My Creative Resolution – Watercolor, Illustration, Print Pattern Design

Six tips on developing your own illustration style

13 Comments

I’m writing this post because I would have loved to come across this information 1, 2, 3, even 5 years ago. There is plenty of information out there are on learning how to draw and paint, on techniques, and even on cartooning, but not much on how to develop your own drawing, illustration, or painting style. I now know why there isn’t a lot out there. It’s because…the recipe to developing your own style has three key ingredients: YOU, TIME, and WORK

6 Tips on Developing your own Illustration Style

If you are committed to finding your style – whether it be painting, illustration, or another medium, here is what you need to do:

  • Make time to draw (or paint) several times a week – even for a few minutes
  • Be open to inspiration all around you (take lots of photos)
  • Create work that is personal to you
  • Take notice of artists, whose styles you like, and try out elements of their style that speak to you. Watch videos of how other artists work and try out any part of their process that interests you
  • Experiment with different tools – paper, pens, pencils, paints, etc. – until you find the ones that you are most comfortable with. My favorites – Canson multimedia sketchbook, Uniball Signo Pen, and Van Gogh watercolor paints. See more of my favorites here.
  • Periodically look at your work (as objectively as possible) to make note of what is emerging as “your” style. You’ll notice milestones along the way.

As you try things you pick up from other artists, these techniques will either stick or won’t, as you continue working. And you’ll naturally modify and adapt these techniques to become your own. If you are putting in the time and working almost daily on your craft, your style will start to emerge. But, style isn’t a fixed thing, a final destination, it’s always evolving, as you put the time and work into your craft. And it’s worth it. 🙂

Read “The 11 art supplies I can’t paint without!”
11 Art Supplies I can't paint without

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Author: Eileen McKenna {my creative resolution}

Web and Print Designer living in New York. I blog about painting, illustration, and designing patterns. Inquires are welcome.

13 thoughts on “Six tips on developing your own illustration style

  1. Lovely bananas. Eileen! 🙂

  2. What a great post and the bananas are super 🙂

  3. Fabulous nanners and thanks for the tips! This topic speaks to me right now.

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