How to Improve your Ink Drawings

This is my third year participating in Inktober, and, while I do not claim to be an expert at inking, or drawing, I do understand the struggles artists have with drawing in ink.

Ink is hard to work with because it is permanent. With paint, you can paint over a mistake and try again, unlike in ink, well, unless you are working with white ink, there are very few ways to remedy a mistake in inking.

That is why I like Inktober. It’s an opportunity to try a tough media. It can boost one’s confidence, if viewed in the right way.  However, approach the challenge with a different mindset, and it may destroy your confidence, rather than help build it.

I view Inktober as a way to experiment with my art. I can draw, but I can’t draw really well. Each media has its own technique to make it look good and stand out. Inking requires the artist to know his shadows fairly well. Without proper execution and rendering of light and shadow, you may have a drawing that looks cool, but it could have that nagging sensation at the back of your viewer’s head that keeps gnawing at them that something is not right…

So, how can one improve their ink drawings?

      1. Study. A fairly obvious, but a very necessary step.  If one wants to improve their skill, they have to study and learn.  Inking uses different tools. Are you planning to try to use ink brushes? Fountain pens? Or your regular ball-point pens? Either way, each tool, would necessitate using different techniques. Study up on it. Watch video tutorials, read a book. A quick search in youtube can give you lots of results. If videos aren’t your thing, how about reading a book written by established artists? Depending on your skill level, you could buy a book that teaches you the basics, or pick up a title that covers more advanced topics.
      2. Practice. Confidence in inking is evident in one’s line work. A more experienced artist can make more fluid lines, as opposed to a less experienced one. When I was starting out with inking, my lines tend to be more rigid, shaky and tried their best to follow the outline that I had drawn with a pencil. As I have improved, I learned that I could make less detailed pencil work, and I could let the ink do most of the details. As you practice more, your confidence builds, and your skill will gradually improve.
      3. Pencil if you must. There are some challenge-takers of Inktober that believe that one must only use pure ink in their work. Well, that is their path. Do not be afraid to take your own path. If you must pencil in your work before you can ink them, then go for it! The important thing is that you will be inking it later, and by doing so, you will be improving yourself. However, I would recommend that you do not put too much detail with your pencil works. Perhaps just focus on the basic form, placement of elements and probably a guide on the light and shadow. Detailing with ink is different that detailing with ink.
      4. Do not be afraid to experiment. Get out of your comfort zone. Try things you have not tried before. Are your lines too clean and flat? Try variations in line thickness to add weight to  your illustrations. Try shading with crosshatching. Try a different subject matter. Why not try using ink brushes for an art piece? It does not matter what the result is – as long as you are trying and learning.

I try to have a positive view with Inktober, despite being a very time intensive challenge. I admit that I cannot draw everyday. In fact, I am trying my best to catch up with the daily prompts because my time is limited, and I have to balance things out between work, and an internet challenge, among other things. However, I believe that the core of this challenge is about self-improvement. If you haven’t tried drawing in ink before, now is a good time to start. I hope you like ink as a medium!

Happy inking.

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Inktober Day 5: Chicken

inktober-10-4-2018-chicken

Completed on October 4, 2018

I have to admit, this was my initial drawing for the “Roasted” prompt. However, when I completed it, and saw that a “Chicken” was on a prompt later on, I shelved this, and drew another one. I am not one with a lot of free time that I can throw out a potential prompt that I have finished… So, yeah…

I am still catching up with all the prompts, specially since my time does not necessarily allow me to sit down to do drawings… Fortunately, this year has been one of my better Inktober runs. My decision to use the prompts have been very helpful.

Why using prompts for inktober is helpful?

Well, you can spend your time focusing on the prompt while figuring out what to draw. If all else fails, a simple drawing with the prompt could work. While it may not leave you with that satisfying feeling of accomplishment, at least you have one day marked off your list. This is much more effective than starting out the day with “what will I draw for today?” With a prompt, you can have a more concentrated effort, rather than a much too wide of a choice on what to do. It can be pretty taxing, and as the days progress into the month, you will come to a time when you are burnt out and out of ideas.

How is your inktober progress?

Have a nice day.

Are Blogs Still Relevant?

woman holding pen with white printer paper
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Hello everyone. How was your weekend?

I haven’t written anything in here in the past few days because I have been busy with working on our store and on weekend chores.  However, as I was figuring out what to talk about today, it got me thinking, are blogs still relevant? Or did other forms of media replaced it and put it in the back-burner? Is this another case of “video killed the radio star?”

More people in my wife’s family watch video than read things. I also noticed that when it comes to reading, they would either be reading instant messages from friends and family, or scrolling through social media posts.

I understand that watching a video can be more entertaining than reading. I would rather watch my shows than read a huge pile of text. But there are exceptions.  Given the right pile of text, no matter what the thickness of the book, I’d dive deep in it if I find it interesting enough.

Which returns me to my initial question… Are blogs still relevant? Are the words typed out by people about their lives and musings still mean anything to most people these days? Is this why video blogging is such a growing market now?

I really don’t know. Perhaps these are the musings of a blogger that is geared towards increasing his viewership and subscribers…

In other news, since I was terribly busy in the weekend, my Inktober work also got left behind. It’s time to play catch-up! Yay. Fortunate for me that with my decision to use the official prompts this time, at least I know what to concentrate my designs on… I just need to decide and put them in ink and paper.

Until next time. If you like my posts please consider subscribing.

Have a nice day.

Inktober 2018 Day 1: Poisonous

Inktober-10-2-2018

Completed on October 2, 2018

I’m working off the official prompt this year, to hopefully help me get more work done for Inktober this year.

I had difficulty with this work, mainly because it involved fluid in a glass sphere… Also, it was supposed to have someone looking at the poison, but I could not make the right proportions. I’m very rusty with my drawings.