Apocalyptic Afternoon

An intense, local brush fire backed by high winds has caused an eerie looking afternoon, as the smoke clouds are back lit by the setting sun. 

It looks like something from a Mad Max movie or from the slopes of Mount Doom, if Mount Doom also had a gas station. 

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Inktober Day 6: Sword (Thoughts)

Here is today’s submission:


I was completely stymied yesterday by the prompt, “long,” which is why I don’t have a submission for day 5. 

However, I refuse to let one day end the enjoyment and challenge that I are the benefits of the whole process of Inktober. 

My thoughts:

  1. This is the second submission that I have used watered down paint (gouache) like ink washes to help provide shading and depth. I don’t own ink washes yet, so I have to make do. 
  2. While I am still experimenting with color vs water ratios and brush strokes and styles, I feel like their use adds a much needed dimension to my submissions. 
  3. This is the first submission so far where I feel it is cohesive stylistically. I have no idea what my personal style may be, but this piece seems unified, which I was pleasantly surprised by. 

Hope you are still enjoying Inktober! 

Feel free to comment or ask questions below! 

Inktober Day 3 Revisited

I decided to take the leap and try painting with ink on a piece I did for yesterday’s prompt. Here is the original:

I watered down some grey paint a lot, so that it would approximate ink, and inked in the water and the pipe. I have to say, it adds some character to the piece and some depth, so that it is no longer just a flat drawing. 

Here it is: 

Each day I learn more and try more. Enjoy!

Inktober Day 4: Underwater (Thoughts)

Here is the submission:

I will admit: water intimidates the heck out of me. A lot. There is a lot of fluid lighting and shadow, in ways that aren’t clear or solid. 

All day, I’ve had no idea how to deal with this prompt. I tried drawing someone cave diving, but I am not too satisfied with how some of it came out. 

Thoughts:

  1. I may need to move into other styles of ink (like dip pens) for some of the more gradient shadows and tints that I can see in my head, but that are hard to communicate with just multiliners and a brush pen. 
  2. Still excited, but also aware of how much I still don’t know.
  3. This is still a learning experience. I will not stop. 

Hope you enjoy all the submissions that people are posting for Inktober! 

Inktober Day 3: Poison (Thoughts & Reflection)

Here is today’s submission:


Today, I was exhausted. I got home from work tired, and steadily lost energy as the night went on. I originally did not think that I was going to draw anything today, which honestly bummed me out a bit at the same time that I knew that things sometimes happen. 

Eventually, though, I remembered that the point of Inktober is to practice daily drawing and to challenge yourself, so I decided to draw anyways. Additionally, I decided to throw caution to the wind and go straight to the brush pen after the initial pencil sketch. 

Here is what I gleaned from today’s work:

  1. The brush pen is incredibly diverse, depending on the angle at which you hold it, how you move it, and the amount of pressure you apply. 
  2. Because of the line a brush pen creates, it can also create the illusion of depth or height. For example, on the right side of the pond, there appears to be some distance (a few inches maybe) between the water surface and the ground–all because of the width of the brush pen’s line. 
  3. From start to finish, today’s submission took about 30 minutes. I didn’t over think today’s prompt; once I had an idea, I trusted my gut and ran with it. Additionally, there was no hesitation in the inking or sketching, and I wasn’t intimidated by the empty page. 

I definitely feel like today’s submission was a step forward in the right direction. I am having a great time with this, and will continue on! I look forward to what everyone else submits, as well. 

Feel free to comment below! 

Inktober Day 2: Divided (Reflection and Thoughts)

Here is today’s submission, for those that may have missed it: 


Things I have learned:

  1. Hair is a pain to draw! Haha. Illustrating both shape and individual strands is hard. 
  2. For some reason, even though there is a lot of white space, I really like the right side of the top–the wavy lines of the brush pen seem to go with the skinny lines of the multiliners, and the visual depth (i.e., the person is obviously in front of water that stretches into background) is good (to me, at least). 
  3. I may be overthinking the prompts. It may be the English major in me, but I keep going symbolic, and then find that my limited palette of techniques struggles with my idea. 

On the whole, I am still having a lot of fun, I am learning a lot every day, and I am enjoying the challenges. Additionally, because of the daily drawing, I feel like I am starting to get faster, spending less time nervously staring at an empty page before sketching or inking. 

Hope you enjoy the rest of day 2! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s prompt!

Inktober Day 1: Swift

As I predicted last night, there are certainly many things I don’t know about inking and drawing. However, I am having a blast! My hands are ink-stained, like from grading papers, only this was a lot more fun!

Things I am learning:

  1. I need to work on writing with a brush pen (i.e., my Pentel Pocket Brush Pen). It is crude and lacks style, which was to be expected.
  2. I like the Copic multiliners I have, but need to practice using them to best effect.
  3. Don’t be afraid of said brush pen. It is great for shading larger areas, and for providing the impression of things, like the line of mountains in the distance.
  4. I feel like I am at the very first steps of beginning to start developing a personal art style for non-photographic media.
  5. Notice how I said beginning three different ways? Haha. I have a long way to go, but I am having such a great time with Inktober so far. It is challenging, but in that best of ways, that makes me excited for the days ahead.
  6. Experiment, experiment, experiment! In fact, the first page of my sketchbook is almost entirely dedicated to trying brush strokes and pens out.

Anywho, enough about that. Today’s prompt was “swift,” and I drew someone leaping off a bridge into a lake, something which I am all too aware is thrilling and a swift fall, but well worth it. Well, I drew the moment after the person hits the water, technically.

Here it is: 

I hope you enjoy! Stay tuned for more about Inktober.

Inktober Preview

I found out about Inktober about a week ago. It is a challenge in October to ink something every day and to share it with people. There is even a list of prompts, which can be found here at the founder’s website. 

I haven’t drawn or inked anything serious in my life; the closest I have come is the sketches and doodles in pen on my notes during meetings. Photography has been my chosen medium for a long while. However, I couldn’t resist the chance to stretch myself artistic, try something new, and probbly fail spectacularly–but learning and having fun all the way. 

I have no idea how often I will complete the challenges and post them, but the journey will be worthwhile. Of that, I have no doubt. 

In anticipation, I needed to get some art supplies, which are a 9 x 12 Stillman & Birn Beta Series sketchbook, and a pack of Copic Multiliners (.3, .1, .05, and .03 mm). 

To try out the the pens and get into the spirit of Inktober, as well as break in my new sketchbook, I decided to draw, even if the start is technically tomorrow. Call it a warm-up, haha. 
The whole process from sketching in pencil, lining, erasing the pencil, and inking took around 3 hours, during which I had to remind myself to move around a bit. Here are the photos of the process, as outlined above:

I hope you enjoy Inktober, and I look forward to seeing all the amazing drawings!

Sunrise and God-Rays

I regularly arrive at work before the dawn. I find it more productive to be there early to make copies, answer emails, etc. rather than trying to accomplish those things after a full day’s work. 

As much as possible, I try and step outside and enjoy the stillness and the quiet for a few minutes and to admire the dawn, with its multihued rays. This morning, there was some distant lightning on the way to work, and as I stepped outside for a moment, I had to take a picture of the morning. 

I think you’ll understand why. 

A moment of contemplation and nature in the morning does wonders for the mind, body, and soul. 

Hope you enjoy!

Light Reflected In Tree Sap

On my home to and from work lately, I noticed that some of the trees in my apartment complex leaked sap for some reason. It is as if it happened over night with no build up or progression.

It just appeared one morning, and while the cause is unknown, it has been unchanged since I first noticed it.

One thing that I find fascinating is the way that the drops of sap capture and reflect the light of the world around them. Photography has sharpened my ability to see the world in new ways, and to find beauty and wonder in the otherwise mundane and ignored.

Here they are, enjoy!