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Inktober continues: Weekly Art Dispatch, No.33 🎨

18 October 2021 - Reading time: 4 minutes

How are we already halfway through October!? This will be a quick Dispatch, because it's Inktober all month, all the time -- with a bit of Drawabox on the side.

Since October is Inktober challenge month, and I've reached the final lesson in the Drawabox curriculum, I've decided to spend all month doing both. The plan is to make sufficient progress in Drawabox -- even finish it -- by the end of Inktober, so I can focus solely personal projects for the remainder of the year.

I've just started Drawabox's Lesson 7 (Applying construction to vehicles) so there's not much to see yet. I've always wanted to learn how to draw vehicles but have never really made it a priority, so this lesson is going to be a welcome challenge to get me doing it.


I've been focusing a lot on digital painting for the last couple months, so it's been fun to return to ink and traditional media for Inktober. I'm using it to challenge myself on producing art to prompts at short notice, and experimenting with ink drawing techniques. To manage the scope of this challenge, I'm drawing on a smaller-than-A4 sized sketchbook, and setting a one-hour timer (two pomodoros) for actual drawing time.

Inktober Days 1-16. Prompts:
1 Crystal, 2 Suit, 3 Vessel, 4 Knot, 5 Raven, 6 Spirit, 7 Fan (I had two ideas for this day),
8 Watch, 9 Pressure, 10 Pick, 11 Sour, 12 Stuck, 13 Roof, 14 Tick, 15 Helmet, 16 Compass.
Full prompt list is here.

I've worked out a rhythm for doing Inktober drawings: ~15 minutes "prep time" coming up with an idea and look for photo references (doing research/looking up references has become a habit by now), around 15 minutes to draw a pencil undersketch, and then the remainder of the hour to ink. Sometimes the inking has taken longer, especially the ones with large swathes of ink, but the main image is mostly complete within an hour.

So far I'm tracking well with the Inktober prompts, with the usual highs and lows of inspiration and energy/time. I've been able to try out various ink rendering techniques, and discovering that I have a lot to learn yet! Drawing every day to prompt has been both challenging, but even on the "low" days I've managed to produce an interesting drawing that stretches beyond the surface "idea" of the prompt, although sometimes the inspiration comes well into the pencil stage. This is encouraging, because I want to eventually to take on more complex and specific drawing prompts, such as those for concept art. Inktober is a first step towards that.

If you want to keep up with my progress, and see bigger versions of these drawings, follow me on social media - Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr. Let's see if I can make it to the end of the Inktober month.

Topics for next time: more progress on Inktober and Drawabox.

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