Inktober: the Home Stretch

We’re in the final week of Inktober and I wanted to talk about a few things I have learned over the course of the past month with it.  There is quite the disconnect, I’m finding, between my blog and my Instagram account.  The blog still shows the occassional fashion illustration and some other random musings.  The Instagram account has become much more focused on architecture, a theme I am really enjoying exploring.

I was in a bit of a funk at the end of September, feeling unfocused and like I had not been spending enough time working on my art.  I vaguely remember seeing Inktober posts from last year, and it was my good fortune to be working from home October 1st of this year when I saw the first Inktober post pop up in my feed.  A new goal was born: 31 posts in 31 days.  I made a list below of things I have gotten out of the last month, and also why I think it’s okay to move at a slower pace sometimes too. Without further ado:

1. I still shy away from the things I want to get better at – clusters of people, cars, reflections in water, light, etc.

2. I really embraced the black ink early in the month, then started to shy away from it later.  I’m still trying to figure out the disconnect between ink and watercolour and to learn where less is more, more is less.

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3. I am clearly drawn to architecture and urban elements.

4. In studying other artists work, I am learning to identify where they place emphasis on detail – frequently it is more on the elements of a streetscape than the actual buildings themselves.

5. Sometimes you just have to start.  One line will turn into two, and eventually you really will be drawn into the process of creating.

6. I am going to learn to paint snow falling using gouache.  There were a lot of happy accidents that occured while mixing paints with each other – I plan to spend more time exploring these to use them to their full potential.

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7. I got over a lot of the hesitation of starting a drawing.  Producing one each day really does remove the strain of the idea of perfection.  Just get it done.  It’s one drawing – today.  You’ll do another one – tomorrow.  I can almost always get a sketch out now on the first attempt without editing and redrawing.  Exceptions to this: cars, cars, and cars.  Wheels drawn at an angle are something I need to work on.

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8. I can see why it would be better to spend more than a day on some projects.  Some works that I did post I have the intention to go back to and put some colour over it, just to see how they turn out in the end.

9. I can see differences in my work between when I’m feeling lazy or not.  I don’t mind the lazy work, but would rather the look of my more focused pieces. (PS – this one I consider lazy!)

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10. Never underestimate the power of discipline.  There were days when I was really not feeling it, but felt the obligation to create something because of my Inktober commitment.  More often than not I would become wrapped up in what I was working on and would be quite happy with the outcome.  Even small pockets of time can be used toward sketching. Some days it was during my lunch hour at work – which is not really an hour but thirty minutes, half of which are spent eating, leaving me just about ten minutes to draw.  Every.  Moment.  Counts.

It was my 32nd birthday last week, and Frank gave me an amazing gift: he had the 2012 archives of my blog printed into a book.  I am blown away still by how much my style has changed and developed since then.  He mentioned (rather slyly) that the number of posts dropped over the past two years, which I am aware of.  The thought of my work getting into another DBSL book has me realizing how much I want to ramp back up with posting.  And honestly, maybe this will help me find my voice.  I can talk about processes I’m working on, areas of drawing and painting that I’m trying to puzzle my way through.

Last, remember this post? I made mention of a new sketchbook I had purchased.  I actually bought two, in two different sizes.  They will both be full at the end of this month.  Talk about a feeling of closure!  I’m planning to have a scanning party of everything produced – you never know when a loving husband might come along and have everything printed into a coffee table book, after all :)

 

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