Tuesday, October 31, 2017

#InkTober2017 Final Review: Lessons Learned

Happy Halloween and happy end of InkTober! Are you sad that it’s over  or relieved?

As I mentioned in my second trimester review, I began InkTober this year with a bit of trepidation about being able to keep up with daily ink sketches while also working on my time-consuming graphite class exercises. But on most days it was a relief to go out and do small, quick sketches from life for InkTober instead of labor-intensive graphite drawings from photos.

On some busy days, though, I admit that I wanted to skip it (and once I almost forgot until fairly late in the day) – but I didn’t. I have often told people who say they don’t have time to sketch that it doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment, so I decided I would simply practice what I preach. Except for one I did at the Funko sketch outing, none of my InkTober sketches took more than 15 minutes to make.

While it’s not part of Jake Parker’s original InkTober initiative, as long as I’m participating in the project, I like to give myself a personal goal. I didn’t stick with ballpoint pen for the whole month as I had originally planned, but I did stay with the second part of my goal: to practice my hatching skills. That, too, was tempting to skip. Without InkTober, I regularly make small brush pen sketches in Field Notes notebooks, so it would have been easy to fall back on a familiar tool and habit. But except for a couple of sketches, I managed to include at least some hatching. As the month went on, hatching became easier. I started to really appreciate how effective hatching can be in economically showing the direction of a curved surface.

The most surprising outcome of InkTober 2017 is that I unintentionally developed a bit of a theme: cars! Although they are no longer the sketching nemesis they used to be, and they appear frequently enough in my day-to-day urban sketches even without InkTober, cars and I have never been on friendly terms. On busy days, though, I often found myself squeezing in a quick sketch between errands or appointments, so it was easiest to draw whatever car was parked nearby. Interestingly, cars turned out to be ideal for hatching practice: They’re made of curving, hard surfaces with lots of challenging, irregular shadows! Since I typically would not choose to sketch ordinary cars on the street as primary sketching subjects, I got some much-needed practice. 

Overall, despite the challenges, I had a great InkTober (see all my sketches from the month in this Flickr album)! How about you?









  1. Yes, I can see that cars are no longer your nemesis. Congratulations on finished Inktober!

    1. Thanks, Kate! Cars and I are not exactly BFFs, but we're cordial. ;-)

  2. I managed the whole month, and the likes on Instagram I received from kind strangers as well as you really inspired me to carry on. I naturally would use pencil, so using pen has been very different. I bought some Derwent Graphix ink pens and have really enjoyed using them too. And my Copix pens I think will be deffo used in future. I've really enjoyed thinking of an angle to the prompts. My sketches have never taken more than 15 mins - and I think it shows as they are very naive, but the fun has been to get something recognisable that quick. And now I have a little notebook of sketches. And I've enjoyed your cars very much.

    1. I hope you carry on long past Inktober! That's one of the biggest benefits of doing something like Inktober -- it creates a habit for doing it indefinitely.

  3. Congrats on a great Inktober! I'm glad you were able to practice something you had wanted to try, your hatching. This was the perfect opportunity to get that done. I hadn't realized you had done a car theme, but did notice a lot of cars appearing. lol That's something I need to practice too and I look for excuses to include them in my sketches. Great job and final review!

    1. Thanks, Joan! It was a lot of fun as well as rewarding.

  4. Hi Tina: I really like your idea of focusing on something. I ink so much that inking something every day was hardly a challenge. I really wanted to feel as though I had grown. So if I do it next year I think I'll pick a focus like you did .... Maybe a whole month of using brush and ink .... or doing people. I hardly ever tackle people. ... or mammals. I do a lot of birds,but not so many mammals. .... or bugs! ...or? ... or?

  5. Exactly -- that's how I felt! I use ink all the time, so I wanted to have an additional challenge. Will look forward to seeing what you do next year!


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