09 September 2019

The Inktober Challenge

Yet another challenge approaches, one that I've never had the nerve to do. It's called "Inktober," and it's basically making 31 drawings in 31 days, using ink. Your tool (dip pen, fountain pen, ballpoint, Microns, technical pens, etc.) is up to you, but it's all about drawing. And while I do draw in ink, it's been strictly contour up to this point, which is to say, the basic outline of the object and its details. Once I left art school, with its geometric shaded objects and charcoal portraits, behind, I used my drawing purely in service to another medium. Because I love watercolor so much, I have always sublimated drawing to a framework for my watercolor, so once the contour drawing is done, I jump into color, shade, and shadow using the paints, not the pen.

Because of this, I feel a little insecure taking on this challenge. Yes, I could just do contour drawings, but the thing I love about art is its details, and the people who participate in Inktober are all about the details. I don't think I'm quite ready to draw like my new Facebook friend Steven Reddy (i.e., brick by brick!), but I would like to master the basic skill of hatching!

I decided to be proactive about this instead of trying to wing it and feeling dissatisfied, so I signed up on Bluprint (formerly Craftsy) for a class called "Pen & Ink Essentials." Here are some of my visual/verbal notes from the class:

1. Basic contour drawing (I practiced on the book sitting on top of my scanner.):

2. Contour and parallel hatching:

3. Cross-hatching, and specialty hatching (basket weave, gestural, stippling):

4. Types of gestural hatching:

For deciduous trees:

For rough stone walls (I repeat, if you're not, like Steven, inclined to draw every stone, brick, tile, shingle, paver, etc.):

There was also a segment on ink washes, but A. I didn't have any ink (oh boy, a trip to Dick Blick), and B. because it's so much like using watercolor, I didn't feel the need to practice it!

This gave me lots of ideas. Now, to try them out in "real" drawings.

Inktober isn't quite as daunting now...except that the prompts leave me drawing a blank (pardon the pun), so I may have to come up with my own theme as well!