Inktober 2017

Inktober Day 15

As the month progresses, I’ve started to feel more and more stumped on what to draw for Inktober. Day 15 was especially a challenge. It didn’t help that most of my ideas would involve hours of my day spent executing– hours that I just don’t have on Sundays which is my most packed day.

By the time I got around to drawing it was basically bedtime and I still had no idea what to do. A couple times I started a half-hearted attempt at a throw-away idea but it just felt forced and well. . . half-hearted, and I knew it would bug me too much to have that level of meh for an Inktober piece.

Finally, I decided to go with this simple drawing.


Inktober 15 '17 Tulips.png
A slightly tilted pitcher of tulips


Considering how last second and almost throw-away this was, I’m surprised I liked how much this turned out. It was basically just like the other ideas except somehow it didn’t feel as noncommittal and apathetic.

I think the difference between this idea and the others is the pressure I was putting on myself.

The thing was, I knew I didn’t feel like much like drawing but I still felt the need to do something new or creative. Maybe a different technique, or a different subject, or something interesting or highly detailed. But I didn’t have enough time to go really out of my way to accomplish that and to be honest, I was just exhausted. From the events of the day, yes, but also from drawing so much. And that showed.

But when I gave up on trying to make something different or exciting and did a subject that’s more typical for me, I stopped feeling so unmotivated and started to enjoy it and that’s what made the difference.

And somehow in the process I actually ended up doing a technique that I don’t normally do anyway.

Ironic, isn’t it?

Inktober 2017

Inktober Day 14

I mentioned on Day 9 of Inktober that I had been having troubles with another piece before deciding to ditch it for a drawing of a crocodile (see link), but that I would come back to the other piece a different day.

Well, Day 14 was that day.

I had been waiting to re-do this piece for a while, but to be honest I felt kinda hesitant to pick it up again. The thing was, the last time I did it, it was extremely frustrating to me. You see, everything was almost going right, but it was one of those situations where the one thing that went wrong (there’s always that one thing) was too glaring and too permanent to forgive.

Add that to the high hopes I had for the drawing, the lateness, and my tiredness, and you have a recipe for frustration.

The problem was the color.

Inktober 9 or 14 '17 tragedy

I should have seen it coming really.
What with the blue and red ballpoint pen mixed with the yellow sharpie. . . all the primary colors half mixed in each other. . . Mud, that’s what you get. But I wasn’t thinking of that when I decided to use blue for the darkest shades in my giraffe.

I guess I’m too used to things like paint or colored pencils where you can blend and tint colors together perfectly to get the desired result. Ballpoint pens you can only blend so far and that half blended look doesn’t do anyone any favors.

I recognized that pretty quickly, but I really wanted to salvage it. Especially since I’d been liking the effect of the yellow sharpie on the red pen so much. But I couldn’t do it.

So I decided to try again later, this time replacing the blue with black. But even though I knew the solution to the problem, I was reluctant to pick it up again. I just remembered how frustrating it was, being so close to something good and not being able to get it and I didn’t want that happening again.

Inktober 14 '17 Giraffe

Turns out my fears were ungrounded.

I guess the moral of the story is that you shouldn’t let your artistic failures stop you from trying again. So much of becoming a better artist is learning through mistakes and practicing, practicing, practicing. You can’t let your fear of failure stop you or it will. . . well, stop you.

Sure, you might not get it right the second time, or even the third or fourth, but trying is really the only way to improve. (And guess what, even our favorite artists had to go through it. So we’re in good company.)

Inktober 2017

Inktober Day 13

Like I said I would yesterday, I went for a simpler piece for Inktober Day 13.

I’ve been spending a lot of time on my art in the past few days so it was time for a bit of a break. Not that this piece was exactly quick and easy. . .

Inktober 13 '17

But since it’s more on the impressionistic side, I let myself stop fussing over the details and just blob ink on as needed.

I must admit I was tempted to go over it again with my micron and clean it up but I managed to resist and I’m proud of myself for sticking with the plan. (Even if it was just because I was too lazy not to)

Inktober 2017

Inktober Day 12

Following the theme of the last couple days, I drew another animal for Day 12 of Inktober. This time, an old tortoise.


Inktober 12 '17 Tortoise
Funnily, the hardest part (to draw) was the shell


There’s not really much to say about this guy. . . I drew him with a ballpoint pen and it took foreverrr.

I think for the next piece I’m going to have to take a break from the super detailed and do something simple. I’m in danger of art becoming my whole life at this point. But then again, what do you expect from Inktober?

As long as I’m having fun– which I definitely am.

Inktober 2017

Inktober Day 11

Yesterday I mentioned that next to ink washes, stippling is probably my favorite inking technique. And then I thought, if I like stippling so much, why haven’t I done it yet this Inktober?

The answer, of course, is that stippling takes a ridiculous amount of time.

Nevertheless, I decided to remedy the lack of stippling and draw a montage. Of bugs.
And yes, it took me forever. But it was so fun!

Inktober 11 '17 Bugs.png

I feel like this montage is something like a nod to my childhood when I was an avid bug catcher and in general very fascinated by bugs. I’m not really sure where the idea for it came from though. I just suddenly felt like stacking some pictures of bugs on top of each other and drawing them.

And that’s exactly what I did.

That’s something I want to do more of– not drawing bugs– but designing my own compositions. They take so much more time and thought, but they’re so much more satisfying and. . . well fun really.

Inktober 2017

Inktober Day 10

Guys, it’s Day 10! We’re in the double digits now!

It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 days since Inktober started. And I’m still going strong despite the very limited color option, which is a little surprising to me.

Since I’m back now and I have access to my bottled ink again, I decided to jump right back into another ink painting. This resulted in another one of my favorite Inktober pieces.


Inktober 10 '17 Elk.png
This is my biggest Inktober piece yet


Speaking of favorites, I’m noticing a reoccurring theme. . .

They’re almost all ink wash paintings.

I think it’s my favorite inking technique yet, with stippling as a runner-up. And that’s exciting– that I’m finding things I really enjoy about inking. Not just because I’m doing a whole month of inking, but because I really love how it looks. (Black and white pieces included.)

Also I just love discovering new things I love to do. Obviously.

Inktober 2017

Inktober Day 9

Similar to Day 2 of Inktober, my plans for Inktober didn’t go as planned. Although this time it was due to color issues rather than pen’s running out of the ink, I didn’t end up finishing my original drawing for the day and instead did something else.

This time, it was a quick sketch of a crocodile.

Inktober 9 Crocodile

I would have almost just restarted my original piece, but it was a lot more detailed and I was already frustrated. Plus I wanted to sleep. And that combination is a recipe for failure.

I’m thinking I’ll tackle it another day. I really did like some aspects of how it was turning out.