So October has come and gone and that means that another Inktober challenge is over. This is the first time I have actually made it to the end of the challenge but my approach was extremely minimal this year and in fact I completely forgot about it for a few days towards the end of the month. In the end I managed 29 simple ink drawings during October. My goal was naturally to hit 31, and I reached that on 1st November. So I’m really happy with that, especially as this October was rather hectic for me (including running a new online course and teaching at Brisbane Sketchfest) and even attempting the simplest form of a challenge feels like a big achievement!
As my approach to Inktober was to just do some simple line drawings, it wasn’t much of a stretch as I already do a lot of these in my everyday sketching. However, just being more intentional about when and where I use ink drawings was very instructional and it has really confirmed something that I have believed for a long time…
It’s really not very difficult to fit a simple line drawing into my busy day to day life. It only takes a few minutes and requires very little effort – all I need is to get a pen out and draw!
There have been numerous times during the past month when I did not have the time, energy or focus to get my paints out and do a watercolour sketch, but I did (easily) manage a quick line drawing. These drawings are not masterpieces, but they are very important for the storytelling aspect of my sketchbooks. They also are super valuable for training observational skills, eye-hand coordination and compositional skills.
The other important reminder from this challenge is that limiting myself to just using ink is a great way to tackle a complex scene.
These two sketches show two different techniques:
1. just using lines to simplify a messy scene
2. adding water to create tone even when using permanent ink (you have to be fast to move the ink before it dries).
So all and all, I’m happy with my Inktober collection. It doesn’t contain any masterpieces, but it does record many important memories of a big month.
So here are the second half of my ink sketches (you can see Part 1 here)
1. I’m only counting ink only sketches for the Inktober challenge, but I’ve included some of the full spreads so that you can see how the simple line drawings fit in with my other sketches and text.
2. I wrote the above text before scanning my sketches, and guess what? I got my numbering mixed up and had a double up. As a result I did in fact hit 31 ink sketches on the 31st.
3. There are a lot of cafe sketches in this collection!
So how did you go with Inktober?
What did you learn from your attempt (whether you finished it or not)?
Did you stick with it for the whole month?