It’s October 2nd. I should have started yesterday. However, I’ll make up the time! October is my very favorite month and a truly beautiful time in Arizona. So here we go, welcome to Inktober!
Feel free to join in – if you have a blog and are participating, comment away so that future readers can see your work too! I will accept either analog or digital ink. Maybe if we can get some participation, I can do a little art show at the beginning of the month!
Here is day 1:
Here is day 2:
(Need art supplies like I do? Dick Blick.com has some amazing sales and fantastic products for anyone who is interested. A small portion of the proceeds from any purchase you make by using this link will go to support Mindflight. I buy from Blick, and I’ve never found a better art store!)
Happy Inktober Day number 26! I missed yesterday so today’s a tip, too.
If you are drawing anything with hard edges, your work will look so much better if you use sharp, clean lines and good perspective. So, how can an enterprising artist keep their fluid, natural lines and combine them with correct mechanical structures without the whole thing looking stiff?
I find that what works best is to rough out my drawing in pencil, so that things still look natural, and then use a clear plastic ruler to redraw anything that needs to be exact. Simple!
That way the woman at the table can still have her beautiful, flowing hair and her frilly dress, but the stripes on her tablecloth will be even and the legs straight. Or the wild horses can still look dynamic and three dimensional, while the old fence posts they are standing near still stand straight and tall with good parallel lines. Think of how the impact might be different if those posts were drawn with wavering unrealistic lines. A great opportunity for contrast would be completely lost.
Paying some attention to how things are really shaped, even in your sketches, will give your work a more grounded, realistic look and bring a hint of professionalism. To me, nothing is sadder than seeing an artist draw a really beautiful figure, animal, or natural landscape – then completely ignore the structure of the piece, so the setting looks skewed and lopsided because none of lines are straight, even when they are supposed to be. It’s a fast way to ruin an otherwise beautiful work.
Best of all, this problem is not only easy to fix, but helps train your eye to be a better artist!
This Easter, I wanted to make a card for my Mom. She loves Beatrix Potter so I decided to at least approximate her art style. Trying to copy another artist’s style, especially one that is very different from your own, can actually teach you a lot about process and even improve your normal work.
I began by choosing an image and analyzing the materials.
In this case, the painting was made with watercolor and fine ink pen. The strokes were delicate and the effect pleasingly mottled.
I thought about using watercolor, but decided to use colored pencils instead so I could get a similar effect with less room for failure. I used a combination of a brush pen and a very fine manga pen to at least partially approximate the original work.
I looked at how the lines were laid down, the weights, the way the shading was done. I then decided which elements were important to keep and which weren’t. I tried to copy the shapes, the line style, in what I did.
I also decided I didn’t want to deal with a background. Even though I didn’t end up with a perfect copy, I still had fun – you may too if you try this. It’s a great way to explore new techniques and materials.