Inktober In Review; Week Four, The Final Count Down

Hi to everyone who has been following along, and to those just stopping in, check out the last three parts of this series following my (mis+)adventures in completing an ink drawing a day for Inktober. I’ve enjoyed doing this drawing challenge for three years now, and I’d like to say it gets easier, but I still find it is a “challenge”. If only due to fitting it into my busy life, and trying to think of ideas, as well as the execution of them, often with little time. I have noticed that I do seem to get faster, and feel that my drawings improve as the weeks go by, except for a few here and there when I was truly rushed. In essence this does help me to work better, faster. The actual challenge ends Halloween Day, so for the purpose of writing this post, I’ve finished up, and will show you what I’ve come up this last week. Starting off with the prompt word; “ancient” which I really liked. Below you’ll see what I thought would be a good choice, as well as a style I more or less followed for the rest of this week. I threw in some artistic licence as well as a bit of a graphic look.

Day twenty four had me “reeling” silly pun intended. What do you draw for “dizzy”? I mean I could have gone with the obvious, but I thought about what makes me feel dizzy. Looking up at tall buildings can do that to me. A sort of reverse vertigo. I only had about twenty minutes that day so I kept it simple.

I think I had a bit of a sweet tooth for day twenty five, heheh. Uuummm, yum!

On day twenty six, I had a little more time so attempted to do a kind of silhouette of a night sky with the Milky Way.

The prompt for day twenty seven is tricky. It is simply “coat”. What?! I guess this could be considered either really easy, or “wait, what?”. But it does leave the possibilities fairly wide open. Having not felt rushed or pressured, I just played around with it for a while and felt a sort of cross between a Steampunky and a military parade theme for the coat would of course look great on a giraffe.

And what better “ride” as in day twenty eight, is there than a fun carnival one? (Which btw, I never go on.)

For the artists out there, you may have noticed that some of these could be finished somewhat more. This is all part of the whole Inktober challenge, for me anyway. Often, there just isn’t time, so you have to be able to say, ‘yeah, this is as finished as it’s gonna get.” And that’s OK. It’s great to just be able to draw along. This year I managed to do every day, (and I include the one I shredded-see episode one of this series), because although I decided not to use it, I still put a lot of effort into it. For day twenty nine, “injured” I was in a sort of “Hunger Games”, “The 100” kind of mood. Get up, you can do this!

Anyway, day thirty found me in a more gentle mood, so for the word “catch” I felt this kitty would be a cute idea.

Finishing up for the last day, day thirty one, Happy Halloween! The prompt is “ripe”. I figure that by the time we pick and carve a pumpkin, they’re pretty “ripe”. I almost went for the whole over-ripe thing, making them all rotted and such for Halloween, but then decided to go with this. Let me introduce, Moogle, and Arrgh in, “Moogle and Arrgh see a ghost”. (I did make them a wee squishy).

Wrapping up this mini series on Inktober 2019 I want to say that I am grateful to people like Jake Parker who come up with ideas like this and are kind enough to share them. Inktober has grown to include fantastic artists from all over the world! If you can, take a few minutes to scroll through the literally thousands of pieces of artwork for Inktober on Twitter and Instagram. The many artist’s works are varied and amazing! I have no affiliation to these sites, other than having tagged along, but as an artist, or just anyone who appreciates art, it’s something that shouldn’t be missed! I hope you’ve enjoyed following my attempts to produce an ink drawing a day. See you next time! (I’m not sure, but I may be taking a bit of a break for a few weeks, but who knows!?)

Inktober In Review; Week One, “Enchanted”.

As a quick recap, for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Inktober is a fun art challenge that lasts through the month of October. It was started in 2009 by Mr. Jake Parker. An artist who said that he started it as a “way of challenging himself to improve his inking skills, and improve drawing habits.” It has become a fun, (sometimes stressful) way for many other artists to do this as well. Mr. Parker posts a list of words to be used as prompts to get you thinking about something to draw. He does mention however, that people can draw whatever they like, and many people do. I usually try to stick to the prompts. I did post the first two drawings of the challenge last week, so I thought I would stick some older Inktober or Drawlloween (another great challenge), sketches here as well to keep it interesting. (You can see these, and more from a past Inktober challenge on my blog post from July 9th, 2019, “Challenge Me”)

Some, maybe most of the one’s I did last year, had a decidedly more sinister aspect to them. I did this in keeping with the whole, Halloween month theme. I may do some in this vein this year, who knows? The following are the images I’ve done for the first seven days of this year’s Inktober, beginning with Day 1 “Ring”.

As mentioned in my last post, I decided to start out with a simple, easy picture for the first prompt, “ring”. (above), no pressure. You might ask yourself, ‘pressure? Why is there pressure’? Is there a prize involved, (no). Fame, fortune? (Nope). So why do literally thousands of people join in this challenge? Of course I can’t speak for anyone but myself, so I will give you my reasoning. I have no reasoning. No just kidding. I do like a challenge. It makes me think, often way outside the box, and gives me a chance to stretch my artistic chops so to speak. For me there is some stress involved though. And from different comments I’ve read on the Inktober twitter page, I’m not the only one. When I commit to doing something, I like, nay, I am compelled to follow through. Even though I do it basically for myself, I sometimes put pressure on myself. But then I remember the spirit of it, and find it is fun to do, and to interact with other artists and to see what they come up with. Day 2 is “Mindless” I decided not to go into the whole reason of why I ended up re-using an older sketch, as I explained it last week. So if you’re interested and (gasp) didn’t read last week’s post, you can find out why there. 🙂

For day three the prompt is “bait”. Trying to avoid the obvious, I went way out on a limb and did something that is maybe a little too sweet. But I was happy with it, so that’s all that matters, heheh.

Day 4 is “Freeze”. You may notice a little running theme. I had had it in mind to try to do all of my pieces with elephants as central figures. I’ve already missed a few on that. But again, no big deal. I did receive a very thoughtful compliment on this one, and that is always really appreciated. Like I mentioned folks doing this are extremely nice, and encouraging.

Day 5 is “Build”. Again, maybe I’m being a little corny, but this is a subject close to my heart, and if I can influence even one person to be kinder, and to want to help animals, then that’s OK.

When I’m doing any of these challenges, I don’t look at what others have done for prompts until after I’ve done my own so as not to be influenced. Drawings run the gammit from very simple, to extreme crazy-amazing work. I won’t lie, I do feel sometimes that I have to “up my game.” But that’s only for my own benefit. As an artist, I am always striving to stretch. These challenges aren’t a competition, and people are kind and honestly enjoy each other’s work. I highly recommend it for anyone. We are a week in, but you can jump in at any time.

Day 6 “Husky” This was a total “gimme” for me. I have a husky, and she loves to pose. (Really she just lays around a lot.) This is Kota.

Other than when I am painting abstracts, I’m mostly a realist painter. I have always admired fantasy paintings, and the artists who have the ability to bring that to new heights. So this last prompt for the week, “Enchanted” was a little trickier for me. I didn’t want to do anything trite, but again, it isn’t my usual style. After thinking about it a bit, I think I came up with a good mix of realism, and fantasy. Many times when I’m drawing or painting, time slips by me. I have often looked back at a piece and thought how it didn’t seem as if I’d done it, as if my paint brush, or my pencil is… “enchanted”.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I hope you enjoyed it, and maybe learned a few things. See you next time!

Challenge Me

From time to time I think most artists will encounter a block, much like writer’s block, or as I like to call it, white canvas syndrome. If you make a living with your art, there is nothing more frightening than that endless blank canvas or paper waiting… Personally to combat this stomach knotting, twilight zone of emptiness, I’ve used various tricks, tools, incantations, whatever you want to call them, to get back to a more productive zone. I’ve done things like just go and sit in my work space, or studio if you will, and go over old ideas I’ve written about or tried, looked through art books, and more currently gone online for some free inspiration. Sometimes I write up a list of categories, such as wildlife (the animal kind, sadly I have none of the other), or just simply goof around looking through photos I like. But there is one more concrete tool that I have found to be useful, and that is the “art challenge”. In particular ink challenges, or more specifically “Inktober”. Created in 2009 by Jake Parker, an ink artist who was looking for something to ” improve his inking skills, and to develop more positive drawing habits.” Something I know I can always use, as there are so many distractions on top of real life needs, that it becomes very easy for weeks to slip by without creating something, and for the old ferrules to get rusty.

The prompt for this was “graceful”.

Therefore its crucial to find something that not only gets us off of our sorry excuses, but to also find something that is fun, challenging and engaging. For myself I have found that Inktober fits the bill. The premise of Inktober, is this; For each day of the month leading up to Halloween, there is a list of “prompts” . They don’t always have to do with Halloween, but generally they do. But it isn’t a rule or anything that you have to interpret the prompts that way either. Again it is meant to get you excited about creating something. It’s always interesting to see what other’s take is on each prompt. There is a massive range of ideas, styles, and talents submitted each year. I prefer not to look at other’s work for the day, so as not to be influenced. After you have drawn your idea, you upload it to the site on Twitter with a few different hashtags. I have even been surprised myself by what interpretations pop out of my head, heheh. They often take a completely different turn as I work on them, than what I had planned.

“Deep”

I used to use pen and ink quite a bit, back in the day in the “purest” form. Actual pens with removable nibs and small bottles of ink. There was something almost sacred about picking up these supplies, lining them up on my art table and working like the old masters did, learning by trial and error how to use this medium, careful not to splotch my work. Most of the time these were smaller pieces, and were very detailed. Like any time I am working, I tend to lose track of time and sometimes it feels almost mystical. I normally use either oils, or acrylics, mostly the latter lately. So it’s fun to take a month and work in a completely different medium. I highly recommend Inktober. Since Mr. Parker started it back in 2009, Inktober has grown exponentially into a massive worldwide endeavor. I’m posting some of my Inktober challenges for you here to see for yourself the strange, interesting and sometimes odd places it will take you. Enjoy, and I hope you take up the challenge. See you next time!

“Furious”
I did this as a “mash up” of two day’s of prompts, “trail and juicy”. I thought it was pretty clever, heheh.
“Ship”
“Squeak”
Another “mash up” “Climb & Fall” (It works both ways.)
“United”
“Mask”

“Drain”
“Poison”
“Tranquil”
“Precious”
“Angular”
“Bottle”
“Whale”
“Muddy”
“Prickly”
“Chop”

PS Please take a look at my site on Etsy- oMordah etsy.com/shop/omordah for originals and prints of my work. There is a price range so everyone can have some sweet art 🙂