In this post post, I’ll show you how to use drawing references without copying them,  how to make your drawings original and unique, and how to start defining your style.

I’m Tatyana Deniz. I will teach you how to draw adorable kawaii art, so you LOVE the drawings you create. And you may even want to start a creative business with your new drawing skills. ๐Ÿ™‚

Let’s do it!

What is the first thing you do when you sit down to draw?

If you’re anything like me, you start looking at references on Pinterest and Google. The challenge is: how to use these references without copying them and instead make them your own?

When I first started to draw, I used to look at lots of reference photos and feel discouraged, because everything seemed already perfect. I would think, “It’s already done, how can I ever improve on that or make it original?”

I HAD to find a solution for this. And I did!

So now, let me share this solution with you.

How to “Read” Your Drawing References

To be able to use references without copying them, you need to learn how to read the reference. Reading the image means being able to break it down into individual parts. These parts might include color palettes, style, proportions, and the story it’s trying to tell.

To start, you deconstruct the drawing into its separate parts, and then begin to combine individual pieces in a new way.

Now, I know this sounds almost too simple, right? Break down the drawing, combine the parts, and I have a new piece of artwork.

The truth is, the real definition of creativity is combining what already exists in a new way.

As artists, we invent new combinations. I use this process when creating my illustrations, and no one has ever come back to me and said, “Hey, your illustration looks just like mine.”

Define Your Style

As a professional artist, I now get commissions from big-time publishers, I create book illustrations, I publish on social media, and people recognize my style. My students have also been able to create their artistic style with this method.

Here is what Sheila Hill said to me in a comment:

Testimonial by Sheila Hill

“I have learned from you that with our individual creative voice we start to build our style. … There is a sense of security in doing what you know will work. Now I actually feel like an artist.”

I love that.

“I have a sense of security. I’m doing something that I KNOW will work. I feel like an artist.”

That’s priceless.

And I want you to feel the same way!!!!!!

Join My FREE Kawaii Character Design Masterclass

Understanding how to use drawing references without copying is my #1 secrete for creating original drawings.

If you want to dive deeper into using drawing references for character design, then be sure to join my FREE masterclass.

And bring a friend!

Drawing and creativity are so much more fun together. ๐Ÿ™‚

Share this link with with a friend who likes to draw kawaii:

With love,

Tatyana Deniz