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Grow your Style

7 Prompts to Expand your Artistic Style

Having a unique and identifiable art style is something every artist thinks about from time to time, even working professionals. Typically, beginner artist learn what they like and don’t like by emulating or replicating art from artists they admire – and that’s totally acceptable for learning purposes. But if you do find yourself yearning to have your art be a reflection of you and how you see things then these 7 prompts will help you experiment, explore, and expand your artistic style.

For many of these prompts, you get to choose the subject your draw. If you are stuck for ideas, use my “What Should I Draw?” prompt generator found at idontknowwhatodraw.com.

Prompt 1

Past Piece Do-Over

If you’ve ever toiled away at a piece only to step back after you finish and say “welp, I don’t love love it.” This is your chance for a do-over! Redoing a piece of past art is a great exercise that can help you see your progress. It can be so easy to think that you’re not learning fast enough or your not good enough, but when you have two pieces of art to compare, it becomes very clear just how much your skills have improved.

What to do

  1. Pick a past piece of art you’ve created. I recommend choosing an older piece of art from when you first started getting into drawing or a time when you began trying to learn a new technique.
  2. Look at it with fresh eyes! Force yourself to find a few things you like about it and a few things you’d change.
  3. Redraw the art. My hope is that this process will highlight just how much progress you’ve made! The learning process can feel painstakingly slow at times… but when we redraw something we’ve already done – we can clearly see how our skills have sharpened!

Prompt 2

One Thing – 2 Ways

When I first began making art Procreate wasn’t a thing yet. Your “style” was defined by the medium you created in. (I.e. you were a watercolor artist because you painted with watercolor, or you were a collage artist because you use scissors and paper to create your art.) These days, style spans the creative spectrum! The iPad makes it so easy (and SO. MUCH. FUN) to try out new “mediums” and methods of creating art!

Today, we’ll look at how different a single subject can be rendered!

What to do

  1. Pick a simple subject to draw. For example, a sun or a rainbow because these things can be drawn fairly quickly.
  2. Draw your subject with two different styles! If you struggle with picking two styles, here’s a tutorial on 30 Art Styles to try in Procreate. But if you want to keep it simple – a quick way to draw in two different styles is to use two different mediums.
For example, I created this sun with my Wash and Dry Watercolor Toolkit, and then I drew a sun with my Texturrific Pastels. Same subject (sun) but in two styles.
 
This prompt is great for artists of all levels because it:
  1. Helps refresh your creativity by stepping outside of your comfort zone
  2. Helps you discover new art-making methods or things you may really enjoy doing
  3. Helps you define your signature style.

Prompt 3

Atypical Colors

For this prompt, we’ll get creative with color! If you’re the kind of artist who struggles with creating cohesive color palettes, or you find yourself drawing things in their typical colors this prompt will help you figure out what colors are more your style. Trees don’t always need to be green and apples don’t always have to be red.

What to do

  1. Pick a simple subject to draw. If you have trouble picking – we’ll be drawing a not-green cactus so you’re welcome to do that. OR you can use my “What Should I Draw?” prompt generator.
  2. Draw it in atypical colors. For example, people usually render cacti in some shade of green. But you rarely see a pink cactus.

If you’re stuck on picking an atypical color for your subject, try drawing it as the color it normally is and then using a gradient map over it to see some new possibilities. Check out these tutorials to learn about using atypical colors and Procreate’s gradient map feature.

Prompt 4

Draw This in Your Style

The DTIYS (Draw This in your Style) Challenge has been all over Instagram for quite some time now. An artists posts a piece and invites anyone to draw it in a style of their own. This type of challenge is excellent in helping you find and build the foundations of your style. It highlights elements you like (and don’t like) in other people’s art, which will help you formulate your own artistic voice and expression.

For this prompt, you can choose to re-draw my rainbow girl piece (my FIRST-ever DTIYS!), or browse the #drawthisinyourstyle #dtiys hashtags and find a piece to re-draw.

In the example below, Sam Aker will be re-drawing my Rainbow Girl DTIYS. Let’s go!

What to do

  1. Start by observing the artist’s piece. When you see my piece, what do you notice? When Sam looked at this piece, she made a list in her head of things that “made up” my piece: girl in the center, rainbow overhead, flowers, big glasses, and floating elements (i.e. flowers). What does your list have on it?
  2. What parts do you want to carry over when you create your rendition of this piece? Maybe the red hair sticks out to you, and you’d like to carry that over. Or perhaps the earrings seem like a fun element you’d like to recreate. 
  3. Now that you’ve found some “Lisa” elements you’d like to bring into the new piece, ask yourself how you’ll bring some “YOU” elements into the piece. Maybe you’ll use your favorite color palette. Perhaps you want to use different brushes or textures. Maybe you don’t enjoy drawing people and want to replace the girl in the center with something you do enjoy drawing? How about a banana wearing glasses, or a bear with flowers all around it? Sam changed the hairstyle, glasses, outfit, and even the style of flowers. You can make your version as similar or as different as you’d like.
  4. Draw! This is the part where your style gets to shine! Have fun and do whatever your creative heart wants to. The point of this challenge is to show your style, so feel free to change as much as you’d like so your art stands out instead of being a replica of the other artist’s work. It will also help people get to know you… and maybe even help you get to know yourself. (wink, heart)
Sam Aker's version of my DTIYS!

Please remember to tag and credit the original artist when posting your work to social media. And use the #drawthisinyourstyle #dtiys hashtags!

Prompt 5

Coloring Page

Figuring out your style comes from play and practice. A really great way to do both of these is through utilizing simple creation methods we did as children.

What to do

Download my FREE Procreate coloring page. This coloring page is full of style-showing opportunities:

  • You can decorate the pots however you like.
  • You can use whatever colors you want.
  • You can show your style through the brushes and textures you use.
  • I’ve even left some of the pots empty. You can fill them with any flower or plant of your choosing or maybe add a flower pot full of colored pencil! It’s up to you! Have fun and get creative!

Make this coloring page your own!

If you’re wondering how you’d use this coloring book page in Procreate, I’ve got a tutorial for you here. If you’d like to create your own coloring book page for today’s prompt, I’ve got a tutorial for that as well. You can find it here. 

Prompt 6

One Brush

Illustrate your entire piece with a single brush. You can get more versatility from a brush by adjusting the brush size or opacity, as well as utilizing the pressure and tilt functions. Before starting, experiment with the brush to make as many different kinds of marks as possible. Maybe try using a brush that doesn’t seem very versatile, just to see how far you can push it!

What to do

  1. Pick your brush. I recommend experimenting with a few of your favorite brushes. Can you get more use out of it as a shader brush by tilting it on it’s side? Can it be made very large and become a filler brush to paint large areas?
  2. Let loose and see where you can go with one brush. If you don’t know what to draw, you can u
  3. use my “What Should I Draw?” prompt generator to pick a subject.
  4. Let the constraints fuel your creativity! Drawing with one brush might mean that you need to simplify your style, or take more creative liberties with your colors.
I drew this piece using 1 brush only:
Badass Pastel from my Texturrific Pastels

Prompt 7

Time Limit

Most people assume that limits hinder their creativity, but it’s actually the opposite. Constraining your work can produce amazing results and make your creativity explode in ways you never thought possible because you’re taking so many things off your plate.

What to do

  1. Pick a subject to draw, or use my “What Should I Draw?” prompt generator.
  2. Set a time limit. I recommend five minutes, but I’ve done 2 minute time limits and had so much fun with quick sketches too.
  3. Draw like the wind and see what you can accomplish when you’re pressed for time. You might surprise yourself. If you don’t finish before the time is up, don’t give yourself a pass and keep going. Instead, challenge yourself to try again tomorrow to complete your artwork in the set amount of time.

Tip: Be easy on yourself. The goal here isn’t to draw the next artistic masterpiece, but to learn about your style – and that’s done through a lot of small (non-masterpiece) drawings similar to this quick piece. The more disciplined you are in sticking to your constraints, the more you will learn from each attempt.

These prompts are brought to you by Making Art Everyday.

Making Art Everyday is a series of daily, weekly, and monthly prompts and challenges to help you overcome creative fears and develop your art-making practice. Every month, we will feature a new theme that will allow you to hone a set of skills, practice drawing something specific, or complete a project.

Participation is free! Join thousands of participants worldwide who are making art right alongside you. 

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