Friday, October 20, 2017

Graphite and Photo Respite (#InkTober2017 Second Trimester Review)

10/19/17 Maple Leaf neighborhood

I’ve been spending so much time this fall working on homework assignments for my graphite drawing class that it’s seriously cutting into my urban sketching, and that makes me sad. I certainly value the concentrated time I’m devoting to class and its exercises because I’m learning so much, and when I’m motivated to learn, nothing beats extended, ongoing practice to help me internalize a process. But I still miss sketching on location.

10/12/17 Maple Leaf neighborhood
Thankfully, InkTober is taking up a large chunk of this quarter. Initially I was afraid that participating while also taking a class would turn InkTober into another “assignment,” spoiling the fun. Instead, it has become a respite both from time-consuming graphite and especially from photo-reference drawing. After spending hours at my desk diligently putting various graphite pencil grades to paper, it’s a refreshing break to take a short drive in the neighborhood and make a 15-minute sketch of whatever I can see from my car (it’s been raining a lot lately).

Using a fountain pen for InkTober is an interesting contrast in another way. While drawing with a pencil requires the slow, gradual accretion of graphite – a process that allows constant evaluation and incremental changes and corrections along the way, with or without an eraser – ink requires non-equivocal decisions made with a solid, confident line (whether it’s correct or not). It’s a very different way of thinking and drawing. I like both, and I learn different things from each. And I’m appreciating each more through my coincidental focus on both this month.  

10/17/17 Montlake neighborhood

10/16/17 Wedgwood neighborhood

10/13/17 Stone House Bakery

10/14/17 Maple Leaf neighborhood
10/15/17 downtown Everett

10/18/17 (from memory) (Ha -- I just realized I put the wrong year on the hashtag!)


  1. It must be really hard to concentrate on the graphite class practice and still find time to do the inktober sketches. Glad you have been successful in doing both! I like the way you did the curved hatch lines on the trunk of the tree!

    1. Thank you, Joan! I've been working on my hatching, so I'm happy to hear you like it.


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