InkTober continues to be a struggle this year on a number of levels. First was my initial choice of an old Moleskine sketchbook to use with a fountain pen. My early tests seemed fine, but the more I used my juicy Sailor fude, the more I regretted that choice as the paper feathered and bled. After the first week, I switched to my ever-faithful Field Notes Sweet Tooth, which can stand up to any pen I’ve used it it, including that juicy Sailor.
My only personal goal was to get reacquainted with fountain pens, which I had mostly forsaken for pencils the past couple years. But even on that front, I strayed occasionally, dabbling in some borrowed watercolor brush pens and my usual brush markers. I fell back on all my usual techniques and subject matter, which annoyed me greatly, because I knew I wouldn’t learn anything from them. My only satisfying InkTober day was when I used a fountain pen at life drawing and discovered a new way to do short poses.
I started wondering if I should have given myself a more challenging goal. Last year when I focused on ballpoint and stayed with it all month, I was pleased with my progress and gained an appreciation for that low-cost tool. In 2016 I focused on working from imagination, which was a very difficult goal for me, but sticking with it resulted in the birth of Weather Bunny (who continues to report on the weather to this day). Maybe I should have challenged myself by using the official InkTober prompts or picking a theme . . .
Feeling annoyed and frustrated, I gave myself a break while I was traveling in California and skipped InkTober altogether. When I got back, I pulled out the A5-size Shizen Design notebook containing multi-colored pages that I had so much fun with last year. Although the paper is too thin to take fountain pen ink without bleeding through, it doesn’t feather at all, and I don’t mind using only one side of the page. As I well know from all the Sweet Tooth books I’ve filled, something about colored pages makes line drawings easier to do, especially when I can add highlights with white ink. And on Monday I even followed the official prompt for the day, “Treasure,” and sketched an old teapot that used to be my mom’s (top of post).
So that’s where I am now . . . still mostly unfocused but determined to finish out the month.
Not everything about InkTober has been frustrating: Before I left for California, I attended a fun and free InkTober event sponsored by ArtSnacks at my local Artist & Craftsman Supply store. Participants received an InkTober tote bag and other goodies, including snacks, and played with inky art supplies. Cake makes everything better.
|Gifts from ArtSnacks|
|Check out the cakes with the ArtSnacks logo!|