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Daily Deviation
March 28, 2011
UNDERSTANDING YOUR STYLE - 1 by *whitetrashpalace
(See also: Part 2)

This tutorial was suggested by by ~sweetychan and the following deviants:

`alexds1 says, "It goes beyond teaching how to draw and delves into the question of why we draw."

=NMNA says, "One of the most illuminating tutorials I've found on dA. What visual artist hasn't stressed over their style?"

*Sephiramy says, "Whimsically yet contemplatively written guide about the importance of studying from life and understanding the symbol sets used in our craft. It will make people take a closer look at their work and the world around them. The overall message is a great eye-opener."

*nayruasukei says, "Incredibly helpful for artists stuck in a limbo state, trying to improve. It brings science and philosophy into art, and it's wonderfully made."

*arsieiuni says, "One of the most well-made, intuitive and thorough tutorials I have ever seen."

*Somebodylost says, "It's helpful for artists to understand what 'artistic style' means. It gives insight, especially to those who learned to draw from cartoons, etc."

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heysawbones's avatar



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

A lot of you already know about symbols and stuff - if that's the case for you, please skip ahead to part two!

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.
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alyandra's avatar
Found this and part 2 linked on Tumblr... thank you!
Valkeus-and-Varya's avatar
Thank you! You put this into words so well.
FilipePVasconcelos's avatar
I like to say "It's not style if you can't do it any other way."

Useful useful.
ImagenAshyun's avatar
I shared this and Part II with my friends who are having difficulty in understanding how to apply symbols to represent the face. It also pointed out some of my own flaws in improving my own style without understanding how the style works.

By making this tutorial, you've provided me a more clear direction on understanding my own art while I am otherwise teaching myself with little professional guidance. I thank you for this very dearly.
heysawbones's avatar
You're exceedingly welcome. Good luck with everything!
MrPendent's avatar
CorvidCatastrophe's avatar
This series has been utterly invaluable to me. I've been struggling with a lot of artistic confidence and art block issues of late, and I keep coming back to this.

:+fav:'ing this so I don't have to hunt for it again!! (and because it's awesome)
kat-reverie's avatar
This is brings up a lot of really good points and makes me think a little deeper on some stuff I had only skimmed. Thank you for creating this.
Raihiko's avatar
This is the most interesting tutorial I've ever read.
You've made a great job, and this could be really usefull for those (like me 'til one year ago) who are in a "style crisis". I've spent too much time to understand what this tutorial can say in such a "simply" and understanding way. This is important, and I'll share this :D

I wish I had found this tutorial years ago.
palmcastle's avatar
This was very helpful, and gave me a lot to think about. I really liked it. Thank you!
Broeckchen's avatar
This changed everything for me! Thank you so much for posting it. ;u;

After reading, I noticed exactly what you described in my drawings (I have indeed started out by copying Sailor Moon, but quickly tried to move on to my own style - which I never really found) and could try to at least prevent a bit of damage. I started paying more attention to real life anatomy (especially position wise) and I'll try and this guide actually also helps me to understand common mistakes I make even when trying to draw from real life. Thank you!
PerpetualSunrise's avatar
Very, very helpful. I actually found this guide on thepunchlineismachismo's blog on his drawing advice piece. Really glad I found this and I hope it helps out me in my drawing journey-I'll be sure to show it to my sister as she's taken up drawing after not doing it for years as I haven't too. :D Thank you so much for this beautiful awesome guide.
DollGrownUp's avatar
Thank you for this. It is incredibly helpful to me! :)
ZyseaZodiac's avatar
Thank you so very much for making this.
BaneNascent's avatar
I'm drinking beer and reading these while I rest my busted up hands. It's fun!
KennyNoms's avatar
I refer to this all the time! Thank you so much for making this!
LB-Lee's avatar
Had this faved on the old account, refaving for posterity. I MUCH approve of the stuff you're writing here and want to keep spreading it.
Boxliteyear's avatar
That's an interesting point of view. I never thought style can be explored in such depth!
Pluie-Froide's avatar
I feel like the only person in the world who has been drawing for years, yet didn't hesitate to study anatomy when I was told to. :XD: But anyway; well done! I learned quite a few things reading this, even after reading other tutorials about stylization. Well done!

(Also, I do have a friend who draws in Sailor Moon-esque styles, and insists that it is realism. :XD: )
albaoaurora's avatar
Aaaah.... You got me. You're blowing my brains out. I knew about symbols to some degree (there was a whole lengthy essay on this that I read a few years back, but I didn't quite understand it), but you just exposed so much to me. Goodness, this is wonderful.
mystylotus's avatar
I don't think I've ever read anything that so clearly gets this point across. Thanks so much for writing this!
arowell's avatar
thank you so much for helpful and well-written.
SABAHN's avatar
>Why Life Drawing is so damn important.

The best explanation.
sconesandpancakes's avatar
Both of these tutorials are amazing - I will do my best to follow them. They are very helpful, thank you for making them!

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