Everyone has a taste in art that they really enjoy, this can be comics, manga, realism, etc. These tastes in art help motivate us, inspire us, and give us something to strive towards and continuously try to improve our drawing capabilities. However, when you are developing your style, this is often a thought that comes across our minds too early in our learning process and can actually hinder our process instead of help it.
There are fundamental principals in art that are prerequisites when it comes to developing your art style. Before you delve into any style there is a period of study that you have to put in first. This study is for learning proper anatomy, color, light, form, and an array of other theories before you get to technique.
It’s important to develop your understanding of form before you start to consider what kind of drawing style you want. Form is going to influence how the light hits and object or a figure or anything for that matter. Without an understanding of light, any style is going to be very difficult to accomplish unless it is entirely flat figures like what you will see in cartoons or completely abstract art.
Here is an example of two cartoons that are rendered flat, though void of form, they still have an understanding of anatomy and it’s exaggerated which we will get in to next.
Anatomy is crucial to any type of art that has a figure in it. Even when over exaggerated, you have to understand what kind of muscular system there is, where muscle insertions are, etc. Even with the two cartoons referenced above, the artists still know anatomy and how to push it to extremes. Though not immediately prominent, the anatomy structures still hold true along with figure proportions.
No to kick up the anatomy exaggerations where accuracy is more important than the above samples. In the video I mention the over the top look of Dragon Ball Z. We will use Broly as a reference here. In this, you can see that the artists have a very strong understanding of anatomy and can simplify it and exaggerate it to the insane, over the top look we have here.
Final thoughts on developing your art style.
If you are still in the early stages of your art, I encourage you to keep the things you enjoy as part of your art, but continue to strive to learn and develop over trying to copy certain look. By copying, you don’t gain the required understanding to be able to create these yourself, but by study, you will learn different techniques from everything and everyone you study. Think “why” before “how” and let your style naturally start to develop and show through on it’s own. You will be much happier with the outcome and you won’t paint yourself into a corner, so to speak.