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Inktober 2016 // Week One Recap

I’m not a stranger to drawing deadlines. When I was cartooning I would do about two cartoons a week. When I was working on “Guaiyayon Na Trongkon Mansanita” I was on a pretty strict two to three drawings a day schedule. Deadlines are stressful, even when you’re doing something you’re passionate about. It’s a bit easier to stay motivated when you’re held accountable by an editor or a publisher. This month I’m doing a drawing challenge and I don’t have anyone to answer to except for myself. Self accountability can either hurt you or make you stronger. I’m hoping I can whip myself into illustration shape. Inktober is kind of the Cross Fit of art challenges.

inktober

Inktober is a 31 day drawing challenge that was created by the artist, Jake Parker. He started the challenge in 2009. I can’t remember when I first heard about it, but I think I learned about it from a You Tuber. I never committed to the challenge before. I would always do a day or two and then lose motivation.

This year, for some reason, I’m really trying to commit to the full marathon of it. And It might seem a bit silly, but I’m really proud to say that I completed a whole week of the challenge and fully intend to cross the finish line.

I’m using the prompt list that is posted on Jake Parker’s site. Prompts are an awesome tool for artists. Cartooning is basically drawing with prompts thrown out at you by society and politicians. Illustrating a book involves working with prompts from the author. So I like the challenge of prompts and the official list is single word prompts, which gives artists a lot of flexibility. There are lots of other Inktober prompt lists available on the internet too. I noticed a lot of witchy prompts and spooky themed prompts on Instagram. I think some artists also come up with their own personal lists. I might try that next year.

picsart_09-12-03.12.17.jpgI made a mini haul purchase from Jet Pens to prep for Inktober. I needed new pen nibs and I really wanted to try Prismacolor’s Col-erase pencils out. I’m loving them! Seriously, I think they’re great for sketching and they do erase pretty well. Look out for a review later this month. I’m also using Deleter ink, Copic markers – mostly in grey tones, and Sakura Microns. By the way, Jet Pens is a great place to order supplies online. If you spend over $25 they ship for free, even to Guam! I love them and I’m not getting anything to say that. I just really appreciate being able to buy supplies at a reasonable price and not having to pay double for shipping.

Art supplies are fun, but I have to say that a great part of this challenge is that you don’t need a ton of special supplies. All you need is ink and paper. A ball point pen would do. And there is a lot of great artwork out there done entirely in ball point pen.

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I’m documenting my Inktober experience on Instagram and Twitter. Both those feeds are embedded in this blog, but I’d love for you to follow me on either platform: @illusdreted. Are you doing the Inktober challenge? If you are, comment with your Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat username so I can follow you! And if you’re looking for some drawing motivation or inspiration check out the hastags: #inktober & #inktober2016 . There are artists all over the world participating. They use all kinds of different techniques and are of all skill levels. It’s kind of become a world wide online gallery allowing you to observe artists’ work as they challenge themselves and grow. Thank you, Jake Parker!

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Easy Inktense Nail Art for World Watercolor Month 

I like the way watercolor nail art looks. I’ve seen the tutorials online for a while, and have wanted to try it out but I can totally see myself making a huge mess of it. So I set out to find a way to get a similar result with out so many opportunities for me to make a mess of my hands and whatever work space I’m occupying.

Why not use actual art supplies? A paint brush has got to be a lot easier to work with than a piece of plastic. And nail polish is pretty thick, unlike watercolors. I guess you could use cheap nail polish, but what if you just used watercolors? Watercolors might drip right off of a glossy base. So you’ll need a matte base. And how do you get the watercolor to not react to your top coat? That’s where Derwent’s  Inktense pencils come in. These pencils are similar to watercolor pencils, except their workability stops when they dry. Hence the “ink” part of the name.

So here’s what you’ll need:

  • A light base nail polish – I used OPI’s I Cannoli
  • A clear matte polish – I used Revlon’s Transforming Effects Top Coat Matte 790
  • Small paint brush(es)
  • Small jar of water
  • Two or three Inktense Pencils – I used Sea Blue, Deep Indigo, & Ink Black
  •  A glossy top coat – I used a super cheapy top coat

Once you gather all of that:

  1. Paint a coat or two of your light base.
  2. After your base is completely dry, apply the matte polish.
  3. After your matte coat is completely dry you can start painting on the watercolor designs. I wet my paint brush and run it against the rim of the jar to make sure it isn’t over saturated. Then I get pigment from the tip of the pencil on to the brush. I painted in layers starting from the lightest color and ending with the darkest. Paint random blobs with the first color. Allow it to dry almost completely. Paint smaller blobs with the second and allow that to dry almost completely. Then paint sparse tiny blobs and wispy swirls with your darkest color.
  4. Once the paint has completely dried paint on your glossy top coat. This should bring out the colors and pattern contrast in your designs. I did two coats of top coat.

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If you do try it out and share it on instagram or twitter please tag me, @illusdreted, so I can admire your work.