I mentioned earlier that my Inktober this year did not follow any of the rules that I set for myself in the previous years. For two years, I did alphabets and started at A and worked methodically to Z. Last year, I followed along with Lisa Congdon’s 31 Day challenge on Creativebug which allowed me to put ink on paper without having to plan too much while also traveling to New York and Canada.
I wanted to draw my alphabet of favorite things but once I started it, I didn’t do them in any particular order. I also discovered that it was hard to think of anything for some letters and many things for other letters. So, my whole plan started to break down. Then, I wasn’t always happy with a drawing. So, I would redraw it. And redraw it. And redraw it. So, I got behind.
And, of course, things happened in October that made it hard to keep my focus. We lost a beloved pet. Friends lost pets. Friends lost jobs. It became important to be present for the people in my life, both two-legged and four-legged and get a couple days behind on Inktober.
As much as I wanted to share my drawings along the way, I often finished them and rolled into bed. Sometimes, the artwork was still wet and I closed the cover of my sketchbook to discover in the morning that I had smeared the drawing.
I started my Inktober with a small set of Copic markers, my trusty Platinum Carbon Desk Pen and a red drawing pencil and eraser. As the project progressed, I realized that the limited color palette was starting to bum me out.
Some of the Copics were starting to dry out. They were the same set of colors I used in my first Inktober back in 2016.
I broke completely and got out my watercolor set. The Stillman & Birn Epsilon sketchbook I have been using does not love watercolor like I had hoped. I look forward to going back to the Alpha (medium grain) which behaves a bit better to water.
The addition of more color definitely made the last push through a handful of drawings more enjoyable. I did discover that I use a lot of warm and cool yellow as both pans were basically empty.
I love love love Payne’s Grey. If I don’t have it in my palette, I will mix it myself: equal parts ultramarine and burnt sienna. The cap on the Red Hot bottle and the ground is made from homemade Payne’s Grey. Thanks, William Payne, you little trickster!
I didn’t scan in all the pages I painted. Some were just bad. But that’s the great thing about the internet. We get to edit. But we can also be a cautionary tale.
This last piece was one that got damaged as a result of closing my sketchbook before the paint was dry. It’s probably possible to Photoshop out the mistakes but I’d just as soon repaint it. I like the concept enough to redo it. I’d also like to attempt the lettering again. I found some great vintage resources online.
Inktober is always a learning experience. I think the first week was particularly rocky for me. I haven’t done much drawing this year outside of work which is shameful. If I stick with a regular regiment of drawing, then doing Inktober won’t be as difficult next year. Having a plan, even if you diverge from it, is a good thing. As long as you don’t spend hours every day looking for reference images. Like any project, the more work you can do upfront, the better. Having reference images is not cheating. Make friends pose for you, get a mirror, take reference photos of yourself or google reference images. You have a year to come up with a plan for next year. And nobody says you have to follow the official Inktober rules or prompts.