Skip to Content

How to Find Your Drawing Style for Beginners: Ultimate Guide

portrait in progress by zack nicholas

How to find your drawing style? If, like me, you were wondering, “How do I find my art style?” or how to develop your art style – you’re not alone. 

Every artist that I liked had their own, specific art style. 

These artists had such a distinct art style that I could easily pick out one of their drawings or works of art in a line up no problem. 

I thought about the dark themes immediately noticeable in Goya’s artwork, the subtle surrealism and isolation found in Edward Hopper’s paintings, or the chaotic evil of the work by Francis Bacon. 

For me, personally, I was immediately drawn to pencil portraits and figures, usually done in graphite or charcoal.

Lucian Freud, Head of a Man

There’s something so alluring about a perfectly or (intentionally) imperfectly shaded portrait that truly resonated with me. 

When I started drawing and pursuing art seriously, I dreamt about creating my own personal masterpiece:

  • Something that I would be captivated by if I saw it in a museum
  • Something that was dark or expressed emotion, vulnerability, or a tenderness
  • Something that maybe I could one day hang up on my own wall in my home (and maybe someone would walk by it and think, “maybe a professional artist drew that”)

Portraits and figures and anatomy hit all those for me. 

Drawing the human figure or face was challenging and unforgiving, but the result always took on a life of its own. It existed somewhere else. Although it was based on a picture or done as a life study, it became its own entity entirely. 

Using what was so alluring to me in other’s artworks, I worked toward developing my own art style. 

I struggled with finding my art style during my journey into drawing and art.

The guidelines included in this post would have helped me overcome this struggle much sooner, so hopefully, they can help you.

By following these tips (and with consistent practice), I promise you will stumble upon your own drawing style before you know it. 

Table of Contents

    How to Find Your Drawing Style for Beginners 

    When considering your drawing style, you should understand that your type will depend on your skills, preference, possible audience, experience, cultural background, interests, and education. 

    Explore various mediums, techniques, and subjects to find your style in drawing. It is also helpful to study the works of different artists to determine what approaches are interesting to you. Analyze their use of line, shading, tone, and composition to develop your own.

    Another factor to keep in mind is the amount of time you put into your drawings. There is a massive difference between a 5-minute gesture drawing vs. a 30-hour figure drawing. 

    Practice, patience, and dedication will help you improve your skills and discover your style. 

    Remember that finding your style is a process that can take some time. Keep trying new things, learn continuously, and, most of all, keep practicing. Your style will eventually develop from your skills, goals, and experiences.

    What Are the Different Drawing Styles

    Drawing styles are the distinct ways that artists translate their inspiration onto paper. A wide variety of styles provide artists with many ways to express their creativity. The following is a quick overview of the most commonly known drawing styles:

    • LINE DRAWING – Typically, a line drawing comprises lines and patterns. Even though lines are the building blocks of every drawing style, they can create a simple yet powerful representation of the subject you want to make.
    • POINTILLISM – Pointillism involves creating an artwork by layering on many tiny dots of a single, applied in patterns to form an image. The dots are intended to combine in your eyes and create a realistic effect in the viewer’s mind.
    • ABSTRACT DRAWING – Abstract drawing involves expressing one’s creative vision using lines and vague shapes. These works are not based on observation or reality but on the artist’s feelings; thus, artists are given complete freedom of expression without restrictions.
    • REALISM – This style aims to produce a portrayal of the subject that is exceptionally true to life and accurate. It is accomplished with hyper-realistic features and shading methods.
    • EXPRESSIONISM – Expressionism has an emphasis on deep emotion and subjective viewpoint. These drawings use bold lines and vibrant colors to generate a certain feeling or mood for those who can see them.
    • CUBISM – Cubist drawings are composed of fragmented, geometric shapes that make up the composition and are similar to making abstract art.
    • PORTRAIT – A portrait is a specific drawing or sketch that captures the face and likeness of a person. It conveys resemblance,  personality, or emotions in a human’s face.
    • GESTURE DRAWINGThis style is known for quick, rough sketches that show the subject’s movement and gesture. This art is more about poses and how they relate to a figure than making intricate drawings.

    What Are the Different Drawing Mediums

    Different drawing mediums

    Since we are focusing mainly on drawing art styles, below are the drawing mediums to choose from:

    • DRAWING PENCILS – The most basic and commonly used drawing medium. It comes in graphite, charcoal, watercolor pencils, or colored pencils with varying degrees of hardness, allowing for fine details or broad, bold strokes.
    • COLORED PENCILS – These pencils come in many different colors, giving you many options to experiment and have a better blending experience.
    • CHARCOAL – is a soft, black medium made from burnt wood. They are ideal for creating detailed drawings because of the deep and rich black color they produce, which is best for expressive drawings.
    • PEN – uses a thin, sharp tip to make precise lines. This one is ideal for making doodles or line drawings, to making detailed drawings, and is often combined with pencil or charcoal for shading.
    • MARKERS –  are felt-tip pens that come in a variety of colors. Water-based markers are excellent for blending, while alcohol-based can create more sharp lines. 
    • CHALKS –  are soft, pastel-colored chalk sticks. It’s a common tool for making light, vibrant colors and combining hues.
    • CRAYONS – utilizes colorful wax sticks for writing, which is a great tool if you want to have rich colors on your drawings.
    • DIGITAL DRAWINGS – your iPads, drawing tablets, and even your phones can be used to make digital drawings. Install software for creating artwork, such as Procreate and Adobe Illustrator.

    How to Find Your Art Style in 30 Minutes

    First Choose Your Practical Options

    To find your art style as easily and quickly as possible, consider your practical options. It is to narrow down your preferred methods and materials for creating and developing your style.

    By answering the below questions first, we can narrow down the practical options:

    1. What kind of medium do you prefer?
    • Pencils 
    • Charcoal
    • Colored Pencils
    • Pastels
    • Pen
    • Markers
    • Paint
    • Digital Media
    1. What type of materials do you prefer?
    • Paper
    • Sketchbook
    • Stretched canvas
    • iPad
    • Digital app or drawing pad
    1.  Choose Your Preferred Subject Matter 
    • Portraits
    • Landscapes
    • Still life
    • Abstract
    • Food
    • Animals
    • Fictional Characters
    1. Consider the Size of Your Drawings
    • Small sketches
    • Medium-sized drawings
    • Large canvas sizes

    Next, Questions to Guide You:

    1. If You Had an Endless Amount of Art Talent, Skill, and Experience, What Kind of Art Would You Make?

    Think and reflect on the things that interest you most. Whatever motivates you, whether your favorite artist, favorite thing, scenery, or a person, you can consider it all in finding a subject or style in making your art.

    2. What Kind of Art or Drawing Style Attracts You?

     Identify your top three artists or styles that move you emotionally. Consider making an inspiration board of all your favorite works of art. When I was struggling to feel motivated to draw, I looked at art and drawings from my favorite artists for inspiration and motivation. 

    3. Analyze Different Artworks from These Styles and Try to Figure Out What About Them Particularly Resonates with You

    Take your time looking at artworks and note the ones that strike you. Consider the elements you see, why you are moved by the piece of art, and the specific feelings it produces. You’ll learn more about yourself and the kinds of art you’re naturally drawn to with this approach.

    Guidelines for Finding Your Own Drawing Style

    Different drawing style and mediums

    Can Consider Trying to Copy Your Favorite Artists

    Copying your favorite artists’ work can help you understand their techniques and styles, and eventually, you can create your creative process. 

    However, it is crucial to know that you can follow and observe it as a means of practice or a learning tool but never do direct copying and plagiarism work.

    Practice Drawing Daily if Possible

    Developing your drawing style requires consistent, daily practice. So how often should you practice drawing?

    It is recommended to draw for at least 2 hours a day. This time is enough to help you improve your skills without getting tired and burnt out. It also lets you get familiar with your tools and be confident in your skills- leading to the development of your style.

    Experiment with Different Art Styles and Mediums 

    If you want to develop your drawing style as an artist, it helps to experiment with various approaches. Explore and practice with different methods, subjects, and mediums until you find what you are comfortable and love working with and what works best for you.

    Think About What You Want Your Artwork to Express

    Think about the feelings, ideas, stories, or thoughts you want your art to convey. Think about what you want people to remember about your art when they see it. This process will assist you in concentrating on the subject of your work and help you develop your unique style. 

    Learn the Basics of Art

    Learning the basics establishes the foundation for widening your range and developing your technique and style. When making your own artwork, it might be helpful to clearly understand the fundamentals of composition, colors, viewpoint, and anatomy. 

    There are a lot of free visual aids and classes that you can join and have on the internet, all you will need is to invest your time, and it will surely be worth it.

    Other Tips for Finding Your Own Drawing Style:

    • Draw what you love, not what you think will sell or what will impress others the most.
    • Be open to criticism but be okay with rejecting it.
    • Don’t feel forced to share your art with others if you don’t want to 
    • Don’t compare yourself to others. Just do you and grow at your own pace.
    • Don’t be afraid to try new things. Be open to using different mediums and making different approaches.
    • If you want to keep your ideas flowing, taking breaks from drawing and doing other creative and fun things too is essential.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Does everyone have their own art style?

    Yes, everyone has their unique art style whether they know it or not because it combines all your learnings, experiences, observation, and even what you feel and is going through in life. As you continue to create more art you will develop more favored techniques, tools, and materials. These along with your own preference of art that you like will all feed into further developing your own art style.

    If you create art long enough you will develop your own style (and can use the tips in this post to get there faster!)

    Is it okay to copy an artist’s style?

    When you’re just starting as an artist, it may be a very beneficial learning experience to copy or study the works of other artists. You may learn about methods and techniques and gain ideas for different styles.

    Although copying the work of others might be helpful in practice, it’s different from creating your drawing style. Make it an inspiration, but not as yours, or imitate it. 

    How to Find Your Drawing Style for Beginners – Conclusion

    Finding your drawing style as a beginner can be a journey of self-discovery and experimentation. You can create your style if you think about your practical options, look at different works of art, practice often, and learn the basics. 

    Don’t be afraid to experiment, make mistakes, and take risks. Have fun while being genuine about who you are; this is what making art is all about. 

    Here at Latenightportrait, we think art is a great way to help people express themselves creatively, so we share helpful tips and resources with you. And if you need any guidance or support, please feel free to reach out to us and schedule a call. 

    Thanks for reading, and see you at the next one!

    As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases made on our website. If you make a purchase through links from this website, we may get a small share of the sale from Amazon and other similar affiliate programs. You can read our complete legal information for more details.