Tag Archives: technique

The Components of Style

26 Sep

There are many facets to the gem that is an ILLUSTRATION STYLE. An illustrator is known by his or her typical palette, compositional tendencies, and concepting habits. (Does she tend toward change of scale, or is she more of an anthropomorphism kind of girl?) Primarily, however, the way an illustrator draws and the materials she uses define her style.

Is it possible for one portfolio to contain works created in a variety of media? Your professors will probably tell you, “No.” End of story. My personal experience, however, supports a different answer.

The way an illustrator DRAWS seems to transcend CHOICE OF MEDIA. Gary Taxali is Gary Taxali, whether he’s printing on an old leather book cover or painting oils on masonite.

I’ve changed my  technique several times during my career. During those transitional phases, after getting a sketch approved I sent samples of older work done in technique ‘A’ along with newer ones in technique ‘B’. “Which do you prefer?” I asked. More often than not my A.D. would send back a handful from each category with a brief note: “I like these.” As if — get this — the medium in which I chose to work didn’t matter. Sometimes I wondered, Can he even tell a difference?

What matters, class, is that you concoct super smart ideas and execute them well. Hone your drawing style and keep it consistent; then you can paint every once in a while—or stitch a needlepoint, like Helen Dardik—instead of clicking away on your laptop every day for the rest of your professional lives.

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