03 October 2016

Inktober 2016 - Day 2: NOISY

I'm already getting behind on my Inktober entries!  I finished my Day 2 drawing early in the morning on the 3rd (I did start it on the 2nd, it just took me longer than I thought to finish) and here I am just beginning to compose its blog post when it's almost October 4th (O_O!  My ArtSnacks October box arrived today, too, so in order to get back on track with Inktober while allowing time to write an unboxing post, I'm going to skip Day 3.  If I find myself with extra time later this month, I'll do it then.  For now, though, let's talk about Inktober 2016 Day 2!  The theme was "NOISY".

It was easy to come up with an idea for NOISY.  The first thing that popped into my head was our housecat, Kiba, who loves to make a racket when he's hungry, lonely, or just wild & crazy.  He's a black Manx so he's not only vocally appropriate to the theme, he's visually perfect for inking, and furthermore brings to mind this month's big holiday: Halloween.

I'm quite proud of how easily I drew Kiba himself.  I didn't even look at him; I was able to draw fairly true-to-life from memory :D  The meow-bubble came along without many hiccups but it took a really long time to fill in the amount of space I wanted to.  My intent was to get across just how NOISY Kiba can be!  All the cat-talk was based specifically on Kiba's vocalizations, not just generically chosen cat noises.

I started with the Copic Multiliner to trace all the thinner, smaller words (I used the Kuretake ZIG brush pen for the few Japanese mews).  Next I used the Kuretake ZIG nib pen and sumi ink to work over the medium-sized vocalizations and to ink Kiba's outline.  Then I switched to the Princeton Kolinsky brush to fill in the really big letters and Kiba's body.  After that, I picked up the brush pen one more time to fill in the medium-large mewling.

I didn't mention it in my first Inktober post but on top of the mechanical pencil, I've also been using an eraser to clean up the pencil lines after all the inking is done.  As with the pencil I'm using, even though it's not from the Inktober box, it still matches the ArtSnacks theme because I received it in a previous monthly box :3  So, after I cleaned up my Noisy Kiba drawing, I finished it off with a few small detail lines and my signature, the date, and a title using the Multiliner.

Before I forget, I want to voice my satisfaction with the paper in the Inktober Denik sketchbook.  I was worried that the wet sumi ink would bleed through since I always apply it rather thickly to ensure an even look but I've had no such issues!  It doesn't even show through on the back of the page, much less leave marks on the succeeding leaf.  I can't say whether other inks or wetter media would fare as well (watercolor may not bleed through, but I have a feeling it would wrinkle the page something awful) but for now it doesn't matter since the only things I'm using in this sketchbook have already been tried and shown themselves up to the Inktober task.

How are you doing at Inktober this year?  Right on schedule?  Or falling behind like yours truly?  Link to your own Day 2 entries in the comments!

01 October 2016

Inktober 2016 - Day 1: FAST

This year ArtSnacks came out with an Inktober Collection and, as with all of their collection boxes, I couldn't resist.  Unlike any collection before, this one has a very specific purpose: to give the artist everything they need to participate in the annual Inktober Challenge.  I've completed an October daily drawing challenge before--Drawlloween--but this is my first time doing Inktober.  I'm excited!

Although I received my Inktober box weeks before this month began, I was so busy with final wedding preparations (we got married on the 22nd of September!) that I only spent about five minutes looking at all the inky goodies before closing it up again.  This meant that, although I saw all the tools, I didn't notice the useful calendar with daily drawing themes which the ArtSnacks folks provided.  I'm glad I noticed it before I started the challenge!

So today's theme was FAST.  The first thing I thought of was a cheetah but I could only visualize the cheetah art from one of the quests on Habitica.  It didn't feel like I could pull off an original-looking cheetah without undue effort so, searching for other ideas, my mind next landed on Sonic the Hedgehog.  Awesome!  I've been so busy with wedding planning for the past year+ that I haven't had time to really do art for myself.  Starting this challenge with some fan art of one of my favorite game franchises (well, recent entries have really quite lost me but I still have all my old favorites!) felt exciting and fun!

Yikes! White balance always ruins my phone screen in photos XD

I started with a pencil drawing of Sonic using some Google search images as general reference (all of my Inktober drawings will be done in the special Inktober Denik sketchbook that was included in the ArtSnacks collection; it's been great so far!).  I wasn't going for a particular version of Sonic, just a fast-looking pose.  To keep it an ArtSnacks-specific challenge, I made sure to use a mechanical pencil that I had received in a previous monthly box :3

I began inking with the Pentel Arts Pocket Brush Pen.  I love brush pens but this one was the most difficult to get started that I've yet encountered.  Putting it together was easy enough but the instructions said to hold the brush tip-down to let the ink flow into the bristles.  I did this for a while, sometimes swiping the bristles on my test page in case that might help, but I eventually had to--gently!--shake the pen to force the ink down.  The ink flowed perfectly after that.

After I inked the main lines, I moved onto the Princeton Kolinsky brush and Kuretake ZIG sumi ink to add some interest with block shading.  I outlined my blocks with the mechanical pencil first which helped me make sure I wasn't overdoing things.  Throughout my drawing process, I used the Inktober Collection Copic Multiliner any time I needed precision lines.  I often filled in or rounded out brush lines with it but the most visible use of the Multiliner is in the speed lines all around Sonic.

I didn't do any actual drawing with the Kuretake ZIG nib pen this time but I did use it to sign my work (^^;  It was interesting to see this style nib from a different company than I'm used to; I've only ever seen them produced by Deleter before.  I own a decent few, actually, and really love them for inking so I wonder what the price difference between the two brands is.  I didn't notice any performance difference so it would be good to do a price check when I need more in future.

Finally, I started to prepare for bed thinking I was done but when I began exiting the Google image search on my phone, I realized I totally forgot to give Sonic ears!  He has such a simple character design that I didn't feel I could get away without adding them.  I had already inked so much space on his head, however, I had to cheat a bit and use white ink (hey, even if it isn't from ArtSnacks, it still fits with Inktober!) to clean up the criss-crossing lines.  I decided while I was at it to clean up and enhance a few other spots, as well.  The ear I added isn't ideally placed--it should really go right where the big black block below it is--but I think it's better than nothing and doesn't ruin the overall effect.

If you're participating in Inktober this year, whether the ArtSnacks version or not, I'd love to see your completed drawings!  Link your day one entries in the comments!  If you haven't jumped in on this challenge yet, I encourage you to join.  It's really fun and can seriously stir up those creative juices :D