Saturday, October 15, 2016

#InkTober2016: Pushing Past Old Habits

10/9/16 Kuretake brush pen
Week 2 of InkTober2016 is done, and it was something of a struggle for me. The early part of the week began well with a pair of gestural sumi-e-like sketches of a running rabbit inspired by photos on the Internet. Then Sunday evening when I felt my blood pressure rise while watching the Presidential debate, I decided to bring it back down by sketching the candidates. I felt much better immediately, and sketching from the TV was something I’d never done before, so it fit with my InkTober goal to try new challenges.

But the next few days, especially when I was short on time, I found myself falling back on old habits again and simply sketching whatever birdbath or potted plant I happened to see. As an urban sketcher, drawing from life comes so easily to me that it’s almost second nature. I’m not saying the act of drawing itself is easy – that part is always a challenge on some level – but choosing something to sketch from life is the easy part and requires almost no thinking at all.

10/14/16 Copic Gasenfude brush pen
On Thursday I gave myself a swift kick in the rear to get back to my goal of making imaginary sketches, and I kept at it through today. Sometimes I managed to conjure up an image in my mind and get it out on the page. Other times when I had an image in mind but couldn’t quite get started with the sketch, I would search for photos on the Internet for something close, then work from that, which I found immensely helpful.

I was reminded of the article by Jake Parker, founder of InkTober, talking about how it takes him the first 10 days to get past his “old tricks” before he can get to new and exciting work. I’m not going so far as to hope for “new and exciting,” but I am finding that every time I make a sketch from imagination, the next one is a bit easier. I’m looking forward to the second half of the month to see where it takes me.

See all my InkTober2016 sketches in my Flickr album.

10/15/16 Kuretake brush pen 
Here's the photo from the Internet that helped get me started in making the sketch above.
(photo by Eric Isselee)


  1. I was so happy to read this! I have a hard time drawing anything out of my head and have only done a couple like that for inktober. It is so funny how without it in front of you, you have no clue what a dining rom looks like, or a cat or whatever.

    1. I think over time and with enough practice, drawing from imagination and memory becomes easier. Let's keep at it! :-)

      - Tina

  2. Glad to see the rabbit make an appearance again. I think that anything takes a lot of practice before we feel comfortable doing it, and using your imagination rather than sketching what is in front of you will become easier. I loved the last two ideas. lol

  3. It's clear you're having fun with InkTober. Thanks for sharing the sketches as seeing them is fun too.


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