I had the same problem. I spent the last 3 years of my life only drawing anime and refusing to try out any other art style. I would recommend trying other styles, not necessarily to completely adopt that style, but to get a feel for something unfamiliar. What I do to discover a personal art style is to choose your favorite artists and take a little piece of their style, and make all those pieces into your own style. For example, I like this artist's coloring technique, and that artist's way of drawing eyes, and I simply take what I like from different styles to create my own.
Itīs all cartoon styles. Not even that, just a very limited sampling of cartoon styles. Don't worry about it. Do what you want, there is no right or wrong way as long as it looks good. It's always important to keep studying the fundamentals I think.
Thanks! Yeah, I'm just working on getting looser, fluid poses, more movement to them, working to have less trouble drawing full body people moving(thanks posemaniac random pose generator for practice!) and sketching here and there in a different sort of style. I'll get there eventually. *phew*
If you really want to branch out into cartoon drawing, I'd suggest using this cartoon drawing course: [link]. It's completely free and you'll learn a lot about the key parts to cartoon drawing (solid construction, line of action, silhouettes, etc.) If you can learn how to draw cartoons the traditional way you'll be able to branch out into other sorts of cartoon styles.
It would also help if you do some studies of other cartoonists to understand the mechanics behind their drawings. Here's a list of cartoonists and illustrators you'd benefit from studying:
Fred Moore, Carl Barks, Grim Natwick, Howie Post, Dan Gordon, Floyd Gottfredson, Bill Tytla, Harvey Kurtzman, Milt Stein, Owen Fitzgerald, Walt Kelly, Chuck Jones, Hank Ketcham, Ub Iwerks, Ward Kimball, Albert Hurter, Dick Briefer, Gustaf Tenggren, TS Sullivant, Erich Sokol, Kay Nielsen, Katie Rice, Marc Davis, and Dan Gormley.
I was kind of the same as you. I used to draw manga only, but then developed my own style which is kind of disneyish. The disneyism wasn't intentional, I just have a lot of Disney picture books around and would look at them to see how they drew eyes and mouths etc. The way I did it was just practicing realism from photos, but I guess you could try copying Disney and seeing If that helps you break out of the anime shovel-face.
Yeah, my stupid styyle is like, realistic and manga combined, but not in a pretty way.
Actually, what I've been doing for a couple hours or so now is just spending time on posemaniacs and drawing the poses off the random pose generator(in the realistic way they're shown on the site), and it's a load of fun! Helpful too, to first get my drawing style loosened up, but still practicing realistically drawn humans. When I decide I've had enough of this, I'm going to try to draw some of the other poses in the sort of 'disney' way. Your style's nice, BTW!
So far I have 3 9"x13" front and back pieces of paper covered in posemaniac poses. xD Really helpful studies. Loosening up is probably my biggest problem.(That and drawing women that look like women).
But it'll definitely take a lot to morph my style into what I want, and it's definitely hard to get from manga to cartoon. =/
I mean, there's nothing wrong with manga, it's just that I don't want to be 'just another crappy manga/anime artist' on deviantart. xD
Right now I'm just filling up the fronts and backs of pages with posemaniac poses. X,X So much practice, so much fun! (Seriously, I'm having a blast drawing these realistic poses)
Plus, this is really helping me learn how to draw quick, loose, good looking(more or less) poses! After this I'll spend some time browsing dA and look at people's art, find what I like, and try to apply it and see if it's what I want!
My goal: Loose cartoons, possibly realistically proportioned, and NOT anime/manga!
Lol... that's great! Although I don't use posemaniacs because I find the poses boring... I think my anatomy kinda caught on after a while. I just use references now. Sometimes if I can't think of a pose, I pose myself, or I just... guess.
True, true. We all learn differently.
I have someone you'd might want to look at. Their style inspired me a bit, lol: [link][link]
I'm a sucker for quirky, dynamic cartoon styles. I want mine to look like that.
I found that the Disney artist whose style I really like is Glen Keane. For me, I think the best way to learn how to draw that sort of style(not directly since it's still not 100% what I want for my book characters), is to copy his drawings(not trace, but look at his drawings and redraw them) so that way I can break them down, see how they work, and build them back up. Then I can gradually try to change it I think to how I want it to look.