Followers of my Flickr stream have seen my real life drawings in October, as I participated in the annual INKTober challenge. And it was more fun than I thought it would be when I started!
No, I am not a great artist in real life, but I do love to draw and paint. Sadly the past years I seemed to have forgotten how much I love it, so one thing this challenge brought me was: bringing back the joy of sitting down and drawing – in silence. Because when I paint or draw I do not want or need music. Just me, pencils, brushes, paint and paper.
In this case however, I had to use ink. Not my usual tool of choice, so that added another challenging element to my INKtober. After some research and going through the advice on the official INKtober website, I purchased 3 pens to start with. After a few drawings I tried the ecoline ink brushes, because they are similar to aquarel – but went back to the black ink pens (of which I bought a couple more during the month, once I got the hang of it).
The biggest challenge was, of course, to make a drawing each day and post it on social media, with the hashtags #INKtober and #INKtober2017. I posted them on Flickr, occasionally on Twitter, and added them in the official Flickr INKtober group. I found that a bit ….scary, as I saw all these amazing drawing by artists and felt my work could not compare. I had several moment thinking “OMG they will laugh so hard seeing my kindergarten level’….Soon I discovered I was wrong feeling that way. INKtober is not about comparing or winning or being better, or worse, than someone else. It is about enjoying drawing and creating, for yourself. And if you are persistent, it is about improving.
To my surprise one of my works was picked by the official Flickr account for their Gallery with favourites of week 4, my day 22 Snail, made for the prompt : Trail. Speaking of motivation, this surely helped!
Not only did I find my fun back, I also learned a lot as I went along. I followed the official prompt list, a theme per day, for my own convenience – but that is optional, you are free to draw what you want. As long as you do it every day, and post every day!
I learned how to use ink-pens and after a week or so I got used to the fact that, unlike pencil or paint, it is not easy to fix errors in your work. Ink is quite final once on paper!
Every drawing I made I started with pencil (not uncommon for ink artists) and when I was happy with the draft I made me some tea, took a deep breath and put the pen on the paper to do it. Then erasing the pencil and voila: ink drawing.
A few times I got behind on the schedule, no matter how much I wanted to draw every day…there is such a thing as real life and work, but I managed to catch up on those occasions by drawing 2 or 3 in the weekends!
Inspiration I found online. I am not going to pretend that every drawing is the result of my never ending fantasy. I wish!
I needed some guidelines, tips, tricks, inspiration and examples. Luckily there is Google and Pinterest. And also a plethora of free drawing tutorials in videos and on websites, which I used a lot! If you are interested in those, I will provide links at the end of this post!
(Even though I used some photographs and turned them into a drawing, I did that 100 % by hand and by looking at my monitor, never used a print and an overlay).
Today is the last day, 31 October and my 31st drawing is finished and posted. In case you wonder why I did not sign my drawings but used post-its instead; that is my habit as a painter. I never sign a painting before I am 1000 % sure it is finished, and in my case that can take a few months.
My art-teacher always told me to have a finished work on display in the room and look at it for a while (weeks, months even) until I am really sure it is finished. Then comes the grande finale: the signing – followed by optional framing.
So, I might work on some of my drawings some more and declare them finished in a couple of months!
In any case, I learned to appreciate drawing with ink and will continue with it. I want to learn how to properly draw portraits and hands, a new personal goal or challenge! No worries, I won’t post them daily…my Flickr will return to its usual Second Life Photography and the occasional photo of my dogs!
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