Yes, over and over my mentor would drill into my thick cranial mass the need to focus my attention on pushing the energy of my drawing and capturing the flow of light as it wraped across the form of the design.
The flow of light is the one of most important aspects of visual development outside of structural anatomy. Secondary details such as the choice of technique or medium is dependent on your industry deadlines—that’s why I work fast using digital markers or Prismacolor pencils for my commercial projects.
Once you get the concept of rendering the flow of light, you will be able to render in just about any medium because you own the theory that holds it all together. As I began to master the theory of light and shadow, my personal style (if you can call it that) naturally emerged without much thought or effort on my part.
Structural drawing skills along with the ability to render three-dimensional form will theoretically allow you to work in any medium from markers to oil paints, charcoal to watercolors and even crossing over from conventional to digital tools—if you put the time in to learn the programs.
That’s why artists and designers can concept using various brush attributes and mediums within CS6—you’re really only focusing on drawing correctly while capturing the flow of light. All of the fancy styles, bravado strokes of marker or color all flow from that highly concentrated task.
As to what is the latest style trend to render your brilliant toy designs, I would have to caution you not to chase after a style but to strive to push your drawings to have more energy and to capture the movement of light. Then and only then will your personal style naturally develope alongside strong skills forged by hard work and determination.
In fact, the style that emerges from your blood, sweat and tears just might be the next trend that everyone else will try to emulate. So, dream big and play hard my friend.