Tuesday, November 1, 2016

InkTober Backlash: Graphite

10/31/16 Technalo water-soluble graphite
One thing I missed out on while taking part in InkTober was the thing that challenged many other participants: the novelty and challenge of ink itself. My impression is that many people use InkTober as an opportunity to wean themselves from an eraser and face the indelibility of ink. Even when I first started sketching, I didn’t use an eraser with pencil – I just continued the drawing and let my previous marks remain. Ink, marker, pencil – indelibility has been a non-issue for me.

Having missed the challenge of using an unfamiliar or uncomfortable medium, I decided to participate in a new self-challenge: graphite. PencilVember! Just kidding – I have no intention of doing it daily all month. But I realize I use graphite far less than most sketchers do, and there’s a lot to be learned from the medium. So while I won’t make it a formal, every day kind of thing, I’m going to try to focus on using graphite more often this month and see what I learn.

11/1/16 ArtGraf water-soluble graphite
The last time I tried an experiment like this, it was with a ballpoint pen, and it didn’t stick long enough for me to learn. I crave color too much to stick with a monochrome medium for long. Still, I was able to sustain my black-only InkTober sketches because I kept them small. Maybe that’s the trick. These two were both done in my usual A5-size sketchbooks, but going forward I think I’ll try for smaller.


  1. It will be fun to challenge yourself to do graphite. That is something, like charcoal, that I don't use much. I smear it and it ends up all over my hand. I'll stick to something neater. Nice shading on these!

  2. Indelibility a non-issue. Love it. And thanks for bringing my attention to Pencilvember. Graphite was my first love in the world of drawing - maybe because in my third world childhood, pencil was always there. -Roy

    1. Glad to hear you'll be joining me in Pencilvember!


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