Wednesday, October 1, 2014


31 Days 31 Drawings

Click on image to enlarge

INKtober is a month long sketching challenge started by Jake Parker back in 2009, as a way to improve his inking skills and develop a positive drawing habit. 

It's grown into a worldwide initiative with thousands of artists taking up the challenge. 

It's super simple just do a drawing a day in ink. I literally just found out about this today and so before the day was over, and I fell behind at the start I did a quick, quick sketch. 

I'm hoping to use this challenge to improve my skills with the Pilot Pocket Brush Pen. This is a pen that has so many great possibilities.  It creates a bold, expressive line yet is also capable, if handled correctly, to produce very fine lines. It has a true brush tip made of individual hairs and light-fast, permanent black ink. 

It has a definite "look" to it.  I can't decide if I want that "look" to be "my" look, but I keep coming back to this pen so I guess there is something about it that I find fascinating. 

I'm working in a Moleskine sketchbook, because it has smooth paper, great for ink, and because I had one I started back in January of 2012 to use on a trip to the Clark Institute of Art. So the first few pages have some quick thumbnails and larger sketches, copies of masterworks but the rest of the book is blank. so, waste not, want not, might as well use up a sketchbook that's on hand, rather than get a new one. Plus there wasn't time.

The Moleskine has cream colored pages which don'[t seem to scan true to color so I've had to  fiddle with the scan in Photoshop.  Not really exact but the best I could manage.

If you decide to participate use the hashtag #INKtober then when you click on it you can see what thousands of other artists are doing for INKtober! Ah, the fun of social media. 

Besides INKtober I've been doing more nature sketching and have two entries I'd like to share from yesterday. 

Click on image to enlarge
 One Great Egret, one post, three views.  Pilot Varsity fountain pen, black and QoR watercolors. 
Click on image to enlarge

Same materials as above, and a family of swans. I was thrilled to see that the cygnets from the spring have made it to adolescence, and that mom and dad still stay close to them. 

The more I sketch live, moving animals the better I get at it.  Same as with everything in life, practice.   It's hard at first because I can guarantee that your sketches will be pretty wonky, but the more you do it, the more you train you eye and hand to work together and you sharpen your visual memory, the easier it gets to capture the animals form and gesture. And that's what I'm really interested in, the essence. If I keep practicing I think perhaps occasionally I'll also be able to get some defining particulars down too and that will be wonderful. 

Meanwhile I'll take every chance I get to sketch animals from life, something I deeply enjoy. 

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