Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Copying an art style
Metalbender92 at 3:40PM, Nov. 29, 2008
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I've been messing around wiht my art program, and I came up with this really cool style. I was trying to make something similar to my favorite artist. I'm not trying to copy how his characters look, I just like the sketching watercolor effect that his drawings have. Is it ok to use a style of another artist?
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:59PM
Ochitsukanai at 5:14PM, Nov. 29, 2008
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People often credit others for ‘inspiring’ facets of their art style. It seems something that lots of people do, and there are successful examples of it.

In short, based on people's reactions that I've seen in the past, the answer is probably “that's fine.”

Of course, there are probably dissenters. But you surely wouldn't be universally reviled or anything. -thumbs-up-

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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:20PM
ozoneocean at 4:31AM, Nov. 30, 2008
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There's only so many ways to produce representational art. ;)

Artists have been using other's styles as the basis of their work since people started doing representational artwork… even before, heh, when art was still abstract, symbolic representations of things done for ceremonial purposes.

Most people use other's styles without even knowing it.

So in short: yep, it's perfectly ok.
If it wasn't, comics wouldn't exist.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
Vakanai at 3:25PM, Nov. 30, 2008
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I think the rule of thumb is, as long as you're not making money off of it, no one minds too much. Plus a lot of people try and copy each other. That's how whole schools of art started, like expressionism for example.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:38PM
Custard Trout at 9:17PM, Nov. 30, 2008
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Since you're not going out of your way to emulate him entirely, it's fine. It'll probably evolve into your own style before long anyway.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:01PM
Ryuthehedgewolf at 12:10PM, Dec. 1, 2008
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Custard Trout
Since you're not going out of your way to emulate him entirely, it's fine. It'll probably evolve into your own style before long anyway.

Totally agreed.

I ‘copied’ the Sonic the Hedgehog art style for a while.
Actually, I guess you could say ‘borrow’, because in actuality, most people do “borrow” art styles, until they finally get their own.

But sadly, sometimes some people just keep borrowing them.
Most furry artists I know, go for that super realistic animal hentai stuff. Or even the VGCats style, I see tons of that.
Manga too, I see tons of that.

Not that it's all bad, I'm just saying, it's incredibly overused, as long as you don't keep it as your own, then it's fine.

I actually really like the Manga style. I'm just not very good at drawing it XD and I probably wouldn't anyway. Animals are kinda my thing.

But as for what I was saying, I “borrowed” the Sonic the Hedgehog art style, and for a while, I used it to slowly (I emphasize that too) improve my art. It took me a very long time just to get my art where it is now (Chaotic World is a grand example of the days of when I borrowed the Sonic style) Now Ryu's Krew, I've implemented a new style I've somewhat developed over the past 3 months working on the comic.

I went from a cartoony/not too good style, to a darker/way better style.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:16PM
Tacster002 at 12:32PM, Dec. 1, 2008
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I'm pretty much gonna reiterate what everyone's said so far, but copying isn't bad in itself. I use copying as the basis of my own style if I feel like changing it…what I do is I draw in a style of an artist I REALLY like, and find out, through drawing like them, what exactly about their style strikes me as awesome. I keep that point in mind afterwards, and incorporate that little bit into my own style. and through drawing in my own style over and over, it eventually becomes something all on its own, more “inspired” than “copied.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:06PM
cartoonprofessor at 3:45PM, Dec. 1, 2008
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Copying is how you learn.

The first thing my students learn is that Copying Is Good…
Then they learn that no matter how hard they try they will never EXACTLY copy another artist's work… their own characters will ALWAYS be unique…
For example; Chuck Jones' Tweety Bird is actually different than Tex Avery's…
they look the same until you see them together, you then notice quite a few subtle differences.

I learnt to draw trees and forest scenes mainly by copying Uderzo, but now my style has ‘evolved’ to a point where my forests looks nothing like his.

Your own style develops as you gather ‘bits’ of style from others.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM

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