During inktober, I posted a picture of Jack Skellington from the Nightmare Before Christmas. @robmonroe, whom I use to work with, shared that his sister loves that movie and asked for a picture of Jack and Sally. Below is the picture I finished today that I will be sending to Rob.
This October, I have drawn as much as I have ever have in a single month. I have Inktober to thank in large part to that. Although I didn’t get to draw as much as I wanted to, due to life having it’s own plans, It was still my most productive artistic time period to date.
By the end, I ended up with 22 of some of my best pen and ink drawings. The first 17 drawings I completed on mostly separate days, and I posted and shared as I went along. When I would start to fall behind, I would try to have make up days, where I would complete 2 or 3 drawings in a single day. Although one of the objectives of the month is daily consistency, that was not an option for me, so I strove for quantity, challenge, and growth. On October 31, the last day, I completed another 5 drawings, which are shown below.
As mentioned on my kick off post at the beginning of the month, I also wanted to keep track and share some of the major lessens that I gained throughout this process. For the many people more advanced and experienced than myself, these might be pretty obvious, but all were new or underdeveloped ideas solidified for me:
Learn when to stop
There were several drawings where I should have stopped and left it as is, but I desired something more polished and professional looking and ended up ruining the drawing (see Fox and the Hound or Wolverine Fail). This lead me to my other insight….
Get something out of your mistakes
There have been several times this last month when I made bad choices. This is apart of the artistic journey, so I have no regrets. Instead of getting mad and throwing the drawing away, which I have done many times in the past, I kept going, and tried my best to get something out of it. The nice thing about screwing up, even towards the end of a drawing, it gave me freedom to experiment and try things that I would not have tried. Sometimes it allowed me to test hatching and cross hatching, shading techniques, or ink and brush effects on different paper types. When you approach drawing like a made scientist instead of a perfectionist, you grow much faster.
There were several drawings I did this month when I thought I captured all the details I wanted to, but I would keep discovering new details that I overlooked. Since most of my drawings were simplistic cartoon characters, it usually wasn’t the end of the world, but the more complicated the reference, the bigger effect it had. This really helped me understand that I am impatient and don’t take as much time as I should to study and understand what makes the reference work.
Draw what interests you
I mostly drew cartoon characters or images from my favorite artists. To the extent that I did good work, I think this played a large role. For my crappiest drawings, I was drawing things from a list, instead of what I actually wanted to draw at the time. This was true about almost all of the super hero related drawings (Wolverine, Joker, Batman). I drew them because I wanted to draw stuff that wasn’t so childish and easy, but I really wasn’t that keen on doing them at the time. In hind sight, I would have been much happier to draw more kid stuff. I don’t think this is a permanent preference, but was true at the time.
Figure out what you like
I wouldn’t say this had too much of an influence on the subject of my drawings, but it did have an influence on the styles I wanted to learn and try. I spent a lot of time on Pinterest this past month, collecting and looking at work that inspires me. Although you wouldn’t look at my drawings and see a resemblance to what I pinned, it did help me connect a couple of dots that I hadn’t before, and I think it will continue to only help me better understand what I like and what to make.
With all that said, I really enjoyed Inktober, and probably gained more general art knowledge then that about inking, but I think that was for the best. I will be doing it again in 2016, at which time I hope to be able to start producing great original work.
Here are the five drawings that I completed on October 31. These drawings are special to me for a couple of reasons that transcend their quality and or anything I learned about drawing.