Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Inktober 29 Through 31


I have completed (and posted ) the #Inktober challenge for 2015.  Thirty-one drawings in ink in thirty-one days.   I think it is the first day I've done of of these "every day for a month" type drawing challenges, and I liked it a lot.

Maybe I'll try another some time!

Anyhow, here are my final drawings of the month.

Number 29 is drawn and colored mostly in ink, with gouache for the eyes and blanket.  This would be a portrait of my cat, Hattie, Queen of All She Surveys.  And yes, her head is in proportion to her body.

The interesting part for me in this was seeing how my ink, diluted with water, could still indicate shadows and light on a solid black cat.  I need to practice this a lot more.  I know I would do better if I just practiced a LOT more.

Drawing 30 is what I like to call "A Tommy Kane Drawing."  You can learn more about Tommy and his fascinating work online here (and on Instragram).  He creates drawings of incredible detail (which mine below actually is not).  So why is this "A Tommy Kane Drawing?"

I name such drawings after Tommy Kane because he taught me one of the most important lessons I ever learned about keeping a sketchbook and learning to draw: "Always finish your sketch."

Tommy gave this advice during his class at Sketchbook Skool.  I urge you to check that out if you haven't already.

Anyhow, the gist of the advice is this:  once you put your pen down and start a sketch, you have to finish it, no matter how badly you think you might have screwed up.  Figure out ways to work around the mistakes.  Incorporate them into the drawing.  This practice would bolster your confidence, he said, because you'll quickly learn how to recover from just about anything.

One of his examples: he occasionally miscalculates how tall a building will be and so has to bend high towers or steeples to fit them on the page.

Obviously, I had to do this here, in a sketch I did from a photograph I took of a church in west Ireland.

I wish that was the only mistake I made in this scribble, but, of course, it isn't.  I actually got lost in the shadows of the photograph and misdrew the directions of two of the walls!  Completely.  Suddenly, I was creating some sort of Escher-esque drawing!  Not what I intended.

Two years ago, I'd have ripped the page our of my book.

But this time, without a hiccup, I thought, how can I fix this?   And started messing around with shadows and directions of bricks, and so on.

Is this an accurate depiction of the church?  Not in a photographic sense, no.  Nope, nope.

But do I like the drawing?  YES!! A great deal.  Not only because it actually reminds me of the church and the time I spent there taking photos, but because of the creative journey it represents.

Really, check out Tommy Kane's stuff.  It will blow your mind.

The final drawing of Inktober, number 31, is not a great climactic piece.

Just a quick (five minutes, tops?) sketch in sepia ink of one of the tall maple trees in my back yard, clinging to its last few bright golden leaves.  Added gouache for color.

There is something about spending time--even five minutes--looking at that wonderful color combination of gold and's a palette that only shows up in autumn.  And only on the clearest sunny days.  And only if there hasn't been a big wind lately.

Inktober was a blast.  I definitely plan to do it again next year.

I have a new adventure planned for November:  my first ever in-person art class.... in life drawing!

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