https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-9f18-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99 https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-5b8a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99 https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dd-e9aa-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

For a while, I've always wanted to know how to create illustrations stylistically similar to these ones. Does this style of image have a name and does anyone know how to create something similar? (I'm using Procreate iOS)

  • Search Vintage Illustrations or Vintage Line Art Illustrations- there are a lot of resources and tutorials out there. You can find procreate brushes that might assist in making these types of drawings- but still, it will be mostly drawing and shading art skills you will need to practice up on- even doing it digitally it is still pretty "hand drawn".
    – Kyle
    Commented Sep 12, 2021 at 8:02
  • 3
    These are 3 very different styles.
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 12, 2021 at 8:35
  • OK, I gave this question the death blow, sorry about that. But it's just way too broad. You show 3 different styles of drawing. Each of them requiring multiple skills. You need to be able to imagine the shapes to draw, you need to be able to actually draw all the details and you need to use the right materials. The 3 examples are actually prints (lithography, engraving) and not just drawings. But you can get close using pencil/ink and watercolor on paper. If you really want to pursue this way of drawing I think you should ditch digital tools for a while and focus on classic analogue drawing.
    – Wolff
    Commented Sep 12, 2021 at 11:28

1 Answer 1


I guess you do not want to do something that a scanner, a photocopier or copy & paste in a computer can do much faster, you want to make original drawings. So, Draw them!

That's easy to say, but you must develop the needed skills. I guess you are not a competent draughtsman, because in that case the question wouldn't exist. You must learn a pile of things:

A) You must make your pen to obey your will. If you see a line you must become able to draw a plausible copy of it on an empty paper. If there are many lines to be copied you must be able to see and copy also their relations (=relative placement, thickness)

B) You must have a will that your pen can obey - you must able to imagine what you want to draw. I'm afraid the creativity must be got in birth. It can be suppressed by non-supporting conditions and encouraged by the opposite, but the talent must be there. Otherwise it's better to do something else.

C) You must learn to understand the style you want to use (your 3 examples are all different). It has 2 sides: 1) What items can belong together to look consistent and 2) how to present things - that means applicable projections, simplification level and how to show the forms(edges, borders, lights, shadows)

If I guessed wrong and you can already draw something worth showing, you have still much studies to do left. You must become able to push aside your established habits to present things and take into use the style compliant vocabulary. I'm afraid you must practice it by making hundreds of copies of existing drawings and then gradually building the ability to present things in the old (=new to you) way.

Drawing technique and style things can be studied in parallel, but the needed total amount of work is colossal. That means thousands of practicing drawings starting from simple and copying (not tracing) only single items or their parts and making gradually your original and bigger compositions.

If you are a beginner prepare to work years before you can get consistently results worth showing. Proper tuition can speed up the process substantially. That's why there are schools and teachers.

Computer programs can create solid lines, bright colors and fine gradients & textures. They are all useful for polished end results, but they are useless before you can imagine what you want. Do not waste your time by playing with a computer. To develop something which supports your goal draw something with computer AFTER you can draw it recognizably with a pen on paper.

  • For what its worth i dont believe in the need of a creative spark. I have thaught enough people to draw that i know that nearly everybody, save a few pathological cases that are rare indeed, can be thayght to draw and draw well.
    – joojaa
    Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 18:21
  • Creative spark helps to make something original. I'm afraid there are also jobs where drawings are created in masses and originality isn't the most urgently wanted thing. An example: A person who transforms architect's plan to construction drawings.
    – user82991
    Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 19:30
  • But none of the images depicted requires originality. Most graphic design is also nonoriginal.
    – joojaa
    Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 3:34
  • The subjects in the attached drawings may have been around a while before the drawings were made, but there's still numerous things that the draughtsman could select by himself if he worked alone without a boss.
    – user82991
    Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 6:32
  • Yeah offcourse every thing you do is a decision.
    – joojaa
    Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 18:06

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