Five ways to prepare for #INKTOBER success

Are you taking part in Inktober this year? Theres just ONE WEEK left till the start of October, so I thought now would be a good time to post a few ideas to prep for Inktober success.

NOTE: Its worth noting that I have never actually COMPLETED an Inktober- however this year I am determined to complete the challenge, and I’m hoping doing these things will help achieve that. Hopefully they help you too!

1. Collect some inspiration/references
Start to collect some visual reference and look at ink artists that you admire for inspiration. Collecting in a pinterest board helps to pull together a variety of references.

Study your favourite artists ink technique and style, and see if there’s anything you’d like to try out technique-wise this year.

2. Create a theme and plan it out

  • Work out and plan what you are going to draw for the month. This could be a general theme, a specific prompt for each day of the month or using the month to work on a series of images that contribute toward a larger project.
    Having an idea of what you are going to draw each day will save time and make it easier to get started. This was a major hurdle for me in the past, so this year I am spending time planning it out well in advance. If you’d like prompts, Jake Parker has created an official list for this year!

  • I’m going an extra step and doing rough thumbnails in advance so I will have something to draw when it gets busy!! And I don’t have an excuse not to do it.
    I’m not sure if this is strictly within the ‘rules’ of Inktober, but I have decided to do this in order to stick to the challenge.

3. Gather your supplies.

This must be the easiest step! Inktober might be a good time to try out some new supplies and techniques. Prep some paper and ink supplies in advance so you are all ready to go on the 1st of October.

Current favourite pens are ZIG Mangaka flexible pen in black, a cheap Luxor fountain pen and my old secondhand technical pens (shown here is a Staedtler Marsmatic 700- a great pen!).
For paper I really like Zeta paper from Gordon Harris.

SUPPLIES_IMG_0306

4. Practice your technique:

Practice with your brush or pen, and different papers to find a combination you like and start to feel comfortable with. Inktober is a good time to perfect your technique, but having a bit of experience under your belt will help you to jump straight in to your first drawing with some confidence.

Some useful technique resources:

Rendering in Pen and Ink by Arthur Guptill
How to Ink, class on SVS Learn
The Technical Pen by Gary Simmons (great if you use traditional technical pens, such as Rotring or Rapidograph)
Any books by Claudia Nice, especially this one.

inktober-example
trying out ink techniques in a previous inktober challenge

5. Plan a regular daily routine where you have time to draw.

This was one of the main tips Jake Parker mentioned in this video.
I’m planning to wake up early in the morning in order to squeeze in some extra time to complete the daily drawings


+AN EXTRA TIP!

Don’t expect too much from your drawings. I think its important to not put too much into the end result of each illustration- they don’t need to be perfect and you don’t need to post them online if you don’t feel comfortable doing so (though if you do- don’t forget to tag #Inktober and #Inktober2017)

I hope these tips help you- I’d love to know if you are taking part in Inktober, and if so, have you made any plans of what you are going to be drawing?

For more info check out the official website: http://inktober.com/

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illustration friday: WARRIOR

this weeks challenge prompt for Illustration Friday was WARRIOR.

Here is what I came up with:

warrior-coloured-ver
inked and then digitally coloured

and a close up:

warrior-coloured-CU

It is loosely based on a few stories I read in a book about the cultural history of NZ birds- the New Zealand eagle (which was the largest known bird of prey, with a wingspan of up to 2.4m) was written throughout Maori myth and legend as a dangerous bird that preyed upon humans, and was also seen as a bad omen. In this drawing I tried to imagine children re-enacting the myths of warriors who fought against these giant birds of prey.

Here is the colour palette I used:

warrior-colour-palette
you can get the PSD file for this gamut mapper from deviantart!

hope you are all having a great weekend! Check back mid-week for another installment of NZ natural history artist- this weeks artist is Piers Hayman, an ornithological artist who did some really amazing work. Till next time! emma

the 100 days project – sketch-booking!

On April 6th an interesting challenge starts- #The100DaysProject, run by ElleLuna and The Great Discontent.

Quoted from the website:

It’s a celebration of process that encourages everyone to participate in 100 days of making.

– The Great Discontent

You choose one creative thing to do everyday for 100 days- from April 6th to July 14th, and post your results on social media.

I have never done a challenge that lasted so long, the longest was probably last years Inktober– and to be honest I did not create something every day.

Continue reading “the 100 days project – sketch-booking!”

illustration friday: OUTSIDE

here is my first illustration friday (that’s met the deadline) since sometime last year!

OUTSIDE

The theme is OUTSIDE.

graphite and digital colour

I had fun playing with the colour palette on this one. I am trying to map out colour gamut’s (as outlined in James Gurney’s wonderful book ‘Color and Light‘), using a YRMBY colour wheel and then setting up a limited colour palette before I start work on a digitally coloured piece. It certainly will take some more practice but is turning out to be pretty fun to learn about- even if I’m not quite there yet!

I recommend the following tutorials if you are interested in finding out more (short of reading the book!):

This video is the best explanation from James Gurney himself.

* Instructable on digital colour gamut mapping

* Zoe Piel’s informative video on selecting a limited colour palette in PS

and of course information from Gurney Journey:

Gamut Masking Method Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

I can’t wait to keep developing this colour idea.

Happy Easter everyone!

emma

52 weeks of hand lettering

Sometimes I feel like there are so many different things I want to try and work on and have trouble focussing on just one thing to get better at it. While I have goals for all the different areas of illustration that interest me (children’s book, scientific, lettering, animation) it seems there just isn’t enough time to devote to all the areas consistently to get better at any of them. I think my major focus for this year will be to keep working on improving my basic drawing skills and developing more of a natural history + scientific illustration portfolio, but with a focus on communicating scientific concepts + research to children. Of course, I really want to keep all the other areas going as well! With that in mind, I thought it would also be fun to have a lettering goal for the year. It had to be relatively easy to achieve ( why I chose 1 per week instead of every day!) and low-pressure (ie it doesn’t matter if its not perfect- just to have fun!).

Here are my first two of the year- both took about 30mins, using tombow brush pens.

week1--thoreau030

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week2--freedom029

Continue reading “52 weeks of hand lettering”

inktober complete+ NOVEMBER calendar download

happy november! last week was the last of inktober 😦 I’ve really enjoyed the challenge and definitely think I’ve discovered my favourite inking method (brush and india ink). In the past I’ve always avoided using ink because I can’t seem to get my head around the technique but this challenge was a good way to try to start conquering my ink fears!!

Due to other things going on, I only managed to get one ink drawing done this week:

butterflies-nov008

‘nature study’

AND I thought I’d make it into a free calendar for you to download! Just click the image below and you’ll be able to download the full resolution A3 image. Hope it helps with your end of year planning!!

November-calendar-drawingescape-web

Hope you are enjoying your weekend. Check back tomorrow as I’ve got a very exciting giveaway (the first on this blog!!).

emma

inktober week 3 round-up

just one week left of the inktober challenge! I haven’t been inktober-ing every day of the week- mainly because I’ve been focussing on getting an illustration portfolio all made up (a big job!!)- but have been trying to make 3 or 4 inked pieces a week.

toucamn-two-web

toucan-photograph-web

more toucan drawings! a sort-of story line is developing with them…

This week I also got hold of a pack of Sharpie Brush tip markers in a bargain bin at the Warehouse Stationery (I think I’ll do a full review of these too at some stage). I’ve been trying them out a bit too as you can see below- I got the ‘fashion colors’ set; lovely bright colours of lime green, aqua, hot pink and purple.

 

mary-oliver-quote030-web

drawn onto a piece of recycled cardboard…those pens bleed right through regular paper!

then corrected in photoshop:

mary-oliver-quote-edited

 

All set for the last week of Inktober? I’ll be sad when its over!!

see you in a couple of days with a newly reviewed Illustrated book of the Month.

emma

inktober week 2

second week of Inktober is over! Here are the inky sketches I did this week- all india ink with calligraphy brush:

forget-me-knot010

a forget me not flower sprig (really close up) because they are everywhere at the moment. It kinda looked better in my head…

Then I thought I’d try and expand on the little Toucan character that I sketched out a few weeks back (apparently that was actually a few months ago!!), and that ended up being what I did for the rest of the weeks sketches:

toucan_3009_crappy-paper

compare this, to this…

toucan_3008

the difference a good paper makes! The first was done on cartridge paper, the second in a cheap Montmarte watercolour (190gsm) sketch book. I have found my favourite inking paper and will be doing all the rest of my inktober sketches on it.

toucan_3007

and

toucan_3006

Thats all for this week of the challenge.Are you taking part in Inktober? Have you managed to do a sketch for every day so far?

emma

inktober challenge is here!

Hi everyone,

I hope you enjoyed the mini sketchbook tutorial! If you haven’t seen it yet- check it out- its an easy little project to make despite the length of the post!!

October is here- and that means a new challenge that I’ve been waiting to take part in for a few months now- INKTOBER!!

Inktober is a challenge that was created by illustrator Jake Parker in 2009 as a way to practice his inking skills- now its a worldwide phenomenon that artists take part in! The idea is that you make an inked drawing every day for the 31 days of October, then if you want, post it online with the hashtag #inktober. There are some awesome resources on the website, I recommend checking it out!

This year I’m taking part and will be posting every day on my instagram account– and will do a weekly round up of all 7 drawings here on the blog.

Here is my first drawing (was also part of a skillshare class I’m taking part in!)

endangered-species-illustration_inked

endangered species- inked with a kuretake brush pen!

I better hop to it to get todays drawing done!

Are you taking part in this years Inktober challenge? If you are please leave a comment with your website/instagram/tumblr/facebook below so we can all follow along with the work that you do!

emma