10 October 2017

Inktober 2016/2017 - Day 10: JUMP

If my household hadn't been running late this evening, I wouldn't have had time to finish today's Inktober drawing.  It's nice to have a good excuse to put other stuff off (cooking dinner) and keep drawing!

Pencil sketch of a girl jumping blissfully.First stage of inking the jumping girl.

The prompt for today was JUMP.  I went with my first instinct (as usual--one of the biggest things I've learned doing this challenge is that I can't spend time thinking up a unique or clever response, I just have to get started ASAP or there won't be time to finish in a single day) which was a human figure blissfully jumping.  This ended up being another instance where I impressed myself with how easily I was able to put on paper what I imagined in my mind.  The only area that gave me trouble was the face but even that was hardly anything compared to past attempts at drawing such an unusual and difficult angle.

Completely inked drawing for Inktober day 10.

Once again I simply based the figure on myself.  Another way to save time; if I try to draw someone original from imagination, it just takes me too long.  I didn't end up filling the page this time.  I would like to keep aiming for that goal, but it wasn't within reach today.  I couldn't think of anything to add and it took me too long to get this much done anyway.  I had a lot of fun drawing this, though.  Adding the final ink really made everything pop!

Final digitized image of the fully-inked jumping girl.

I hope I can keep this up throughout the month.  This exercise--drawing a fully-inked picture every day--has been teaching me so much about myself.  I feel like I'm slowly chipping away at something buried inside me, something like a key to unlock the doors to the next level of working as a full-time career artist.  I've been an artist my entire adult life, but this year, the first year I've spent working full-time as an artist, has in ways been like starting over from scratch.  Inktober is helping me learn better ways to accomplish my career goals...

09 October 2017

Inktober 2016/2017 - Day 9: BROKEN

Here we have it, the last Inktober drawing that was completely finished in 2016.  This is how far I got before I just couldn't keep up anymore.  I think I'm already doing better than I was then, I'm faster at drawing and better at getting the corresponding blog posts published.  I hope that's the case anyway, because after today, there will be no more drawings from last year to fall back on...

Inktober Calendar and Day 9 Drawing

I searched and searched but I couldn't find any photos of the making of this drawing.  I doubt that I didn't take ANY but there's a very good chance that they're on one of my old phones.  I think I changed phones twice in the past year...  Without photos it's hard to remember much about my exact process in creating this piece but I do remember drawing it while sitting in a cafe XD  I drew the figure without reference, so it's not bad considering, but I think I could do a much better job of it if I were to attempt drawing the same pose without reference now.  I've just been soaking up human anatomy and perspective like a sponge recently.  It's like what I've always aspired to be able to draw is finally sinking in.  I'm sure next year I'll look back and feel like this again; I hope to always be improving throughout my entire career!

Drawing of a man in a loincloth, breaking a bone in two.

I hope everyone is doing well with Inktober so far!  Remember, if you start to get overwhelmed, consider dropping down to drawing something every-other-day, only on your days off, or even just once a week.  The point is to exercise your inking skills intensely, so if a daily drawing is too much, just do what works for you while maintaining a sense of regularity!

08 October 2017

Inktober 2016/2017 - Day 8: ROCK

This post is a day late but I was super lucky because today's drawing is the most unique of any I have done or will do for my Inktober 2016/2017 challenge!  This prompt response was already mostly done from last year.  I had gotten tired of it, took a break, and ended up never finishing it until now.  It felt like a huge chore to keep working on it back then, but having a year-long break made finishing this piece super fun and easy!

Shading Stage 1Shading Stage 2Shading Stage 3

The lines that I finished in 2016 were all done with the Copic Multiliner from my ArtSnacks Inktober Collection.  I did all the background hatching last year, too.  What I added today was the super dark shading and textural detailing.  It was all done with the brush and ink from the Collection.  I tell you, it was SO fun to ink everything like that!  I really love using a brush to ink!  I didn't have to think hard about the shading, either.  I was just able to go along almost mindlessly.  Perhaps because I was already thinking of what I wanted to do when I worked on this picture last year; I had a whole year to mull it over (subconsciously).

Inktober Calendar and Day 8 Drawing

In case you couldn't tell, the prompt was ROCK.  There are so many ways someone could interpret that word but, as is common for me, I just went with the first and most literal idea.  I think it turned out really great!  Reminds me of a manga background :D

Inked drawing of a large boulder surrounded by smaller rocks and stones.

If I hadn't already had this drawing mostly done already, I might have had to skip it entirely.  Getting any art done on the weekends is super tough for me!  How are you all holding out?  If you're having trouble keeping up, are you more of a skip-it-and-move-on type or a I-will-catch-up-somehow type?

07 October 2017

Inktober 2016/2017 - Day 7: LOST

My goodness, am I in a hurry tonight.  I was honestly contemplating skipping today but when I saw the task on my list in Habitica, I just picked up my tools and got to work!

Artist's workspace with sketchbook, prompt list, and tools.

The Inktober 2016 prompt for the 7th was LOST so I drew a girl (very heavily based on yours truly; it's so much faster to just draw myself than to think up something new) in a panic over which way to go.  While I was drawing, I had the idea to include a compass that was spinning to add some story to the image (i.e. she has a compass but it's out of control so she has no idea where to go now).  It was a good way to add depth to my response without having do much extra work.

Of all my Inktober responses so far, this is the least detailed due to how little time I left myself to get it done.  But I'm extremely proud of myself for hunkering down and drawing SOMETHING, rather than giving up so soon.  My weekend drawings may have to be simple like this through the entire challenge, since I don't normally have time to draw on those days.

Anime girl looking frantically around, arms up, with a compass spinning wildly.

The first week of Inktober is almost done.  How is everyone doing so far?  Feel free to share your thoughts or drawings in the comments!

06 October 2017

Inktober 2016/2017 - Day 6: HIDDEN

I'm moving right along with my Inktober drawings!  Day 6 is already done and it's only lunchtime!  It helps that my previous piece bled through to the next page; I used those cloudy marks to inform today's work and it made my subject really easy to draw.

Inktober prompt calendar highlighting day 6, HIDDEN.
First Round of Inking

As a reminder, I'm using the 2016 drawing prompts list so that I can finish what I started last year.  Day 6's theme was HIDDEN.  The general shape of the blank space between the two major bleed-throughs on this page reminded me of someone hiding in a huge fluffy blanket, so that's what I drew!  I gave the face a suspicious look just because it fits the Halloweeny mood of October.  Even though the subject looks on edge, what I really wanted to convey was the comforting, tactile sensation of a huge, heavy, warm, fluffy blanket.  Maybe they're on edge because someone is trying to steal their cuddly blankie?  Maybe that's why they're hidden!

Mika's cat sitting on her Inktober drawing, reaching up to the camera.
Anytime I focus on any kind of book for too long...

In the middle of working on this, one of my cats, Kiki, very adorably got right in the middle of my work XD She kept purring and fluffing herself up and rubbing on my face until she finally stepped exactly on my sketchbook, lol.  Typical cat behavior but absolutely adorable no matter how often it happens~  So I took a million pictures of her naughtiness (I picked just one to share here, lest my blog be taken over by her as well!) until she finally got bored and jumped down.

Inking Complete

After adding the first round of hatching, I thought of calling it good and stopping there but I decided to add a bit more presence with big inked shadows.  I ended up taking it farther than I first thought but happily didn't take it too far.  Sometimes when I shade without a plan, I end up going so far that I have to add more to the entire piece, changing the whole mood or message.  That can be fun, but for a daily drawing like this, I really don't want to do that much work.

Final Day 6 Drawing

Challenging myself to complete the full month of Inktober has been teaching me a lot.  Not about drawing and inking, but about myself, the way my mind works, and what I have to change in order to get something like this done.  I have to force myself to forget about perfectionism, remind myself that these are just daily drawings, not masterpieces.  I have to get started immediately and remember that if I don't get it done today, there's no make-up time later.  Stuff like that may seem simple, but my mind doesn't naturally think along those lines (it's more like "If it's not done perfectly and to the best of your ability from start to finish, there's just no point").  I think this month is going to help me become more flexible and productive as an artist.

05 October 2017

Inktober 2016/2017 - Day 5: SAD

Today's post is going to be really short and rushed.  Managed to finish my drawing for Inktober today but I left myself hardly any time to talk about it!  Oh well, hopefully the photos really will be worth a thousand words and they can do most of the talking for me :3

Inktober Prompts Calendar

The prompt for the 5th was quite simple: SAD.  Since I didn't give myself much time to work on my response today, I just drew the first thing that came to mind, a sad person!

Pencil sketch to start.
Main lines inked with nib pen and brush pen.
Final ink added with brushes and Copic Multiliner.

This was actually a really straightforward drawing for me.  I feel like I keep saying this recently but I was pretty much able to draw exactly what I had in mind without any trouble.  Perhaps it helped that I didn't have anything too specific visualized for this one.  The hands were the main focus, the rest just needed to be filled in.  I'm pretty pleased with the deep expression I was able to bring to the face, especially since it's mostly covered up.

Final SAD Drawing

How are you doing with Inktober so far?  Keeping up?  We're not even done with the first week and it's already been a bit of a struggle to make sure I stay on task and give myself the time to complete each prompt.  That sounds bad but means that this challenge is good practice for time management and introspection!

04 October 2017

Inktober 2016/2017 - Day 4: HUNGRY

This is one of several unique Inktober posts I'll be making this year. The drawing I'm presenting here was actually completed last year, but that was around the time I started getting behind and just completing the prompt responses was all I could do. I had no time to share them online. This is part of the reason I decided to pick up with last year's prompts instead of starting over new; I wanted to give myself the opportunity to share what I already did!

Calendar showing Day 4's Inktober prompt.

The initial pencil sketch is done.

The prompt for Day 4 was HUNGRY and although I don't remember my thought-process anymore, I clearly decided to draw myself surrounded by a delicious assortment of breakfast foods XD Breakfast is actually my favorite meal of the day, but I'm not a morning person so I rarely get to indulge in things that actually require cooking time, like delicious french toast or sausage links.

I started this drawing off the same way as all the others: with a graphite sketch done using a pencil I received in a previous ArtSnacks box. I don't remember for sure anymore, but I feel like I had fun drawing all the scrumptious foods and my love for them made it easy to fill the page, lol.

Close-Up of Inking-in-Progress

Next I moved onto inking. Thank goodness I took all these photos at the time or I wouldn't have remembered at all what the details of my process were! I started with the ZIG sumi ink and the nib pen and then moved onto using the more expressive brush.

The ink bottle cap is able to hold the brush when not in use.
The ink cap is a tool rest, awesome!

I took the photo above to show something cool I discovered about the ZIG ink container's design: the cap has indentations for your inking tool to rest in! It's such a great idea, so easy to incorporate and does so much to help prevent the mess that ink can cause (setting your brush or pen down on a flat surface not only makes that surface dirty, it risks getting ink on the tool itself in places you don't want it and might not notice until it's too late).

Close-Up of Inking-in-ProgressInking-in-ProgressAdding Details

To finish the inked drawing, I continued using all the Inktober Collection tools at my disposal, as appropriate. That includes the Copic Multiliner pen, the Pentel brush pen, and the ZIG sumi ink. I also used a shape template to add hearts to the piece and a white gel pen to add details. The gel pen was brand new to me, as it had been a part of the October ArtSnacks box that arrived the same day :3

Final Drawing Using Only Inktober Collection Supplies
Gwah, sorry about the super blurry photo...

The photo above was going to be the final version of my response to this day's Inktober prompt but I really wanted to try out more of my October ArtSnacks and since they were all inking things too, I actually added a bit more to it later.


Let me know what you think of my Day 4 Inktober response! Do you recognize any of the foods I included in it? Just looking at it again is making me hungry...I think it's time for a snack!

03 October 2017

Inktober 2016/2017 - Day 3: COLLECT

I never finished drawing the daily prompts I received with my ArtSnacks Inktober Collection in 2016. That bugged me all this time so now that it's October again, instead of starting over new, I am picking up where I left off. I still have all the lovely art supplies that came with the Collection so I'm also continuing to use them for this challenge. Augmented, of course, with a few other ArtSnacks supplies from other boxes :3

Inktober 2016 calendar highlighting Day 3's prompt.

The prompt for today was COLLECT and the first thing I thought of was me collecting art supplies. I have quite the collection now, partially thanks to being a long-time subscriber to ArtSnacks but also because I love trying new things and have a bad habit of buying art tools simply because the novelty is invigorating. This idea formed pretty quickly as I considered the prompt, so I drew myself showing off my stuff!

Pencil line drawing of artist surrounded by art supplies.Ink lines have been added over the pencil.

I used my pencil from the September 2017 ArtSnacks box for the initial sketch. I found it unusually easy to draw what I was imagining, so that made me feel really good! Most of the time, I can't draw what I see in my mind's eye as concisely as I want. Maybe it was the necessity of getting the drawing done TODAY that helped me focus. I am absolutely determined not to repeat last year's Inktober attempt; I must get each drawing done and posted on the day it's due or it just won't happen at all. I know myself too well now to have any hope of a last minute success in such a case...

Anyway, once the pencil lines were done, I switched to the inking supplies from the Inktober Collection. That included a Copic Multiliner, ZIG sumi ink (with brush and nib pen; I used both here), and a Pentel brush pen. I was surprised to be reminded that the Collection only came with three ink sources. It seems like a lot more on the menu but that's because each individual item is listed out, including the sketchbook I am drawing in, the brush, the nib holder, the nibs, and an online inking class (I wonder if I can still sign up for it...). It's not a huge deal, just a tiny bit disappointing.

The drawing has been completely inked and cleaned up.

It started getting really late and even now I've got other things I should have been doing hours ago instead of continuing to work on this drawing but, like I said, I'm determined to get this done every day! So I took the time to fill out the whole page (that was a goal I had when I started these last year) which ended up really wrinkling the paper, since I thinned the ink with water to get that background effect. Along the way, I erased the remaining pencil marks and used a white gel pen to add some final details--especially to make the pens in the center stand out more--both of which were previous monthly ArtSnacks items.  I set the drawing in front of the space heater to dry once it was done :3

Are you doing Inktober this year?  Let's see your Day 3 responses down in the comments!