Inktober 1-5

"I always think of shade as being full of light. That is why I like to use the word shade rather than light and shadow. Shade seems to play over the thing, envelop it, better define it, while shadow seems to fall on the thing and stain the surface with darks."
John Sloan

Hi there! It's week one of the Inktober Challenge and my THIRD year of participation, yay. This month I will make a concerted effort to do something with ink every day. Even with two birthdays in our house, Halloween and the ramp-up to NaNoWriMo which my kids and I are doing again in November. That's a novel-writing challenge.

I definitely encourage you to do a monthly challenge of some sort at least once each year! If you haven't done so, I think you will be surprised at how ENERGIZING it is to do an online creative challenge, as long as you are careful not to see it as a competition. It's a little gift to yourself, to give yourself time & space to grow in some facet of your life. Every June & July I facilitate the Index-Card-a-Day Challenge which is a 61-day challenge with a 3-ring circus of prompts and mad fun. So I've witnessed year after year of excitement, of artists blooming and growing in their skills and in confidence. It's thrilling to be part of it. I do see folks drop out of the challenge for a lot of different reasons, sometimes because they start comparing their art to the stuff others post. Or the challenge gets overwhelming. Or they get stuck on a particular prompt {and yes, I go blank on some prompts, but I sure do like to write prompts}. Or life gets out of control. I get it. But try anyhow. Go in with a positive attitude and just see what happens. It's a low risk thing, right? And what if you have fun!?

So for Inktober I decided to go completely off-prompt and do my own thing. For the first half of the month my plan is to make these 4x6" abstracts on watercolor paper, trying to make cards that are visually interesting and somehow pleasing to the eye with some sort of balance. Later I think I'll play with white space and maybe visual weight? I don't know! That's the thing. I don't really plan this stuff ahead. But I'm curious to see where this leads. I might do some dip pen stuff too... 

In 2014 I drew mandalas in a combination of gouache and india ink to better understand how they interact, when they interact, etc. etc. In 2015 I worked to improve my brush pen skills. Here are my Inktober pages for 2015 {one two three four sets}. Last year, I posted a video of lettering with a Kuretake brush pen

PS. Follow the link to cards 6-12, where I add dip pen lettering to the mix!