I’m so excited to share one week worth of drawings with you today. A drawing challenge like Inktober is just wonderful to leave your creative comfort zone and try out something new. Also, I can’t believe I’m sitting on my balcony in the middle of October writing this blog post while enjoying the warm sun on my skin. Unbelievable pleasant! – in Berlin, Germany where we have all the seasons full force
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Before I show you all the pieces I created in the first week of October, I want to give you a quick introduction what Inktober is and why I think you should join me for the remainder of the month.
What is Inktober?
Inktober was initially created by Jake Parker in 2009 as a drawing challenge to improve his inking skills and develop positive drawing habits. It has since grown into a worldwide endeavor with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year. You can read my full introductory blog post about it right here, which not only includes more details about the challenge but also an amazing video as well as daily prompts from the creator himself. So make sure to check it out if you haven’t already!
Inktober Day 1 – Swift
For the very first Inktober drawing, I decided on a more detailed piece to start this drawing challenge off right. It is my interpretation of the official prompt for day one called ‘Swift’. To represent it I decided on drawing a beautiful bird in flight as well as drawing all lines and shapes in movement and swirls. To get the desired effect I used my Pentel Brush Pen mainly, so I can fill big areas with black very quickly and improve my brush drawing skills. For small details like the dots in the bird, I used my most favorite pen of all – the Staedtler pigment liner in 0.05 line weight. This pen is also the main star of my bullet journal! For paper I went with my Leuchtturm1917 sketchbook, which has super white 180 g/m² paper. I love this sketchbook a lot since nothing bleeds through except Copic markers out of some reason (the very similar Faber Castell PITT artist pens do not!).
Inktober Day 2 – Divided
When I read the prompt for day two I already started to struggle a tiny bit. Since as you sure know there are words you instantly can identify with and there are some you can not. Yeah, this was one of them, especially since I decided to draw day two till seven without the use of any references. I wanted to keep it more abstract and make choices based on my gut feeling. So I split the page in two by breaking it apart in the middle. So I used this prompt to keep practicing with my brush pen as well as using techniques like dotting. For me, Inktober is foremost about learning and evolving as an artist and less about having a perfect piece of art at the end of each day. Especially since I don’t have much time for each of them.
Inktober Day 3 – Poison
Day three of the Inktober Drawing Challenge was way more up my alley. Poison is something you can stylize easily and in a lot of different ways. I went with a cartoonish version of the skull you often see on bottles that contain poisonous ingredients and let poison drop over him and the page. I personally really like this piece, especially because of the clear shapes and structure in the background. Created again with the brush pen, which is slowly growing on me.
Pen used: Pentel Brush Pen
Inktober Day 4 – Underwater
The ‘underwater’ piece is another favorite of mine this week since I personally love the ocean a lot and I couldn’t wait to get started on this drawing. I put the surface of the ocean right at the top of the image so that the paper is dominated by an underwater scene. I also wanted it to be a bit mystical and keep working with strong lights and darks. After the structure worked out so well in the ‘poison’ drawing, I did something similar here but kept the brush strokes going in one direction only – upwards to the surface. I really like this piece since I find it calming and beautiful even with this amount of black.
Inktober Day 5 – Long
‘Long’ is presented in two ways in this image, once through the word and once through the line in the back which is connected all the way around. This piece as is an example of how I spend a full Saturday since I finally sat down and started to learn proper brush lettering. As you can see in this blog post, I always used to draw the outline of each letter with a very thin pen and then fill in the areas with black to create a brush-lettered look.
To save time and my sanity (since this way is super time consuming) I watched lots of tutorials and spend a full day just doing hand lettering exercises as well as learning the font I want to use in my bujo as well as on the personalized Thank You cards that come with each of your Etsy orders. I did this exercises with ink, markers as well as watercolors to get a feel for the different brush tips and see what works best for me. At the end of the day, my wrist hurt like crazy since I’m left-handed and can’t put my hand on the paper while writing. Instead, I have to float it over the paper so I don’t smear anything of what I have just written.
Inktober Day 6 – Sword
I have been told this looks like a sword, but I still don’t like this drawing. I love the strong contrast it has but that’s it. BUT I thought this is a wonderful opportunity to remind fellow perfectionists like myself, that not every drawing needs to be perfect or even good. Art is about the process and not the end result. I love to get in the flow and just draw for hours without any distractions or worries. So stop beating yourself up if it doesn’t turn out like you wanted it too and be thankful for the lessons you learned while creating it.
Pens used: Pentel Brush Pen
Inktober Day 7 – Shy
Like with ‘divided’ I had no clue what to actually draw here. Sooo, I went super abstract and drew two ‘characters’ which are close to each other but still have lots of barriers between them. As an introvert, I often end up in situations where I just smile awkwardly instead of just saying hi and seeing where a conversation takes me. This image is my interpretation of it and for that I love it.
Feature of the week for the 31 Day Drawing Challenge
Today I would like to introduce to you @snapsiesofdabean, which is taking part in the Inktober Drawing Challenge on Instagram. She drew and uploaded one drawing for each day of the first week and I love her interpretations of the official Inktober prompts. Since she stuck with them as I did, you already can see two different approaches to the same topics. I can tell you that scrolling through Instagram and Twitter and to see the same idea interpreted thousands of times by artists of all kinds of skill levels is super inspiring.
Hashtag your daily drawings with #inktastisch so that I can find, comment and feature your beautiful creations!
My learnings of the week
Do not put more on your plate than you can chew! Creating 31 drawings in one month is already challenging enough. You do not need to make every drawing perfect. You also don’t need to draw on huge formats when you know you do not have much time. So after spending multiple hours on my first Inktober drawing and realizing that I couldn’t keep this up for 31 days without neglecting my work, I decided to go with a smaller format: A7 instead of A5. And to ‘simply’ draw what comes to mind without any preplanning and research. So instead of spending 4 hours on each drawing I now managed to do four of them in one hour, which is way more efficient. Not using any references also helped me to loosen up and not stress about getting everything right. So I drew my feelings towards a topic more than trying to represent it in a certain way, which was super relaxing and a welcome change.
I also learned that for me this drawing challenge is about establishing healthy drawing habits and improving my skill set. So after worrying for two days if it is ok if I use Inktober to learn Brush lettering, I said ‘Yes, it is!’ and suddenly it all became way more fun. This drawing challenge is meant to get you out of your comfort zone and learn something new. While Jake Parker used it to improve his ink drawing skills and it gets established as this ever since. I personally see Inktober as a big motivation booster, since I know thousands of people are working hard to become a better artist every day of October and I want to do so too.Do not put more on your plate than you can chew!! Click To Tweet
I don’t have the time for it.
If you are like ‘Inktober sounds awesome, but I really don’t have time for it!’ I might have a solution for you. We all know the struggle of not having enough hours in the day for the things we would love to do. And while it is mostly about committing and making the time, sometimes it still doesn’t work out. That being said, I created a one-page layout for you which you can use for your Inktober drawings. By limiting the space you have, you will be done much faster and not get lost in big projects. And we all can find five minutes per day to draw, right?
Introduction Blog Post: What is and how can I join Inktober?
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