Art History Lab

Exploring Drawing Styles: From the Classics to the Abstract

to Drawing Styles: An Overview of Popular Styles

Drawing is a form of creative expression that has been around for centuries, dating back to the earliest civilizations. Drawing styles have evolved over time, with each era inspiring new techniques, mediums, and artists.

Today, drawing is still a popular form of art and a creative activity that allows individuals to express themselves in a variety of ways. In this article, we will dive into the world of drawing styles, exploring the different types, their characteristics, and their influence on the creative process.

From classical and academic styles to contemporary and abstract forms of art, here are some of the popular drawing styles you need to know. 1.

Definition and Importance of Drawing Styles

Drawing styles refer to the unique ways artists use various mediums such as paper, pencils, canvas, ink, or digital tools to create their artworks. The importance of drawing styles lies in their ability to express emotions, ideas, and stories in different ways.

Moreover, drawing allows individuals to enhance their visual thinking, perception, and cognitive skills. Knowing the different types of drawing styles allows artists to experiment with various techniques, pick the one that best suits their skills, and create a personal style unique to them.

Additionally, understanding the different styles of drawing allows individuals to appreciate the diversity of art and its cultural impact throughout history. 2.

Factors Influencing Drawing Styles

Several factors shape an artist’s drawing style, including their skill level, preferences, interests, education, cultural background, and the medium they use. For instance, a person who grew up in an environment that values realism may gravitate towards photorealism.

Similarly, an individual with a passion for geometry may enjoy creating geometric drawings. Artists’ preference for a particular style of drawing can also determine the medium they use, such as pencil, pen and ink, charcoal, watercolor, or digital tools.

Their level of skill and education can influence the technical aspects of their art, such as form, line, shape, and shading. 3.

Popular Drawing Styles

There are several popular drawing styles artists across the globe use today. These include abstract, academic, classical, caricature, cartoon, doodling, fantasy, geometric, figure, line sketching, perspective sketching, pointillism, photorealism, scribble, simple sketch, silhouette, technical, and typography.

3.1 Abstract Drawing Styles

Abstract drawing styles are characterized by unconventional, non-representational shapes, colors, and patterns. They are often challenging to interpret because they are not meant to resemble any tangible object, but rather the expression of emotions, ideas, and concepts.

Surrealist art is a subcategory of abstract drawing that explores the world of dreams, the subconscious, and the imagination. 3.2 Academic Drawing

Academic drawing styles focus on technical art skills, with a primary emphasis on form, line, and shape.

Its style of drawing developed in the French academies in the seventeenth century and emphasizes the classical style. 3.3 Classical Drawing Styles

Classical drawing styles are characterized by their emphasis on accuracy and proportion and their focus on the human form.

They originated in ancient Greece and Rome and have been popular through the Renaissance, many other art periods relished classical drawing style. 3.4 Caricature Drawing

Caricature drawing is characterized by oversimplified, exaggerated features of its subjects.

It is commonly used in animations, advertisements, and print journalism for the purpose of creating comedic effects with impunity. 3.5 Cartoon Art Styles

Cartoon art styles are used to produce editorial visual content, comic strips, and animations.

They are often humorous and accentuated with simple characters and illustrations. 3.6 Doodling

Doodling is a casual way of drawing that involves creating lines, shapes, and patterns in a repetitive, freehand manner.

Doodling is a form of relaxation that allows artists to express themselves subconsciously. 3.7 Fantasy Drawings

Fantasy drawings allow artists to tap into the imagination and create a real-life illusionary world that does not exist.

3.8 Geometric Drawing

Geometric drawing is characterized by its straight lines, shapes, and intricate designs that are two or three dimensional. This drawing style is often used by engineers and architects to develop designs and structures.

3.9 Figure Drawing

Figure drawing involves the creation of still-life or human models captured in various poses. Drawing artists draw the human figure from live or recorded models, casting emphasis on capturing the elements of proportion, perspective, and details.

3.10 Line Sketching Styles

Line sketching styles are characterized by straight lines, curves, and various shapes to highlight the significance of the piece. Common tools used for line-sketching include pen and ink.

3.11 Perspective Sketching Styles

Perspective sketching aims to create a realistic effect by emphasizing the depth and perspective of a piece of art. Anamorphic art is a variety of perspective sketching designed to create the illusion of three-dimensional art.

3.12 Pointillism

Pointillism is a style of drawing that uses dots or stippling to create the form, depth, and volume of a piece. The style became current during the Neo-Impressionist movement.

3.13 Photorealism

Photorealism involves accurately depicting a figure or object on paper, canvas, or other media, borrowing images from real-life to create the drawing. Artists who engage in photorealism pay close attention to details, shading, and contours of the object they are drawing.

3.14 Scribble Drawings

Scribble drawings are characterized by their textural nature, depth, and gradient shades created with the use of scribbles. They are used to accentuate emotions and expressions in subjects with a unique form.

3.15 Simple Sketch Drawings

Simple sketch drawings are typically unfinished drawings or preliminary sketches for a larger composition. Artists may use simple sketching styles to develop concepts for fashion design, courtroom sketches, or storyboarding.

3.16 Silhouette Drawing

Silhouette drawings include creating outlines of subjects, usually the human profile, and highlighting them with a simple black and white color scheme. They are often used in art prints, logos, and fashion design.

3.17 Technical Drawing

Technical drawings are used to accurately depict mechanical and architectural objects. Generally, these drawings are detailed, specified, and require a high degree of precision, making them essential for fields such as automotive, engineering, and interior design.

3.18 Typography Drawing

Typography drawing involves using letters, shapes, and forms as the primary focus of artistic expression. These drawings are often used to create invitations, logos, and other visual elements.


Drawing styles are as diverse as the artists who use them. Each drawing style offers a unique way of thinking creatively, and artists have a wide range of options when choosing their medium of choice.

Whether it’s the classical style, photorealism or abstract drawing, an artist can choose a style that suits his or her interest and skill level. Drawing is not just a medium of expression; it is a medium of communication.

From photorealism to typography drawing, a drawing can not only capture the artist’s imagination but also convey a message to viewers. Whether artists choose to convey socio-political, cultural, or personal issues, these drawing styles are well-equipped to do so.

As such, drawing styles will continue to remain popular in the creative world for generations to come, with each artist developing their own unique style of drawing. Developing Unique Drawing Styles: Tips to Create Your Own Style

Every aspiring artist wants to develop a unique drawing style that sets them apart from other artists.

Developing a unique drawing style requires a combination of basic skills, practice, exploration, perseverance, and following expert advice. In this article, well explore several ways to help you create your unique drawing style.

1. Starting with the Fundamentals

Before anything else, it is essential to learn the basics of drawing.

Once you master the fundamental skills of line, shape, form, and shading, you can then experiment with different techniques and styles. You can start by practicing the basics of drawing and slowly building up your skill level.

Establishing a solid foundation in the fundamentals of drawing sets up a solid foundation on which you can build your individual style. This means that you should practice regularly to develop basic technical skills such as line quality, texture, and proportion.

Developing a drawing habit will also help to improve your skills and build your confidence. Set aside a little time each day to sketch a subject that interests you or to practice techniques you have learned.

When you develop the habit of regular practice, you will soon recognize improvements in your skills and technique, setting you up for developing your unique drawing style. 2.

Following the Experts

One way to create your unique drawing style is to study the techniques of other artists. Special attention should be paid to artists whose work inspires or resonates with you.

Try copying their work as it a great learning tool to improve your technical skills and understanding of that particular style. It can be a stepping stone to developing your distinct style.

You can begin incorporating your unique signature style, such as adding flourishes or using different drawing materials into the techniques of other artists. However, it’s essential not to just copy an artists work but to develop the ability to identify and understand why those artists’ styles are appealing to you and to apply that knowledge in your work.

3. Doodling

Doodling is a great way to develop your unique drawing style.

Doodling is where you allow yourself to relax and allow your creativity to flow without worrying about the final product. Doodles are often abstract and free-flowing, but it is a great way to develop new patterns, shapes, and other elements that you can use in your art.

This can also lead to discovering unique patterns, shapes, and textures to incorporate new elements into your style. In addition, doodles can help develop your creativity and imagination, which can inspire new ideas and ways of drawing.

4. Practice and Perseverance

Consistent practice is essential to developing a unique drawing style.

It is essential to practice the techniques that resonate with you and experiment to create unique combinations of techniques and materials. However, developing new skills is not a fool proof process.

It comes with making mistakes. It is through our mistakes that we learn and grow.

Do not shy away from new ideas or experimenting with new drawing styles. Use the experience of making mistakes as an opportunity to fine-tune your craft by learning from your errors, improve on your technique, and put what you learn into practice.

Also, understand that personal style does not develop overnight and being patient is essential. It is a process that takes time and effort; there are no shortcuts.

5. Trying Something Different

When trying to develop a unique drawing style, it can be helpful to step out of your comfort zone and experiment with different styles and drawing techniques.

Experimenting with new techniques that may not seem popular can lead to new discoveries in your art. Looking into different art movements is also an excellent way to explore new styles and techniques.

You can combine different elements from various art movements to create your unique style. 6.


Developing a unique drawing style takes time, effort, and perseverance. It’s essential to be truthful and consistent in your journey.

Perseverance to stay faithful to your ideas and practice your craft even when it does not come as quickly should be key in your journey. It is essential to push through frustrating moments or periods of self-doubt as they often precede the moments of inspiration leading to much growth in your art.

It may take years, but the result is finding your voice, your unique signature, and flourishing as an artist.


Developing a unique drawing style takes time, effort, and experimentation. It is a journey that requires both technical skills and creativity, consistency in your practice, and perseverance.

Start from the basics, study the techniques of other artists, develop your doodling style, and try something new. Finally, stay true to your individual journey with a work-in-progress approach, and in time, your style will take shape.

Developing a unique drawing style is a journey that requires patience, practice, and creativity. By starting with the fundamentals, following the techniques of experts, doodling, persevering through mistakes, trying new styles, and staying committed to the process, artists can develop their own signature style.

The importance of developing a unique drawing style lies in the ability to express oneself creatively and create art that resonates with others. So, embrace the journey, keep practicing, and let your unique style shine through your artwork.

Remember, finding your own artistic voice takes time, but the result is a style that is truly your own and leaves a lasting impression on both you and those who view your art.

Popular Posts