Shop More Submit  Join Login


Submitted on
July 1, 2010
Image Size
807 KB


103,679 (10 today)
4,890 (who?)

Part two of my Understanding Your Style: Symbols, Design Pattern, and Anti-Pattern guide/essay-thing.

If you're seeing this first because it came up stacked first in your messages, please, go read part one first! It might be a bit confusing otherwise!

If you like what you see here, please, share it with your friends. I literally put over a week's worth of work into writing, formatting, and illustrating this. If you like it, please support it! This message is extremely important to me, and I've been thinking about making a guide on it for a long time.
Add a Comment:
CeberusTwice Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2014
In terms of the "updated" drawing of that woman, she doesn't just have too long of a nose; she doesn't have enough chin.
Just observing, if it helps anyone.
who-the-moon-is Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
:clap: Thank you for saying this. All of it. It's great.
Hopfield Featured By Owner May 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is so true! But it works the other way round as well.  I'm happy with natural proportions in portraits but can't draw the more stylized faces at all, because my brain only sees the pattern of big eyes, small nose instead of the change in symbols used.  Drawing less stylized features at 'anime' sizes looks weird.  Really weird.  The appeal of moving away from realistic faces is being able to convey big expressions with fewer lines - economy of line is the goal.  I'm finding Disney animations are a nice middle ground to try and ease myself away from realism, with quite realistic proportions in the earlier cartoons (ignoring Snow White - she's a freak), then progressing to a much more cartoony and anime influenced look once you get to Aladdin or thereabouts.  There's a lot of habit breaking involved, but it's fun.  Sorry, babbling - this tutorial is awesome, going straight onto my favourites.

And Andrew Loomis is back in print! At least he is in the UK - got my hardcover 'Figure Drawing for all It's Worth' for Christmas, and it's amazing.
arhiee Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
CrimeanDoodler Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2014
This is really insightful.
Cow-Butt Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2014
I was just thinking about TF2 when I read that. I had to double check to see if I hallucinated it. 
ZeltidisFreak Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014
is anime style bad? like do people look down upon it? I'm just curious c:
heysawbones Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2014  Professional General Artist
It's not bad, but just like a lot of other things that aren't bad, lots of people do look down on it, unfortunately.
ChesyreFrog Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
I don't think so, and I would say that it really comes to the viewer of the work to make that judgement. Some people like an anime aesthetic while others prefer a more western design, or something abstracted. 

The best way to address your question is to note that if you're drawing something in "your" style then it can look however you want. The audience that likes your work will like something about your design. If they don't like it then there's something they just don't dig.

The comments I hear about not liking anime are things like "they don't look asian", "their (insert feature here) is out of proportion/looks unnatural" or that the style is disliked because they don't watch anime. These comments are from people who hold a bias to begin with. 

If you browse galleries you'll see many different styles that may incorporate themes found in western/eastern art and that span all levels of realism. Draw what you like to draw, and admire what you admire. Above all else dabble with changes to your style and get a handle on the subject that you're drawing and let the rest develop organically.
ColonelMarksman Featured By Owner May 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The problem occurs when you try to self-develop your own personal style and end up taking the fancy of another artistic style. It's close to art theft and its a type of corner-cutting. The rest won't develop "organically" as you put it if there is an incorrect presupposition involved in your mind that you are accessing as your state of reference. Even in art there is a right and wrong and good art and bad art, even contained within one's own style; its not as settled in opinion as you might think.

And it comes from trying to copy a design. The suggestion "Draw what you like to draw, and admire what you admire. Above all else dabble with changes to your style" is exactly what the artist is trying to get people to avoid. Because by doing so, you're in danger of incorrectly jumbling the personal style with a different, copied style.

The core idea is to completely strip away drawing everything you like and all the styles and types (Western, anime, etc.) and draw everything directly from real life. From there, after understanding realistic art crafts, divert on your own accord to fit the specific abstracts requirements. When you fail to meet those requirements, you have done it incorrectly. 
Add a Comment: