraphy, and maybe I'll try this Blache brush. If I come in here, I'm kind of going everywhere with this, which is not my intention. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to tap on the layer. So this layer has this chocolate shape for me. So I'm going to tap on that. And I'm going to choose select. And now if I were to draw, if I step back on the brush, if I were to draw on this, I will only be drawing in that shape. Now, I want to make sure that I'm doing this on a separate layer. So I've made a selection of this layer, but I'm drawing on this layer here. So that way, if I change my mind, I can just erase it or turn the visibility on or off, and I've still got my chocolate layer underneath it there. So I'm going to try and experiment with that. That looks really cool. Another brush I'm curious about using another place I want to add some texture is onto the cookie up here. So I'm going to grab the cookie color, and I'm going to try a new brush. Maybe I will go into drawing, and I'll try I have no idea how to pronounce this, but phrase sine. Okay. Sure. So I'm going to select my cookie layer. But I'm going to draw on my multiply layer. Now, sometimes this doesn't work because the cookie shape that I drew was underneath of the ice cream. So what I can do is I can grab my ice cream layer. I can hit select. And then when I come up to the multiply layer, I can erase that section where it is touching whip cream. So yeah, lots of fun experiments here, I might try adding a little bit of texture into the cup as well. Now, I want to point out that these other Sundays actually already have texture. And the deeper we get into these elements, the more that you can see that all of these elements, they're really tied together. And while it's helpful to separate them out so that we can understand each element on its own and we can focus on the decisions that we can make in those elements in the real world, they don't exist in a vacuum. They really do get blended together. So I've already added texture to this Sunday by just the nature of that streaky oil brush that I used. And when I started experimenting with stripy versions of color, I started adding texture to this piece, and I'm really happy with the way this one looks. And when I was filling in the shapes, the brushes that I used for this also had texture in them. But it never hurts to add a little bit more texture to do a little bit more experiments. So another thing. So I'm going to try adding something different into the chocolate down here. So maybe instead of just adding texture for texture's sake, I will try and make this look kind of dry and crumbly. So I will select that chocolate layer. I will be on one of my multiply layers. And I'm going to try the spray paints, and I'm going to try these flicks. And what I want to do is create a much darker version of this chocolate. So I love the way this looks. I think it looks really like dry and, like, I would imagine that, like, rough crumbly cookie look. I could also come in with a really light color. But because this is on a blend mode, it's just going to darken everything. So I will create a new layer that is not on blend mode, and then I can create some brighter textures in there, maybe not quite that much, maybe, like, a little bit lighter. But I love the way that looks. I think that looks super deeper cool. I also think I want to create some texture in the chocolate up here. So again, I'm going to grab the chocolate color. I'm going to drop the chocolate color, and I'm going to select the chocolate so that I am only drawing where that chocolate is. And I will try painting brush. I'll try this stucco here and create some fun texture up in here. I'm just experimenting, and I might do the same thing with the cookie, so I'll maybe add some shapes in there. So there are some fun experiments with color and texture. There are probably as many textures in the world as there are things in the world. But in my experience, too many different kinds of texture can make a piece feel chaotic. So if you're feeling totally lost with textures, what I would recommend is try to use only one or two. You can experiment with the color of that texture or the opacity, how it is, and you can get a huge range of variety with just one texture. And of course, every rule is meant to be broken. So if you think that stupid, hey, go nuts with your textures. 10. Form & Style: Form is how we make something look three D or give it a sense of depth. Sometimes a sense of three dimensional form is created with lines like this cube. An lie work doesn't always use much shading, but she does make things feel three D rather than a flat two D with her lines. So the circles on the top of this baked bean can really make it feel like this is a three dimensional form. The same is true with the pancakes. Because we can see the side and the top, it feels like it's three D. But most often, form is communicated by creating shading and highlighting. So here you just have flat shapes, and here you've got shading on them. And by the way, if you want to dive deeper into knowing where to place your shadows, I go in depth on shading in my how to draw class. There are many different ways to stylize how you create shading and form. Let's go over a couple of those options now. Gradients. A gradient is where color gradually changes as it moves across a form. I use this a lot. Carson Ellis does a great job of it. You can really see it in action right on this stove. So there is a gradient of shading as it gets lighter to create the idea that the edge of the stove is creating a shadow. Katie Daisy does the same thing. So there is a gradient of color in the Earth here. So it goes from a darker green to a lighter green, and that kind of gives the idea that this land is uneven. It's not just like a flat shape. She also does it in the shading and the mountains here on the very bottom. Gradients are my instinctual natural go to method. You can see that I use it in the table rate here. I have a darker under the legs and it gets lighter as it goes down. To create the idea of the legs being underneath of the table. It creates a sense of three D form. I also use it in these hands here, so I use some shading that goes underneath of the thumb to create the idea that there is three dimensional shape. Hatching Hatching is using lines to create a sense of shading. When lines are further away, they create areas lighter areas, and when they're closer together, they create a sense of a deeper shadow. So under the chin here, you can see David Sierra has created really nice thick shading to create the sense of like this big bear, and it's much tighter when it gets closer to his arm, and it gets much further away when it gets further away from his arm. Especially want you to know how lines that are more densely compacted versus loose and further away indicate the shape of the object. If we take a look at the hair here, Notice how the lines get really dense and compacted here, where the hair is tucked in versus longer, looser lines when the hair is out and flowing. You can see this in her shirt as well. The lines are really, really dense in these tight areas where the clothing is really close to each other, and it gets a little bit looser out here where there's more space in the shirt. Cross hatching. Cross hatching is really similar to hatching, except that there are lines that cross in multiple directions. Maurice Sendak illustrations use great examples of cross hatching lines. So you can see in the monster's belly right here that there is lots of cross hatching going on. And again, the same rules apply, where it's more dense is a darker area, and where it's more loose and light, there is less shading going on. Dappling and stippling dappling slash stippling. Susa, who also goes by Soufanda is a tattoo artist and creates amazing form by using stippling. Stippling is little dots made up to create the idea of form. Stippling can take several different kinds of forms. So in the rabbit here, it's more short lines versus in the dress, it's dots. So you can mix and match your kinds of stippling. You can also mix and match different styles of form. So, for example, in this piece, Susa has created stippling and she's also used hatching to create shading. And you can kind of create your own version. So Van go kind of creates this weird hybrid between stippling with these really short dashes, but also that's kind of like hatching. So there's a whole variation in between these things. Contrast. Sometimes, artists use straight up contrast and color or shape to create form. Lenz, the hilarious visual pun artist uses a lot of this smooth contrast. He uses a nice subtle change. And you can see that on the ends of these ice cream Sunday campers. So there is one color here and then another color over here. And that contrast between the colors creates that form. Now, this is really a gentle version. Like this is just a darker color of yellow, a darker color of green, a darker color of pink. But you can also go really extreme with this like Sarah Beth Morgan does. She uses a really strong color. She's using black. To create the shading in all of these different areas. And it's just a straight up block of color. All right. Let's start experimenting on our Sundays. So I'm going to start with this one, and I think it would be fun to create some hatching. So I will grab. I'm just going to use a six B pencil, and I'm going to start down here in the glass. I'll just create some hatching to kind of create some shading under the cup. And I will also add some shading on the drops of chocolate. I think it could also be fun to add some hatching in here. For this next Sunday, I am going to use an inking brush. I'll try and use the studio pen, and I think it would be really cool to try like one of those solid blocks of shading. So I am going to create a new layer and I'm going to make it a multiply layer and I'm going to reduce the opacity. So it's a nice way, so I don't have to change colors when I go over the pinks versus the chocolate. I can play with the opacity to decide how dark or light I'd like it. I think it would be really cool to create some shading on the chocolate too. So if I create a little bit of a line right here, it's actually making it look like that chocolate is standing out. I can also create a second multiply layer and create some shading on the chocolate itself. It's probably a little bit darker than I'd like it, so I'll reduce the opacity. That looks pretty cool. I think another fun thing would be to play with some stippling. So maybe I want to create some highlights of the glass like shining here. It's kind of fun. I could even do some light brown ones on the chocolate or maybe some on the cookie. And we actually created some subtle when we added some of this texture and color up in here in the cream. It actually already kind of created some form, some shape, but I think it would be fun to really emphasize that with a little bit more stippling. I could also use some stippling to create a highlight on the cup. Maybe I could try a little bit of hatching, so I could create some hatching along the edge right there under the solid shading. If I zoom out, I would say that this solid block is a little bit narrow, and I think I'd like to just expand that out a little bit. Let's zoom out again. Yeah, that's looking a little bit better. I might redo the hatching underneath of that. Cool. That's kind of fun. For this next piece, I think I'm going to try a lot more gradient since that's what I naturally gravitate towards. So I'm going to try using on this multiply layer, a textured brush. Maybe I'll use, like the artist ran or something like that. And I'm just going to create a soft gradual transition on the side of the cup. It gets a little deeper the further over it is. In fact, maybe I'll even go a little bit as it gets closer to the edge. It's a really nice soft gradient. And I'm going to do the same thing in the chocolate. And then on a normal layer, I think I'm going to create some smooth highlights because that smooth line really creates a strong difference. It really helps it stand out. I might, in fact, even add a strong highlight on the glass. And maybe on the base of the cup as well. I think it would also be fun to add some shading on the cup. Again, with a so more gradual shading. And I think I'll also add a little bit of textural shading in the cream up here, the whipped cream. Maybe I'll even add some highlights by going extreme white on this. It's not just the style of shading that you use that will kind of determine your style. It's also where you put it. And something that I'd like to try and I'm going to do a new multiply layer for this is maybe some shadows underneath of the layers inside of the Sunday. So maybe I will try something underneath here. To really make it feel like this top part, this top pink cream is coming over the chocolate, and maybe I'll do the same thing the top up here. Just let it gradually fade. Gradually fading. So it really feels like it's layers. And, of course, the cookie deserves some love. Cool. And finally, on this Sunday, I think I'm going to just try a mix between stippling and hatching. And I am going to use an inking brush and I'll use the Mercury one. So I think the first thing I'm going to do is create some highlights. So I'm going to grab something really light. And I'll add some sheen to the chocolate here. And also to the glass. I think I'll add some reflections on here. I think it would be fun to add some of the cookie crumble. I think I'm also going to add some overall shading on the multiply layer, so they're not solid lines. They're kind of dashed. Maybe I'll try on the underside of the chocolate as well. I think that's a intense. So I might go a little bit lighter with the maybe also under the cup. Another thing I could try is adding kind of an edge to the cup. And even beyond that, maybe a little bit of shading on the ground itself. Maybe I'll also add a little bit of shading on the cookie so that it looks like it's kind of behind that cream. And there we go. I think that that really makes this piece a more finished and whole. And I think I've got some really different pieces here. 11. Your Style Guide/Identify Your Current Style: All right, so we have a bunch of really interesting experiments now, and hopefully you've discovered some new ways of drawing that you really enjoy. Maybe you found a few that you didn't really like, but it was all a fun experiment. But mostly that's what it was. It was an experiment. It's something that I tried out, but it's just a single piece of art. I can't really say, Hey, this is my style yet because I haven't used this style consistently. I've only made one piece. So what we're going to do is we're going to integrate those explorations into our work moving forward, and we're going to do that with a fun draw this in your style art challenge. We're going to pick and choose our favorite visual elements that we tried in those Sundays and apply them in a series of new pieces. When you have a collection of several pieces that use visual elements in a somewhat consistent way, That is when you can say, Hey, this is my style. So let's reflect on which elements that you do like and that you want to use moving forward. We're going to create a personal style guide, and don't worry, you're not committed to these choices for the rest of your life. You can always switch them up and change up how you like to draw things. But reflecting on what you do and don't like can lead to some really helpful and sometimes unexpected insights. And remember, include the visual elements that you enjoyed creating. How do you want to draw your shapes? I really, really love this skewed perspective here. I think this is going to be hugely influential on my work, and I'm going to be using it as much as I possibly can moving forward. I also really liked anything that was like arching and flowing like these chocolate drops here. I am really surprised how inspired I was by this geometric piece. Thinking of these layers in flat geometrical spaces and thinking of the shapes of the drips as these simple triangles. It really inspired how I approached this Sunday and this Sunday quite a lot. I think I want to keep that in my head. I may not be the biggest fan of this perfectly geometrical work, but if I'm feeling stuck, trying to break down a shape into a very basic geometric shape is a great way to kickstart my creative brain. In what ways do you want to use color. Moving forward, I think I want to embrace the hue changes that I used in this piece. I went from orange to pink to peach. I really liked using that variety of hues. I also really like this blending method that I used along these two pinks here, and I think I'm going to use that moving forward. What kind of line work do you want to use? I want to use way more lines moving forward. I really liked the lines that I used in the cream here and in the base of the cup here. I also really enjoyed the groupings of lines that I did right up in here and especially even right here. But I think I want to be a little bit more intentional. I don't want it to be so loose. How do you like to convey or not convey form and shape. If I'm honest, I liked all the different ways I used high lighting and shading. I think I'm probably going to use all of them moving forward, and that's the beauty of choosing your own style. You don't have to stick to one single choice. Textures, what textures will you use? I really liked the blending of colors and the textures that I used in this piece here. And I think I will continue to use it in a noticeable intentional way like I had the streaks here. I really like that texture. I also really like the way that I did the texture in here, at a very purposeful angle, but I love the blending of all of those together. I'm not wild about the grain that I used and the gradients that I used in this piece. The grain looks cool, but it's not for me. I love the pencil textures that I used in this piece. But I think I'd like it to be a little bit more exaggerated because right now, I kind of have to zoom in to actually see the details of it. Style is like handwriting. You can try to mimic someone else's signature. But when you're in a rush, your writing is just going to come out like it does naturally. The way you draw is the same. It's instinctive and natural to you. And while you can exercise your penmanship to make it more readable or pretty, you'll still probably default to your instinctive way of writing the letter A. The same is true of our drawing styles. We can work to change it, but part of your style is going to be completely intuitive. Yet defining what that is, what makes up our own natural style can be insanely difficult because we're often blind to what makes us unique. There are things that we do that are so obvious to us that it's like breathing. We don't even realize we're making those choices or drawing in those ways. In this lesson, we're going to do a couple of different fun exercises to try and help you define your style a little bit more clearly so that you can see what it is that makes you unique, your top nine. First, I want you to gather up 3-9 of your favorite pieces. We're going to reference these for the next few exercises. I want you to consider the pieces that you are most proud of, but also think about the ones that you enjoyed making the most and the ones that you're most happy with the results. It can be a mix of all of these things. Now, you can arrange this in a fancy top nine Instagram post thing, or you can just put them in a document altogether. I encourage you to share these in your skill share project. So here are mine. Fill in the blank. Okay. Now let's try a fun mad lib style, fill in the blank exercise. I want you to come up with three visual adjectives that describe the visuals of your art. Feel free to hit pause and take a moment to come up with your own words. You don't have to choose from this list. So, is your art monochromatic, realistic, light, messy, soft, beautiful, sketchy, bright, unique, unusual, colorful, cartoony, complex, conceptual, dazzling, decorative, fluid, stylized. Looking at my pieces, I'd probably say cute feminine and colorful. Next, I want you to come up with a couple of words to describe the vibe or the feeling of your work. Again, feel free to hit pause and take a moment to come up with your own words. You don't have to choose from this list. Dark, adorable, innocent, old, calm, glamorous, organized, candid, tranquil, edgy, straightforward, mysterious, playful, romantic, sophisticated, traditional, psychedelic, tasteful. Again, for my collection of art, I think that these pieces are a little bit calm or tranquil. Maybe not all of them, but yeah, overall, that's the feeling. My work edges on the cartoony, but I don't feel like it has that cartoony vibe. So I might want to highlight that. I think it has a touch of sophistication. Next, I want you to write down the kinds of subjects you frequently draw. So I see a lot of scenes, animals, and lettering. And finally, I want you to write down the medium of art that you use. All of these are done in procreate, so they're all digital art. All right, let's pull it all together. So when someone asks, what kind of art do you make, you can say, I create insert your choice of the vibe or feeling, insert your visual adjective, insert the subject of art that you draw, and also insert the art medium that you use. So for me, I can say that I create colorful, tranquil scenes in procreate. If you like, you can tack on a couple of adjectives. You can rearrange the wording or you can even remove part of the equation here. For example, while I love drawing scenes and storefronts, it's only about half of the I create. So I might want to remove the subject matter in this mad lib. Maybe for you, the subject matter is really consistent. But maybe I could expand on mine by saying I create cute, colorful digital illustrations with a touch of sophistication. Tara, now you've got a simple easy way to describe the work that you do for other people. Of course, this doesn't encapsulate everything about your style. So let's try diving a little deeper. Let's take a deeper dive into examining our own style. Here's some questions to get you started. Do you notice any patterns or reoccurring themes? Now, this is something that might not be visually apparent, but I personally know that over half of the pieces that I have picked have been inspired by traveling that I've done or traveling that I would like to do. So I know that travel is a really big part of what influences my style, even if it's not super obvious in the art itself. Another pattern I notice is I always try to make some details. Pop by using really high contrast? While the overall style is soft and gentle colors, I really like to make some details pop because I feel it makes you want to look deeper into the art. Some other questions to ask yourself could be, what do you want your audience to feel when they look at your work? What themes do you enjoy exploring? Does your art have a message? List three things that you love about your style. Compare your style to art you hate. If you're really struggling to articulate what your art is like, another exercise is to compare it to art that you hate. How is your art different? Is it different in the vibe, the visual styles, or the themes? So I'm not going to put up any examples for this because that seems rude to put someone's art on blast that I hate. But what I will say is that I don't usually like art that has violent themes or are really gross and icky. That's some people's jams, but it's not mine. So What kind of art do you hate? For me, maybe that's harsh, violent, unhappy, scary, gross. And then what's the opposite of those things? So in my case, it would be gentle, light, happy, or peaceful. Ask friends. The shortcut to defining your current style, asking trusted friends. The way we see ourselves is not the way that other people see us. So ask some friends. Hey, I want to ask you a favor. I'm working to improve my illustration by clarifying what makes me unique, but it's hard to see yourself the way others do. Will you tell me three words that you used to describe my art? Look for common answers and see what resonates with you? Your differences, your identity. Sometimes what makes us unique is glaringly obvious, and we may be embarrassed of it or want to tone that part of ourselves down. It's human nature to want to fit in. Maybe you grew up in an environment which ostracized or made fun of people who were different or who stood out. But I want to encourage you to take a second look at those things, and if it is really in your best interest to tone down who you are, what makes you different may very well be your greatest strength. For example, I was picked on a lot in childhood. People made fun of the way I looked, particularly my hair and my enthusiasm. But now, those are some of my greatest strengths. I'm more memorable because of my hair, because of my personality. Like I mentioned earlier, your style is your handwriting. You can try to mimic someone else's handwriting, but your own natural handwriting is going to keep slipping through. So as we play with these different exercises, try to be aware of the things that keep slipping through the things you keep doing without realizing it or even when you don't intend to. Those are the little signals to your style, the things that you'll want to pay attention to, things you'll want to lean into. 12. DTIYS: Create Your Series: On the art challenge. To help you create a cohesive consistent style. We're going to do a draw this in your style art challenge. I've illustrated four treats that you can also recreate using the elements that you listed in your personal style guide. If you'd really like to level the challenge up, I've included the reference photos for these pieces and you can start from there rather than my illustrations. Sometimes I find it a little bit easier to bounce off of what somebody has already done, so you are welcome to start from my illustrations and bounce off from there. You can grab the reference images from the resources tab. Be sure to share your art in your skill share project. You can add additional images to your project as you create them by updating your project. Here's a few tips for working on your series. In order for this series to feel like it's actually in the same style, you'll need to have some level of consistency between all of the pieces. But you don't always have to use the same exact stylistic element on every single piece for the style to feel cohesive. A few key noticeable consistencies will help tie things together. So using a themed subject matter will help, IE, a series of desserts, which is what we're doing. I'd highly suggest using the same color palette as color is an incredibly easy way for us to instinctively group something together. In my series, I used the same color palette but varied the background colors. This helped each piece of art stand out from each other while still feeling like part of a whole. Having several elements that are noticeable and used consistently in each piece will allow you to experiment with the differences between the individual art. For example, I used very different linework in these two pieces. They don't use the same kind of linework. You are allowed to use a variety of styles. I really enjoyed playing with the hatching in this geometric cup. I included that in these two pieces here. My natural instinctive way of creating shading is using gradients like I did in this piece, and I didn't abandon that in this series on desserts. You can see in the raspberries here, I used a lot of gradients to create that shading. I even did that in the slices of the cake. Do what sparks joy. My cake background here was really plain, so I wanted to add these little sparkles to decorate the background. And I enjoyed adding these details so much that I went and added them to pretty much all of the other pieces. It's not something that I explored doing in my Sundays, but I liked it. So don't feel so trapped by your style guide or the style choices that you've made in the past, that you can't bring something new, something that makes you happy to the rest of your art. Experimentation takes time, so don't be discouraged if you aren't happy with every single one of your pieces. I actually developed a handful of different styles for this class, and I didn't even end up using or sharing them. It takes a few different pieces and practicing for me to integrate the style bits that I'm trying to include. It doesn't happen by just doing it once, and it gets more nuanced. I get more particular about how I bring that element in. Also, it's totally normal to not love all of your pieces equally. I often fly through a piece that I'm super inspired by, and then I feel really bummed out when the other pieces in a series don't feel as I don't know, fresh or exciting or satisfying as that first piece. The truth is some pieces will be better than others. But also, sometimes I'm so inspired by the process of drawing something that I'm a little blind to the end results. And also, sometimes after not looking at one of those disappointing pieces for a while and then coming back to it, I find that I actually like it a lot more than I did. And then other times, people are actually drawn to the pieces that I didn't even care about in the first place. You can draw one piece every day, or if you're like me, you can work on all of them at the same time. When I feel stuck on one piece, I will switch to another piece, and sometimes I'll get inspiration for the piece I was stuck on by working on a new piece or by reviewing pieces that I've already completed. For example, I was feeling the milk and cookies was very plain, and so I went to my original Sundays and I remembered the geometric shooting that I did on that geometric cup. I integrated that. Another tip for feeling stock is to look at all of your pieces together. Not only might it inspire you to add something interesting to the piece that you're currently working on, but looking at the series as a whole will help you make choices to keep your collection feeling cohesive and in a consistent style. 13. Win a Year of Skillshare: To give you a little extra motivation to practice your fancy new style, I'm upping the ante by hosting two giveaways for a year of Skillshare. I'll be choosing a winner from the Skillshare projects and one from Instagram. So you'll have two different chances to win. To enter on Skillshare, all you have to do is submit a project to this class. You can upload your Sundays experiments or any of the draw this in your style art. I'll also be hosting a separate second giveaway on Instagram. To enter that gway share your draw in your style art on Instagram. You can share a single image or you can share multiple for multiple entries. Menion the class in the caption and be sure to use hashtag DT y S Brook. That's draw this in your style, Brook, to make sure that I can find your entry. You can find more details of that giveway on my Instagram at Paper playgrounds. Both winners will be chosen at random and I'll be announcing the winner in the discussion tab of this class. The deadline to enter is August 31, 2021. I'm so looking forward to see your art. I just love seeing your creative beautiful takes on these projects. 14. Artistic Voice: Artistic voice. We've spent a majority of this class focusing on the visual aspect of style, how your art looks. But there's much more to what makes up your style than strictly the visuals. You can actively work towards changing your visuals, but there will be parts of your style that will follow you whether you change the way you draw lines and shapes, whether you switch mediums or tools, and that is your artistic voice. Your voice might be the topics you choose to draw, the vibe it creates, or the message it shares. Your voice is very much you, who you are and your perspectives. These things also affect your style. And if you'd like to dig deeper into the topic of developing your artistic voice, I'd highly recommend checking out Lisa Condon's book. Find your artistic voice. For some artists, their voice is more dependent on the subject matter that they cover rather than the visual aspect of their style, and some artists are much more consistent with their visuals than they are with their subject matter. Both versions of this are valid. Some people are very intentional with their voice. They are very clear with who they are as an artist and they are very good at expressing that. And some people don't even realize that they have a voice. It's more of a subconscious thing that it is a conscious thing. And you don't have to be deep or serious with your voice. Your perspective may simply be, I want to put more beautiful things into the world. Understanding your voice is a big part of developing your style. And a great exercise for this is to ask yourself the following questions. What vibes are you trying to create? What do you want your audience to experience? For example, are you trying to create art that has a relaxing feeling? What visual or thematic choices can you make to support that vibe? What are you trying to say with your art? This may be something significant and profound, or it may be a lighthearted emotion. For example, the message behind this piece is, I want to celebrate somebody's birthday. But again, understanding the message behind your art can help you make visual and thematic choices to support that. What are you trying to put into the world? What experiences are you trying to cultivate? Is it a message? An emotion? Is it simply an appreciation of the object that you're drawing? You may find it helpful to pull up pieces that you've already created and ask these questions about those pieces or even to ask these questions about pieces of art that you admire from other artists. 15. Dealing with Comparison: When I exhibited at my first professional Illustration trade show, I was so overwhelmed by all of the amazing artists out there. It was a real wake up call that if I wanted to stack up professionally, I really needed to make better and more interesting art. That realization was really important for me. I'd been working in my own little bubble and I'd been unaware of everything around me and what everybody else around me was doing. And the honest truth was that I really needed to put more effort into my art. But I also felt this absolute sense of overwhelm and inability to act, faced with this task of leveling up, trying to stand out from the crowd. How the heck was I going to stand out? How the heck would I be able to do that? I felt awful about myself, comparing myself to all these artists that I admired. I needed a balance. I needed to feel inspired by seeing what other artists were doing, but not so much that I started to feel bad about myself. At best, comparison is about learning and bettering yourself. At worst, it just makes you feel like crap and holts your progress. It's a very delicate balancing act, and I'm no expert at that balancing act, and I still struggle with comparison. I even struggled with comparison while I was developing this class because working on your style can be a very sensitive topic. I'm no expert in conquering the bad sides of comparison, but I wanted to share with you ten things that have helped me to deal with it. Conscious consumption. I'm mindful about how unconscious or mindless consumption of media is making me feel. After I scroll Pinterest or Instagram, do I feel inspired or do I feel bad? When I notice that my feelings of jealousy are kicking into high gear, I will take a social media detox. Of course, it doesn't need to be black and white, either you are using social media or you are not using social media. Understanding yourself is a really important thing in this. You may find that your nighttime habit of scrolling through Instagram isn't really serving you to stay inspired. So maybe reading a book is a better way to get you some creative inspiration while you relax before bed. For me, I've noticed that I'm a little bit sensitive in the mornings. I think that my mornings really helped me set my day off. So I really avoid social media, e mail or TV during those first few hours. I don't want to be bombarded by what everybody else wants me to make a priority. So that time is for me to center myself to reflect on what I want out of the day. I also try to avoid social media when I'm feeling emotionally sensitive. So if something has upset me or I'm feeling bummed out, at those times, I might be a little bit more sensitive to comparison. So instead of going on social media, I will maybe watch a YouTube video or play a game to chill out. Instead of the scroll, avoid passive comparison. I'm also conscious about when I take on comparison. For me, I found it's most useful when I can immediately take action on it. So I'm often looking at ideas for my style or reference photos when I'm working on a piece or when I'm researching for a piece so that I can make use of that comparison right away. Passive comparison is when I often fall into feeling like, Oh, I'm not measuring up. So I usually try and avoid just looking to look. You are what you eat. Another way that I get inspiration artistically is that I consume media that inspires me but is not the media in which I create. So, for me, that's illustration. And I feel very strongly that this helps me bring a new perspective to what I create, but also allows me to get inspired without getting sucked into that comparison trap. So my creativity is like a well. I need to fill it with inspiration, need to fill the water. Sometimes creating will be its own inspiration, but sometimes I need to prime the pump. Create instead of consuming, creating instead of consuming. I feel better when I spend time creating, not just consuming. Simple as that. So instead of playing on my phone in the evenings, maybe I'm better off playing with some crayons or markers. Compare myself to myself. I take time to compare myself to myself. When I can see the progress that I have made, I can take pride in that. I take time to practice feeling good about my art, admiring what I've done. I've saved art work that I've done throughout my life, and it's really nice to look back on myself years and years ago. And it's also nice to compare myself to work that I did last year. Scrolling back to old images on Instagram is a really nice way to look at my progress. I highly encourage you to save your old artwork if only for this reason alone. The nice thing about comparing yourself to yourself is that you can see the progress and you can be appreciative of the journey the creative journey that you are on. See the whole picture. When I'm feeling jealous, I try to remind myself that life is more than just how I'm doing professionally or artistically. I have other things that I need to balance like relationships, mental health, physical health, family. I remember that there is more than one aspect to my life to be happy and grateful for. Maybe I'm not the most popular artist on Instagram. Maybe I don't have the coolest way of drawing people. But I also have a kick butt garden, which I love spending time in, and I'm much better at keeping plants alive than I was years ago. And that makes me happy and proud. Remember, the grass is always greener. It helps me to remember that when I'm comparing myself to another person, I don't know their full life. They may be dealing with a cancer diagnosis, a loss in a family, or have a multitude of other things which I wouldn't trade my life with theirs for. And that might drive them to do the things that they are doing that I am jealous of. If I'm jealous of somebody's social media success, I have to remember that they may be paying a cost that I'm not willing to pay. Maybe they spend more time taking photos of their vacation where I would rather be enjoying the moment. Maybe they dedicate several days of the week towards working on their social media, and that's not something that I want to do. Maybe they enjoy doing those things more than I would. Our lives are different, our drives are different. Our desires are different, and that's okay. It's not fair to compare people to people. Self validation. Ultimately, the best way to ward off that gnarly comparison trap is to maintain a healthy self esteem. External recognition compliments, and all of that is wonderful and great. But if a piece doesn't get a bunch of likes by posting on social media, I still value my own work. I know I have improved. I know what parts of this art I'm proud of. And that matters to me. I'm not only creating art to share with the world, I'm creating to enjoy the process. I'm no island. I still need other human support. So I've worked to nourish and build relationships with people who do love me, people who do support me and can appreciate me. If you don't have great self esteem currently, know that it is something that you can develop. And if you have a lot of folks who are discouraging of your art practice, Maybe stop sharing with them and seek out new people to share it with. After all, this is your life. Shift your perspective. Acceptance. Sometimes the mirror of comparison gives us a painful but accurate reflection of where we have some weaknesses. And sometimes the best thing that you can do is accept that. And acceptance doesn't mean you give up on progress. Yes, you may not be good at shading yet or anatomy yet. That may be true, but does it help to judge yourself and say, Oh, I'm the worst artist in the world. I suck, and nothing I ever make turns out right. Well, now, you're still a novice at shading, and you feel bad about yourself. You're just making a normal situation worse. Instead, it can be more helpful to say, I struggle with shading. I know that's one of my weaknesses. I can look up classes and resources to help me figure out to shade better and practice that, or I'm going to practice shading in my next piece. Or you can also say, I'm not good at shading. And that's okay. I focus on using really compelling color combinations instead. Positive self reinforcement helps make progress faster than beating ourselves up. And on the flip side, accept your strengths. A lot of artists downplay compliments they get. Oh, you know, people are just being nice. They don't mean the nice things that they say. Don't do that. Don't downplay your accomplishments, whether that's deflecting a compliment or internally dismissing your own accomplishments, Revel in your own success, even if it's just for a moment. Soak in those compliments like a ray of sunshine and don't push them away. Taking pride in the things that you do well will keep you feel encouraged to keep on keeping on. Acknowledge how you feel. Not being good at something, it kind of sucks, and it doesn't feel good. I get really embarrassed when I'm not good at something, which is, it's the worst. It can be frustrating or disappointing to not be good at things. I am a highly emotional creature. And sometimes just acknowledging or identifying my feelings helps me let them pass, or as Elsa would say, let it go. When I feel comparison, or I don't feel like I measure up to where I'd like to see myself. I can feel sadness, shame, helplessness, anger, vulnerability, embarrassment, disappointment, or frustration. It's okay to feel that way. Sometimes, instead of just having this unsettled feeling of upsetness inside of you, acknowledging what you feel can be helpful. Then you can let it go and commit to working on improving or accepting that weakness. It's easier to say, Hey, I'm just feeling this way. This is just a feeling, and it will pass. You can let it go and continue to work on improving or accepting whatever weakness has started to make you feel that way. 16. Working in Multiple Styles: Working in multiple styles. One of the most common topics that comes up when talking about style is the fear of being trapped into only working in one style. As artists, we're all naturally curious. We want to explore different subjects, different art supplies, different techniques. In short, it's fun to play with different styles. And there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, it's an important part of your artistic development. I'd argue, and I think a lot of other professional artists would argue that it's really important that you have time and space for exploration in your art. It's especially important in the beginning when you are getting familiar with a tool, a technique or beginning your artistic journey. Exploration and experimentation with style is how you find your style. In fact, if you commit yourself to only working in one style too early on, you may stunt your creative growth as an artist, the importance of style. But on the other hand, there is also an undeniable benefit to having a unique, identifiable style that is your own. If someone can look at your work out in the wild and be able to say, Oh, hey, that's a brick glazer or, you know, insert your name in there, that's really important. It helps you stand out from the crowd. It helps you become more recognizable and more popular. It's a really important thing, working in multiple styles. Having a consistent style or committing to a specific style does not mean the death of your artistic exploration. In fact, many successful artists work in multiple styles, and there's lots of ways to approach that. So there's no wrong or right way. This is your life, your art, and your career. Let's examine three different ways that you can approach working in multiple styles. Number one, having it all under one brand. If you take a look at Lisa Condon's work, it's amazing. Her style of rendering portraits and swimsuits in her book, Joy of Swimming is quite different than her digital illustration done in Procreate, like this example with her collaboration with Method soap. And she's a very successful artist, too. Create different brands for your different styles. So it may make sense in some cases, to separate your styles into different brands. And I think Tegan White is an amazing example of this. Tegan White creates amazing detailed drawings of animals who have died, and she sells them as original work and prints and stickers. She also creates these adorable woodland creatures for children's products under the brand Tiny Moth Studio. Wildlife is clearly her focus. She uses the same color palette, and she could in theory, just draw these different styles under her name like Lisa Congdon does. But Tkin is really smart about this. These audiences for these two types of styles of art are really different, and it probably makes a lot more sense for her to split these into two brands. So folks who are interested in cute children's art, They might be turned off by images of dead wild life. And the audience who appreciates her self proclaimed approach to celebrating life and death in the natural world, which isn't that an awesome way to describe what she does. Well, that audience might not have any interest in C children's animals. Number three. And if all of that is too much to bear in if you truly do not want to commit yourself to staying in a specific style, you want to be a style chamleon. That's okay, too. You could be a really amazing in house artist, and that can be a really valuable thing to companies. I worked in house as an artist for a fashion company and they would buy art from other artists and have me tweak the designs to fit their needs. Sometimes I'd have to redraw a flower or add five different flowers in the same style, but not exactly the same, or it'd have to change the size of something. Being a style chamon is also a skill. For me, personally, I stopped wanting to replicate any style and wanted to start working on my own style. The more you experiment, the more you may find that this is true for you, or you don't. And that's fine, too. There's nothing wrong with that. There are different parts of your artistic journey. At one point, I wanted to be a style chameleon, and I just wanted to play with style. And then at another point, I didn't. That's not unusual if it's normal. As an artist, you're allowed to experiment. You are allowed to evolve your art style. In fact, you're likely going to become bored or stagnant if you don't. Most artists I know are always growing and evolving. And even if you're established artist, if you have an established style, experimentation is still a healthy part of being an artist. I'm constantly hearing professional artists with defined styles, talking about the importance of them for time for personal work, for exploration and experimentation, and I think that's just an innate part of being an artist. Also, Overall styles change too. Just like fashion, some art styles go out, and also like fashion, everything always seems to come back, but you don't have to wear the same fashion for all the rest of your life. You don't have to have the same hairstyle for the rest of your life. You also don't have to have the same art style for the rest of your life. If you look at David Hockney, the infamous painter, he started his career in the 1960s and his style has changed significantly in the following decades. Your style is going to change and evolve. My style changed because the work I was doing changed. 17. Consistency & Deciding on Your Style: Let's talk about consistency. Another common style concern is not being able to maintain your style from one piece to the next. And if you feel like each piece that you draw looks completely different from each other, there's a couple of things that could be going on here. I could just be that you need to work on your technical skills. If a client wants to hire you, you'll need the technical ability to replicate your own style. And the more that you understand what makes that style, like the line shape, form, color, the elements that we went over in this class, the more you understand those and can see them and identify them, the easier it will be to pull those elements apart and remake them. Also, the more practice you have with your tools, the more confident and better you're going to be at them. If you don't feel like you can replicate a style from one piece to the next, it may just be that you haven't spent enough time working on the technical side of your craft. Practicing a little every day so you can feel confident in your hand movements so that you can predict the way where your circles and your lines are going to end up. You you do that. That is something that I did a lot of at the beginning of my artistic journey was just drawing circles and making sure that I could actually draw what I was intending to draw. Use and explore your tools so that you're familiar with them and you can use them when you need to. If you're a beginner at a new medium or to draw, it's really normal that you may not feel like you can make the tools do exactly what you want them to do right away. No one walks into the gym and can immediately lift 200 pounds the first time. They've got to practice their skills and work up to it. And those artistic muscles are exactly that. They're muscles. They are things that you develop and you get better at. So if you don't feel confident in your technical ability to replicate a style, keep practicing it is something that will get easier with time. And all that said, another thing that could be happening is that, well, sometimes as artists, we're not the best judge of our own consistency. Sometimes we're blind to what is consistent in our work because it's so obvious to us that we don't even think about it. If you are not a beginner beginner, I would ask a trusted friend if they can tell you what is consistent about your work. If they can tell one piece from the next is actually yours. And hopefully, the exercises above has helped open your eyes to identify the unique ways that you draw things. For example, Doing this class, I realize that I am very specific in the way that I shade things, and I always shade them in a very certain way. And that's true no matter what subject matter I draw. Or maybe for you, it is your consistent use of outlines throughout all of your pieces, Fomo or shiny object syndrome. Another concern with consistency is f or shiny object syndrome, and you're always feeling like you want to try something new because there might be something better out there for you. Well, if that's you, I feel you. This is definitely me too. Sometimes I just draw for me, and I don't share the work. But what's the fun in that, right? One way that I've approached sharing experimental work or work that is not my usual style is to actually work in a series or present my experiments as a collection rather than just one off pieces. So for example, in October, I wanted to limit myself to working in black and white so that I could focus exclusively on shapes instead of relying on color, which is a huge part of what I use. Color is a big part of what I do. And having those black and white pieces would have come across really jarring because it's so unlike my style. So what I did was I presented that as a series instead of just a one off piece. So I could display that as nine images in one picture so that you could tell, like, Oh, hey, this is a series of pieces, or I could put it on my Instagram and put six or three or nine. So like, there's several pieces in a row so that they feel like, Oh, this is like a thing. I like to play with lettering, and a lot of that work that is just exclusively lettering can kind of feel jarring when it's taken out of context. If somebody goes to my portfolio, they might be like, Hey, does this artist do lettering or illustration. But if I group those pieces into a single category or project on my portfolio, like, here are all my lettering pieces, now it doesn't feel so incongruent. So maybe that's an idea of how you can approach trying new styles while still maintaining some degree of consistency in your work. Overwhelmed If you struggle with consistency because you feel overwhelmed by choices, like, you don't know what color palettes you like or what brushes you like to use the most. Creative constraints may be one of your best friends. You could try drawing the same object once a day for the next week or decide you'll only use one or two brushes for your next piece or commit to the same color palette for the next three pieces. Limiting your choices in one area will free you up to explore other elements of your style without so much pressure to get every component perfect. And don't be too hard on yourself. If you've only ever drawn a person once, you can't expect yourself to have a style of drawing people. Draw ten people and then see what's in common with those people. If you're new to digital art, you shouldn't expect yourself to know which brushes you like best immediately. It'll take some time and experimentation. And all of this stuff doesn't happen overnight for most people. I'm sure you've heard that from other artists you admire. If it doesn't happen overnight for them, why should you be so hard on yourself to expect it to happen overnight for you. But what will help is drawing as often as you can every day if you can manage it. And to do that, a routine helps. Commit to working at a specific time in a specific place for x amount of minutes every day. I found it helpful to decide what I'm going to draw ahead of time instead of sitting down to draw and then spending all my drawing time trying to figure out what to draw. When I did my series on storefronts, I took one day to gather up all my inspiration images and then another day to draw ten sketches. And then every day after that, I just decided which sketch would be more fun to tackle and let myself work on whichever one I felt most inspired by. You may also find it helpful to join a drawing challenge. Deciding on your style. So how do you decide on your style? What do you want to incorporate and what do you want to leave up? Well, it's up to you. It's your art. But here are the things I would suggest taking into consideration when making your choice. Do you enjoy creating in that way? This could be both the process and also the end result. Do you like the way it looks, and do you enjoy creating it. After all, this is how you are spending your time. Are other people, your audience or clients drawn to that style. If people give you compliments on your work and especially specific things, pay attention to what they mention. If you don't have an audience or anyone who can give you feedback, it may be worth seeking out a paid portfolio review. Sometimes art directors or agents will offer these on their websites. Alternatively, you don't need to spend that money. You could also ask a trusted friend if they would be willing to share what aspects of your work they think is best. Chances are, you'll end up somewhere in between. Doing work you love creating, but also responding to what people like seeing from you. After all, having positive reinforcement on our work is one of the most encouraging ways to keep moving forward. And speaking of, if you found this class helpful, it would mean the world to me if you would leave a positive review. 18. Bonus: Style Advice with Gia Graham: In this lesson, I'm going to be talking with Gia Graham, who's an illustrator and a hand letterer based in Atlanta. G is also a top teacher here on skill share. But the main reason I want to talk with Gia is that she also has a class about finding your style, and it takes a slightly different approach than this class. I thought it would be really interesting to sit down and have a chat with her. Gia's style is really bright and bold. She credits her island background for influencing the vibrant colors and the lush florals and foliage that she uses in her work. Clients reach out to Gia for commissions and licensing opportunities because of her distinctive style. Her artwork has appeared on a range of products from home goods and greeting cards to book covers and even accessories. D, how do you approach the process of finding your style? Well, to me, style, no matter what kind of style it is, if it's fashion, interior design, artistic style, it's all an expression of who you are. It's a commination of your likes, your experiences, your influences. All these things are typically bouncing around in the back of your brain, but you're not conscious of it. So for me, my approach is to first take a look inward, you know, to kind of step back and really be intentional about identifying those likes and those experiences and those influences. And in the first half of my class, I actually helped guide students through this self observation process and this self discovery. That's awesome. Because, you know, yeah, style is kind of finding your style is a journey, you know? It's something that takes a while. So I kind of think of this first step as opening up the roadmap to that journey and putting your to say I am here, you know? Because when you do this kind of self discovery. You get your bearings for who you are and where you are as a creative. And then from there, I think it's easier to move forward on the path with intention and then do the practical stuff, which is, you know, exploring new techniques and shapes and, you know, styles of drawing and all of that. But yeah, I think that first step is to kind of really take a look at the things that you like and the experiences you've had and what has influenced you, and then you can move forward from there. And I actually think our classes really compliment each other well in that way because we each take a slightly different approach. If students take both classes, they'll have a good well rounded guide for how to develop their style. Do you think it's necessary to have just one style, or do you think the artists can work in multiple styles? Well, I think if art is your hobby, I don't think it's really necessary to have just one style. But if you want to earn a living as an artist, then absolutely. Having a unique style can really help you boost your career. I know that that's been my experience. You know, it made it easier for me to create an art brand. And actually, I didn't even realize that I was developing an art brand. I was just so focused on trying to figure out, you know what I liked with lettering and illustration, what I didn't like, you know, trying different techniques that over time, I honed my style, and I built an art brand organically. I didn't even realize it. And when I speak of an art brand, I'm just referring to the fact that as an artist, one creates an art brand when your work is associated with a specific aesthetic. So the good thing about that is that there will be times when clients will come to you, you know, they will seek you out because they want you to put your unique stamp on their project or their product or whatever it may be. I have to say it makes my job so much more enjoyable because I can approach each new project from a confident place because I know that the client already likes my style, so I can just focus on implementing my creative voice to whatever that creative brief is, whatever project that they've brought to me is. And you know, The other bonus of developing your style is that you can create a portfolio that you're really proud of. You know, I remember when I was a graphic designer many moons ago. I I wanted to switch jobs. So I was in the process of pulling together a portfolio, and I found I was really struggling with it because everything felt so disjointed. You know, I was doing different projects for different clients, and everything looked completely different from each other. But now, I'm actually working on rebuilding my website right now. And what's so wonderful is that even though I have work from different clients, there is a cohesion, even though each project is different and, you know, all of the projects don't look the same, there's the through line of my style there. So my portfolio now feels like it's all coming from the same person. Yeah, that's so cool, isn't it just to see the whole body of work together? It's really exciting. It is. I love it. So what do you say to somebody who has been exploring their style for a few months, but still can't seem to find their style? Yes. I actually get this question a lot, and I have an answer that might not be so popular. It just takes time. Time and consistent practice. It's not something that you can force to happen overnight. I would say that you can give yourself up to a year to practice consistently exploring things and during the course of that year. You'll start to see a style emerge if you're consistent and intentional about your practice. It's also super important to take a step back every once in a while and take a look at the work that you've been creating, maybe every two or three months. I call this doing an art audit, and I think it's a really helpful practice. So I love that. Let's look at it. I'm going to give you an analogy. So let's look at it like a house plant, right? So you go to the store, you buy this house plant, you bring it home. You're super excited about caring for it. You're diligent about watering it and nurturing it, and all of that. And day to day, you don't really notice much difference in the plant. But if you skip forward a year and you're doing your daily maintenance and all of that, and you decide, well, let me look at this photo I took a year ago. If you put the two side by side, you look at the photo of the plant and you're seeing the plant in front of you, then is when you realize, oh, it's really grown. You don't see those changes incrementally from day to day. But if you pause for a moment and take a step back and get that broader picture, you'll be able to see your progress. So the same goes for your art practice. If you're diligent and intentional about your practice, step back every few months and you'll be able to see that growth that you weren't noticing day to day, you know, and it's a good way to keep you motivated, too, because when you step back and you look at how you've grown, it might be just one small thing that you've noticed, you know, but seeing those changes happen will help encourage you to keep at it, you know, on the flip side, If you buy a plant and you bring it home and you're sporadic about caring for it, you water it this week and you're great with caring for it this week and then you forget about it for a couple of months and then you come back to it. It's going to die. You know, I definitely won't grow. It will probably die. And in the same way, you know, with your art practice, if you kind of lax about it and you kind of give up on it, you know, after a month or you skip a few weeks and then you come back, then your style won't grow. So yeah, I think it's really important to stick with it consistently and have that consistency over time. Yeah, I love that analogy. I'm a big house plant fan myself, so it makes a lot of sense. It's funny. I have quite a few pictures and I'm like, Wow, I can't believe how much this has grown. And that is super true, even for me as somebody who I feel like I've established a style. But then, a year later, I can look back and be like, Wow, things have really evolved. It's really grown, and it's not necessarily always like a crazy change, but I become stronger in what I do. Absolutely. Absolutely. I'm so glad you said that it's not a crazy change, because sometimes it won't be a crazy change, but it could be just enough of a shift to push your creativity forward that much more. That was so great. Thank you, Gia so much for taking the time to talk with me today. If you have not already, be sure to check out Gia's class, which is called Find your Style, how to develop your own lettering aesthetic. And if you aren't already, make sure that you follow her on skill share so that you can be notified whenever she posts a new class. 19. Final Notes: All right. Before I go over some final notes, I want to say a big thank you and congratulations. You made it through that big old class. Wow. I really appreciate you spending all that time with me. And if you enjoy the class, I want to ask you a favor. Will you please leave a positive review of the class? Your encouragement really keeps me going and inspires me to keep making these classes the best that I can. Even a simple thanks for the class in the discussion tab gives me the warm fuzzies. I love seeing what you make, and I often highlight student projects on Instagram. You can find me at Paper playgrounds, and if you'd like me to share your work, be sure to tag me at Paper playgrounds and use the hashtag draw with Brook. If you're interested in the digital brushes that I use, I have a list of brushes that I recommend on my website. If you're interested in more classes on both business and creative side of being an artist, I've got classes on how to make a living as an artist, productivity for artists. I've also got classes on how to use procreate, how to draw, color theory, and more. You can find all of these on my website or my skill share profile. If you have questions, the best way to get them answered is to leave them in the discussion tab. The awesome thing about the discussion section of the class is that if anyone else has the same question, they can see my answer straight away. Who knows? Have a look and see if somebody else has had the same question as you. You all are smart cookies, and you ask really smart questions. Thanks so much for joining me and happy creating art friends.