Wednesday, October 7, 2015

InkTober: taking a line for a walk.

It's October and artists everywhere, even digital and 3D masters, are digging out their pens and paper.  Every year hundreds of illustrators and animators join the InkTober Initiative, created by illustrator and teacher Jake Parker. Mr Parker says he started InkTober in 2009 to strengthen his inking skills and develop positive drawing habits.

Digital sketch, Photoshop

Many artists today, especially animators and commercial illustrators, are used to drawing digitally using tablets and programs such as Manga Studio or Adobe Photoshop. Their speed and skill were honed over thousands of hours at the computer, drawing hundreds of animation and concept sketches a day.

Inktober is about returning to the challenge of drawing without a back button. Lines of ink, once laid down, cannot be deleted or edited out with one sweep of the pen. Drawing in ink is about learning to work with the tools we hold in our hands, turning their limitations into assets. Don't be afraid to make mistakes! Seeing where our line is awkward or imperfect helps us do better in the next drawing.

Paul Klee said that drawing was like 'taking a line for a walk'. During Inktober artists are encouraged to stretch, to explore new ground, to see where the line takes them.

Your line can be light and romantic, or infused with a little humour. Feel free to put your uncensored thoughts into your drawing.

Be cartoony or abstract. Fall in love with shapes, with the thickness or thinness of the line. Have a wander.

Or you could focus on developing your technical skill, drawing from careful observation and training your eye and hand to work almost like a machine.

One drawing, one day. Just like your daily walk, you can take as little or as much time as you like. Narrowing your world to one piece of paper and the tip of your pen can open up unlimited possibilities for you. 

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