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9 different illustration styles that you need to know of
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9 different illustration styles that you need to know of

Illustration is an interpretation of texts through visual matter. Its to decode a context and present it through art or an image that conveys the textual message. Along with the growth of technology, the importance of illustration has grown as well. In today’s world, it has become high in demand due to which different styles within illustration have gained attention. Illustration can be divided into two categories, conventional illustration and modern style illustration.

9 different illustration styles that you need to know of

Illustration agency often caters to all these styles for illustration to accommodate their client’s wishes. Their team of highly skilled artists who professionalize at different mediums create exceptional illustrations that are aesthetic and leave a mark on the viewer.

Conventional illustration

Illustration has been embedded in us since the very beginning. Cavemen would draw figures in caves which illustrated how their life was, it was an expression for them through which they marked history and time.


Illustration through woodcutting is one of the oldest methods which was well-known during the middle ages. Blocks of wood, carved with figures and ideas became common when books became familiar. Artists still use this technique, those who want to feel the texture of their work; especially in Japan. The depth of the carved lines provides a subtle gradient to illustrations, giving it a 3D look.


This is one of the most common mediums for illustrative work. Most artists implement this medium in their work since the pencil is an important tool in our lives. It allows the illustration to have intense effects in a single colour. Graphite and lead pencils, both give individualistic features to the piece. This style is significant due to the liberty it provides to artists.


Using charcoal as a medium for an illustration can be tricky since it does not give off the same delicacy a pencil does. Their dissimilar attributes are what makes them exciting to use. Although charcoal provides a rugged look to the art piece, they are efficient to use as it takes less time to create gradients with it. One is required to use blending stumps and fingers to blend charcoal, to come up with life-like shading.

Also, Read About: Video Animation


This medium was started off with drawings being made on stones with the help of oil, fat and wax. In the 21st century, this medium is being used to print books that require illustrations filled with colours.


Watercolour as a medium for illustration requires a thorough practice since the medium flows, making it harder to control. Although it’s characteristic of being transparent and pigmented, makes it stand out. It is widely used for food illustrations, children’s books and pieces that require subtle shades.


This is another common medium apart from pencil, most artists prefer using acrylics; especially those who are new to this field. Acrylics usually create bright and vibrant pieces that are bewitching to most. Due to their water-based medium, they dry quickly and are easier to handle.

Pen and Ink

Artists and illustrators go for pen and ink when they require intricate details within their work since each line stands out in this medium. Most of them use a single colour which is black, for their pieces. Illustrations made in pen and ink are highly detailed, usually finessed by dotting and lines; their different densities create depth in the piece.

Modern style illustration

Different styles within illustration have acquired vast plains of possibilities. Different software’s are there to cater illustrators, for example; Photoshop, Illustrator and Inkscape. It might be overwhelming to experience that many options when it comes to styling your art piece, but you’ll eventually get a hang of it. The freedom it has to offer can be quite addictive.

Freehand Illustration

This technique resembles the one done on paper. And the only difference they have is within their process, as to how they are created and through what means. Freehand digital illustration is usually created through a pen tool or stylus, which gives the same feeling of holding a pen or a pencil to the illustrator. The best part about this is that you can undo mistakes instead of starting from scratch again due to a wrong stroke. Apart from that, blending is easier to handle on this medium. It is widely used for storyboards, books and animation.


The process of vector graphics includes imaged which are backed by 2D point and line connections which create different shapes. Each point flows in axes to create a bigger picture and vector graphics are often saved in SVG and PDF scheme. This style allows the illustrator and viewer to zoom into the art piece without having its pixels blown onto the screen. Although vector graphics lack gradients, you will notice how the colours which are being used don’t flow from dark to light or light to dark but instead, are given shadows with a different colour. This style is mainly used for logos and posters.

Muhammad Asad Raza

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