Monday, October 1, 2018

It’s That #InkTober Time of Year Again!

9/23/18 Bic Cristal, Baron Fig notebook

For the fourth consecutive year, I’m taking part in InkTober, Jake Parker’s annual initiative to encourage drawing with ink. The rules are simple: Make a drawing in ink; post it on social media with the hashtags #inktober and #inktober2018; repeat throughout the month of October.

Optional prompts are offered each year, but I don’t follow them. Instead, I try to take up the spirit of the event by giving myself a personal challenge. In 2016 I wanted to focus on drawing more from imagination, which was particularly difficult for me, but by the end of the month, my ongoing weather-reporting bunny had been born! Last year I decided to practice hatching, another challenge for me, and by month’s end I saw improvement.

Another focus I started with last year was working in ballpoint pen. I’ve seen so many examples of amazing art created with the lowly Bic (or other such cheap pens), such as those I saw in the book The Art of Ballpoint by Matt Rota, that I wanted to try the medium myself. But after a week or so, I got fed up and switched back to the fountain pens and brush pens I’m more comfortable with.

It always bothered me, though, that I didn’t stick with it – after all, it’s only 31 days. So for InkTober 2018, I’m going to stick with ballpoint for the entire month, come hell or high water. Subject matter will be wide open – urban sketches, still lives, from imagination, from photos, whatever.

9/20/18 Bic Cristal, Field Notes Signature
I saw on social media that some people started gearing up early, so I did, too. Shown here are a couple of practice sketches I made a week ago or so. Both were done with ubiquitous Bic Cristals – a traditional favorite of ballpoint artists. The pen’s plastic body feels like it’s worth less than the 25 cents I paid for one, and the ink is blobby, especially in the 1.6mm tip size that I prefer. I’m not sure I’m going to make it through the month if I stick with these Cristals; I may switch to the Uni Jetstream I used a couple years ago on Ballpoint Pen Day.

I don’t plan to blog daily about my InkTober sketches; instead, I’ll report in every week or so as I did last year. I’ll also be posting sketches daily on Instagram.

Tell me what you are doing for InkTober 2018!

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