@JakeParker via Instagram
Inktober Sketching Inspirations
It’s finally here! October means Inktober and that means 31 days of drawing and sketching. Share sketchbook pages, drawings, napkin doodles and more on social media with #Inktober for all to see. And, what’s more? Be sure to include the official hashtags (#inktober and inktober2017) and tag us @artistsnetwork on Instagram with your drawings for a chance to win some great prizes throughout the month!
Started by Jake Parker in 2009, this month’s movement is meant to motivate artists of all skill levels around the world — including you — to practice art every day. Join in!
Get Ready to Draw
- Professional instruction is important in developing good drawing skills, but it isn’t everything. Practice is free and you can do it right now. Take your pen and don’t waste any more time. Warm up with a series of nested circles or draw a series of dots and connect them. Get the ink flowing and more will come.
- Think of drawing as a pleasant pastime, a process of searching and exploring. If you view the drawing process as some sort of test, you will only increase the pressure and decrease the pleasure. Learn instead to think of the drawing process as a form of freedom. Grab a sketchbook, and don’t be afraid to scribble and play.
Beginner Sketching Tips
Dozens — even hundreds! — of design applications are possible with pen and ink. Once you have explored some of the possibilities, you can begin to specialize. The pen-and-ink sketch above was done with a lightfast and permanent nylon-tip pen.
Many pens are labeled “permanent” but that refers to the non-smear property, meaning they dry fast and do not dissolve with moisture. This, however, does not mean they can resist fading from sunlight–those pens are labeled “lightfast.” Fine and ultra-fine are some of the tip sizes they come in. Choose many, choose often, and now you can choose wisely!
Use Hatching and Crosshatching to Apply Tone With Pen and Ink
Fine art subjects such as the marine scene here can be quite successful with pen and ink, but the usual tone application as done with graphite will not work with ink. Use other means to suggest a value other than black.
Use hatching, a series of close parallel lines, or crosshatching, a series of crisscross lines, to create a three-dimensional appearance. Small dots made with the pen at varying densities will also work to make tonal values.
Sketch by Marc Taro Holmes
InkTober Sketching Resources
You’ll find more books and resources, prompts, tips and projects on sketching from us this month and (always!) beyond. Let me start with Creating Textures In Pen & Ink With Watercolor from Claudia Nice. It’s the perfect match. Nice will keep you flush with inspirations and ideas for Inktober and you’ll be the creative powerhouse I know you to be, drawing and sketching everything from waterfalls and eyes to marbles and clouds! Enjoy!!
Nice will keep you flush with inspirations and ideas for Inktober and you’ll be the creative powerhouse I know you to be, drawing and sketching everything from waterfalls and eyes to marbles and clouds! Enjoy!!
P.S. Subscribe to the Artists Network newsletter for inspiration, instruction and ideas, and score a free download > Drawing Sketches: Free Sketching Techniques and Expert Tips.