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First 5 days of Inktober 2017

My first 5 days of Inktober this year has taught me quite a few things about myself and what I can do to become a better artist. Here are my first 5 Inktober sketches following this year's prompt. Enjoy!

01 - Swift

For this very first one all I could imagine was an Olympic track and field runner jumping hurdles at lightning speeds. The sketch was done swiftly (pun intended) with a few brush pen strokes. You could see that I was in some kind of hurry to get this one out of the way. Despite it's simplicity, I think it speaks well to the prompt.

First prompt - Swift

02 - Divide

Again, I thought I could get away with just a few impressionistic strokes on the page and be done with it. But as you can see It became very slapped together in a short amount of time. Sometimes the spontaneity is a good thing and you want to keep that energy in drawings. In this case, it wasn't clear where I was going with this. I think I was trying to tap into my Jack Kirby but it was a lame attempt. Anyhow, it is what it is...

03 - Poison

This one was quite strange and somewhat regrettable in it's mood. I'm directly telling you that this dude running in a hood with his face barely recognizable and his hands in both pockets is suffering from a "tummy ache". I did this one following the devastating Las Vegas massacre and just thought afterwards how dubious this character looks. We were all in some irregular moods as the news about that fateful day unfolded. This was all I had at the time. One thing that was different this time though was that I used a felt tip .05 pen.

04 - Underwater

Now this prompt was a lot of fun and inspired an underwater theme. I continued to use my Prismacolor .05 felt tip marker pen to ink this. I varied the line weight and tried to include more details into this sketch. The anatomy was wonky but it at least sent the message that this man with a fishing spear is underwater surrounded by marine life. Here we also witness a recurring character, the "Inktopus" taking up much of the composition. As you can see I had fun with this theme that I kept going with it for a few more sketches.

Winding down to the last minutes of the night. When you're in the zone, you just have to run with it!

05 - Long

Instead of having to create new characters, I decided to keep our newfound friends in this next prompt, "long". For this one I wanted to give the feeling of something long or distant that can be recognized right away when you looked at it. So by playing off of this submariner being at the bottom of the sea floor, he or she walks around with an obviously long oxygen tube connected to their helmet,

I didn't stop there though. I just had to do another one to continue the narrative. What do deep sea divers do so well? They risk their lives to search and retrieve goodies. In the depths of the sea lies a treasure and a submariner waiting and longing for their return to the surface. But the submariner's not alone, He or she always has the creatures of the sea to keep them company.


You can see that the art of picture making really takes a detour when you approach the piece with different attitudes. Depending on your mood that day, what you ate, people you met or spoke to seconds ago all influence what you end up creating. The main thing is that you keep focused on what you're doing in front of you and just let the ink glide on the paper. For me the detour I took after the first day was to be more deliberate while still keeping the spontaneity and energy alive through it all. From this experience so far I'm starting to see the real meaning behind something finished and unfinished. Unfinished is that sketch you do underneath that you sometimes pawn off as a "finished" thing. While a finished piece of art is a more permanent medium (what better medium than ink) over top the sketch underneath. The time you put ink to paper is the time you've got nowhere else to hide your mistakes. You're exposed in a good way, in that you have to be cognizant (yet not distracted) by the permanence and embrace it's benefits. Another great thing that grew organically was stumbling upon some characters along the way. Settings, objects and most importantly characters in odd situations that we can all relate to in some small way in our lives became the centerpiece of the finished drawing.

I've got 26 more of these to go, and am loving every minute of it. You should give Inktober's 31 days of art a try if you haven't already. I highly recommend it! So until we meet again...

Have fun and keep on drawing!

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