Lavinia Aparaschivei

Lavinia Aparaschivei

September 10, 2021
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September 10, 2021
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Want to improve your drawing skills? Feeling stagnant in your style and keen to try something new? 

Experimenting with different drawing styles is a fantastic way to hone your skills and improve your ability to capture imaginative imagery and develop your unique style. 

There are tons of different drawing styles to play with, but we've put together a list of 11 epic drawing styles for you to explore and try out.

Pen characters by Abin Varghese
Image Source: Unsplash

A Note On Style

From Leonardo Da Vinci to Pablo Picasso, the way an artist chooses to express themselves arises from many influencing factors.

Your own particular drawing style will depend on your skills, your preference, the audience or brief you might be creating for, your cultural background, interests, and education. 

Finding the style you love takes exploration and practice. It’s also very much influenced by the medium in which you are working. There are tons of mediums you can use to draw. You can draw pretty much anywhere with pretty much anything. People have produced incredible artworks with sand drawings, pavement drawings, and even drawings created with actual food. 

The most common drawing styles based on a specific medium are:

  • Pencil drawing (graphite, watercolor pencils, or colored pencils)
  • Ink drawing
  • Pen drawing
  • Chalk drawing 
  • Crayon drawing
  • Digital drawing with tablets and apps like Vectornator and Procreate 
  • Charcoal drawing 

If there are particular mediums that you love, you may go the route of choosing types of drawing to experiment with based on those mediums. Not all mediums are suited to all drawing styles; for example, crayons might not be the best choice for hyperrealism, and if you’re going for something that requires a fine point, like stippling, then messy charcoal might not be the most ideal. 

However, you might be more interested in a particular style itself and adapting your favorite medium to work for that. 

This skill is helpful for anyone who works in design to practice their drawing skills. 

Industry experts make a conscious effort to keep their skills sharp and their creativity alive by drawing. While it is an art form, drawing is also a technical skill. Some styles are more technical than others. Learning the technical side of things helps to prove design skills and artistic abilities because it helps to hone the detail, precision, and understanding of things that it takes to create beautiful works of art and design. 

11 Drawing Styles to Try

Within each drawing style, there are many different possibilities for how you can express that style.

We have listed 11 drawing styles that will expand your drawing abilities both artistically and technically. From basic styles, to complex 3D illusions - see what inspires you!   

1. Doodling

Doodle

Doodle designed by Britt Edwards. Connect with them on Dribbble; the global community for designers and creative professionals.

Doodling is where it all starts.

Doodling is a very informal form of drawing usually created absent-mindedly (for instance, to keep yourself entertained in class). Doodling refers to rough scribbles and sketches of ideas. What you can do with doodling is limitless. Everything, from drawing a simple shape over and over to creating characters that spring to life off the page, is considered doodling. 

Many great works of art begin as just a simple doodle. And a lot of people discover that they love to draw by doodling as children. 

This drawing style doesn’t have to be treated as a form of drawing only meant for scribbles, however. Some artists choose to create their unique drawing style around the informal aesthetic of doodles. The simple or unfinished look of a doodle can be quite pleasing and works well for brands, too. 

Doodling whenever you have a moment is good practice for your drawing skills and will keep your creative juices flowing. 

2. Photorealism / Hyperrealism 

This one takes serious skill.

Are you up for the challenge? You might be inspired by artists who can portray such high levels of realism and wish to do the same yourself. All it takes is practice and dedication. Talent plays a role in drawing, but it’s practice and skill-sharpening that really leads to results. 

Realistic drawing sharpens your eye and improves design skills across all areas. It will help you become faster at producing more simple drawings, as well. Hyperrealism is the perfect style in which to indulge if you're interested in drawing portraits, as you'll learn to capture facial features in incredible detail, which can result in truly beautiful and moving portraits. 

3. Cartoon Style

Characters

Characters designed by Anjum Shorna *. Connect with them on Dribbble; the global community for designers and creative professionals.

Cartoons are a more stylized approach to drawing, and even within this style exist many other styles.

You could explore caricature drawing, cartoon strip, or comic book style, or you could come up with your own cartooned drawings.

What really defines the cartoon drawing style? It’s usually a simplified, non-realistic style of drawing, often with exaggerated features. While cartoon-style drawings work well to create a cute and whimsical feeling, they don’t need to be child-like at all. They give you creative license to get really imaginative, and many professional illustrators have achieved great success through this style.  

4. Line Drawing

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Line drawing has become very popular in recent years, making frequent appearances on social media and online editorial design.

Basic line drawing is aesthetically pleasing and makes for simple and elegant visual content. 

This technique can be particularly satisfying for beginners, as line drawings can be quick and uncomplicated to create. It’s also a fun way to turn a photograph or complex image into something more simple.  

You can also challenge your skills by applying the technique used in this beautiful line portrait, where you create an entire image from one continuous line (known as continuous line drawing). The end result looks simple, but the technique is challenging.

5. Architectural Drawing 

Drawing architecture is a fantastic way to challenge your skills.

While architects learn to hone this skill to a highly technical level, drawing beautiful pieces of architecture is great for artists to learn about detail, perspective, and precision. 

You could copy photographs of beautiful buildings, draw them from real life if you have access to sitting near one, or you could draw your own piece of architecture from your imagination. 

6. Geometric Drawing 

There is a lot of variety under the umbrella of geometric drawing.

It could be anything that involves a geometric shape - from perspective drawing that turns 2D shapes into 3D illusions to images compiled out of combining geometric shapes. 

You could experiment with geometric patterns, or just practice your drawing skills by drawing shapes. The possibilities for the art you can create with geometry are endless, because everything we see can be boiled down to geometry. 

It’s essential for designers and artists to be able to break things down into geometric shapes so that they can both capture and build the real and the imaginary. 

 7. Tattoo Drawing

The first thing tattoo artists need to learn how to do before picking up a needle, is to draw.

Every tattoo starts as a drawing, which then goes through the process of becoming a stencil which is transferred to the skin before being permanently tattooed. 

There are tons of different tattoo styles, so an artist really is at liberty to draw anything, but if you’re interested in becoming a tattoo artist or just enjoy the style, start following tattoo artists that inspire you and drawing the types of tattoos you love

If you’re geared towards the professional tattoo artist route, developing an authentic style of your own or niching down on a particular subject matter or clientele is important to think about, as these practices can advance your career significantly. 

8. Typography Drawing

Typography design is a whole ball game on its own.

You might be a professional graphic designer who works with typography on a regular basis, or you might just love playing around with typography as an artist. 

Typography drawing could involve anything from drawing scenes inside letters, such as above, or creating an image out of wording, such as below. It’s really up to you to get creative and have fun playing around with lettering. 

Trying some calligraphy drawing might also be a worthwhile technique for learning about the world of lettering, mastering the medium of ink, and honing your precision skills. 

9. Stippling, Hatching, and Scumbling

We’re giving you a three-in-one bonus here because all three of these techniques are quite similar; they just involve different patterns.

Experimenting with stippling, hatching, and scumbling adds more creative diversity to your drawing skills and transforms simple, monochrome drawings into interesting, textured finished artworks. 

Stippling - Stippling was first created during the Renaissance era by an artist named Giulio Campangola, who used it for printmaking to give prints of one color more depth. Stippling involves creating a drawing from lots of small dots. 

The dots are grouped together to create images. An artist would create shading and gradients by either placing the dots closer together or spreading them out. You can get incredibly detailed with stippling, and it teaches you to be conscious of shading as well. 

Stippling might get confused with pointillism. The difference is that stippling is drawn with one color, whereas pointillism involves using a variety of colors.  A fine ballpoint pen or sharp graphite pencil is best for stippling, as you need to create very fine dots. 

Hatching and cross-hatching -  This is another drawing technique that is used to create depth, gradient, and texture without blending. Hatching involves filling in an image with closely-drawn parallel lines. Cross-hatching is almost the same, except the lines intersect and cross one another. 

Scumbling/ scribble art - is a shading technique that’s created in a similar way to stippling and hatching, but instead uses numerous small circles and scribbles to develop depth, gradient, and texture. 

10. Diagrammatic

A diagrammatic drawing is a type of technical drawing that explains how something works - as you might assume from the word “diagram.”

You could create a diagrammatic drawing of anything from a human to animal, interior design plans, and more. 

Diagrammatic drawing is a good practice for developing artistic skills. You can learn how to portray images realistically by focusing on details and understanding the anatomy of what it is you wish to capture. It also helps you plot out ideas from your imagination. Diagrammatic drawing on its own can make for beautiful works of art. 

11. Anamorphic Drawing

The anamorphic drawing technique is really cool!

This drawing style teaches you how to create depth, and involves drawing 3D illusions with a 2D drawing. It varies from simple shapes that create the 3D illusion to complex drawings that look like they’re jumping off the page. 

Anamorphosis is a perspective technique in drawing that uses distortion to portray an illusion that is only observable from a specific vantage point. The image might look distorted and chaotic from most vantage points, but when viewing from the intended perspective, it comes to life as an amazing 3D image. 

This is a rather technical drawing technique that takes time to master, but you can start with simple 3D illusions like the square shown in this video below. 

Drawing Takes Practice  

Different drawing styles will resonate with different people.

Even if you’re good at one style, you can always improve by experimenting with other styles - and you might discover a new approach to your art that you love! 

You can improve your drawing by practicing exercises and techniques like gesture drawings, rangoli drawing, human anatomy, and triangulation. There are tons of ideas out there for what you can draw to practice your skills. You can check out our list of 99 drawing ideas if you need some inspiration. 

As you’ll have learned by now, there are many different approaches to drawing that can keep you busy exploring new avenues of this art for the rest of your life!

Vectornator is the perfect vector design app to try out these drawing styles for yourself! Download it for free and test out your skills!

If you try one of the styles mentioned above on the Vectornator app, we’d love to see your finished drawing and might share it on our social media, so go ahead and share a pic on our socials!

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