It was a hard choice to decide what to draw this month. My initial choice was Victorian cemeteries but we just did Halloween right? So let's do something off the horror path for a little while and go with fantasy creatures. So some of you might be wondering what some of these creatures look like. Here is a massive list of AD&D monster descriptions. Some have images accompanying. See if you can beat the reference illustrations.
I know i cut it a little close. I do apologize. i like to give people some breathing room to prepare for the prompts. Especially since this month we will be watching tons of horror movies! Yes, thats right. Every day this month we will be drawing from a different horror movie. Feel free to substitute at will, but I hope you enjoy my selection. For those of you doing the Inktober challenge you can either make two drawings or why not try combining the two? Happy drawing!
Inktober was created by Jake Parker in 2009 as a means to create better drawing habits and improve his inking skills. After working on my second installment of The Pines I did a self critique and decided I was thrashing some pretty decent pencil work with some pretty atrocious inking. My solution is to join the thousands of artists worldwide who are going to partake in this year's Inktober.
In order to get ready for Inktober I thought I would share some of my favorite ink supplies and where to get them - cheap.
I'm going to kick off this list with everybody's favorite- the graphic pen. I don't personally use them that often but I know a lot of people do. Sometimes you just need one because no other tool will do and they can get really expensive. If I buy Pigma Microns in my local shop I spend about 4 euros each pen. Of course you need a few different sizes for varied line width. The end result is it gets expensive fast.
My solution, assuming you don't need them right away, is mail order. The pens shown are a knock-off brand. The still write very well. The ink is waterproof. You can order a pack of 8 for $4.99 at this shop on AliExpress.
If you are a real stickler and need the real deal Pigma Microns you can pick those up on Ali as well at this shop , 7 pens for $8.00. One of the most awesome things about AliExpress is many of the sellers offer free shipping.
The pens on the left I am including because I like them just a little better than Microns. They are a brand called STA. They do everything a Micron does but the ink seems to last a little longer in these. You can pick them up for less than a dollar per pen
I love these Stabilo pens.I don't use them as often as I would like to. I like the fine liner (point 88 style) because they make sketchy lines when you fill in areas of color. I really want to incorporate more of that into my work.
They come in a variety of colors and two different point styles-the 88 and 68. The 68 is a fatter marker looking tip. You can pick them up most places that sell stationary for about 2 euros a pen. Sometimes you can get them in 12 packs for less than 10 euros.
Bamboo Dip Pens
I know everyone thinks of the crow quill variety when they think of dip pens. I suggest you give bamboo dip pens a try. They make really expressive marks and lines. Definitely not for control freaks as they do seem to have a mind of their own when it comes to line variation. They are excellent for drawing organic elements, animals and foliage.
Depending on where you live and their availability you can pick these up anywhere from a few dollars a pen to "are you freaking serious?". I prefer to make my own. You can pick up bamboo at your garden center or on Amazon. A bundle of it usually costs $5-$8 and will make many many pens. You can find vidoes on making these pens on Youtube , or if you have Skillshare check out Jen Dixon's video.
This pen is the reason I don't use graphic pens more often. My secret weapon- the diamond head gel pen. As you can see this pen gets quite a lot of use. I love it because the ink is water resistant. If you don't go too thick with the ink you can go over it with a wash of water and it won't move. The other really super cool thing I love about this pen is that you can turn it on an angle and do some shading with it like a pencil. When I need a pen for drawing, this is the one I reach for.
You can lay hands on these pens cheap as chips here. As an added bonus you can buy refills for them and save even more money. This seller offers the water resistant ink refills. Not all refills are created equal. I knew a lady who did awesome artwork with gel pens where she would wet and smear the ink. If you are into that kind of thing you can get the non-waterproof refills here.
It seems like over the last few years everyone has jumped on the bandwagon of water brushes and brush pens. I combined the two by sticking my india ink in my water brushes. This way I can mix the ink to the darkness I want it and then label my brushes so I know which one is 100% ink and which is a 25% wash. The points on these say nice and sharp. I've had ink in them for some months now and if I keep the caps on they do not dry out.
You can get them here in packs of 3 varied sizes (S,M,L) or buy them individually.
Chinese Calligraphy Brushes
I bought these brushes on a whim a few years ago because I wanted to see what the hype was about natural hair brushes and I thought they looked cool. They are now among my favorite art tools. I love them for both inking (in a smaller variety) and watercolor. They hold a ton of water/paint/ink. The tips come to a fine sharp point when wet and are great for painting in details, while the same brush can be used to fill in large areas of color. You can find them easily at a range of prices by doing a search on AliExpress for "calligraphy brushes". I usually pay $1-$2 each.
Chinese Calligraphy Waterbrush
I don't use these as a waterbrush though they do have the function of being filled with water. They do not have a cap so I don't know how well they would hold ink -never tried. I am including them in my list because I like the brush quality just a little better than some of the calligraphy brushes out there. They seem to hold more water and have a sharper point.
You can pick them up for $1 a brush at this shop. You get a choice of SML in white or brown brustles. Typically the brown bristles are stiffer with more snap than the white bristle brushes which are softer.
Chinese Calligraphy Brushes - Small
These are my absolute favorite for inking linework. I have tested out my fair share of small calligraphy brushes trying to find one that makes the finest most controlled marks and this one really does it for me. The lines they make are very expressive and don't look like lines made by western paint brushes. I think you have to test them out to see what I mean.
I bought them at this shop. Even with shipping they come out to about $1 per brush. Don't let the name fool you they are not made from real wolf hair. It is actually a type of weasel called a "mouse wolf".
These brushes are on the shorter fatter end of the spectrum for rigger brushes. Unfortunately they shop that I bought these from no longer carries them. They are synthetic hair and make sharper straighter lines than Chinese calligraphy brushes. I guess you could say they are the crow quill of the brush world. I quite like them even though the marks they make have a bit of a sterile feel. If you are into crisp clean lines I would give these a go. Even though they are a generic brand, I paid a little more for these than my other brushes but they are worth it. I'm sure similar products can be found at just about and art supplier in just about every quality you can imagine.
So, that's it for this post. I hope all of you get some enthusiasm for honing your inking skills. It should be fun to have a log of where your skill level was at the beginning of the month vs. where is ended up by the 31st. So happy inking and remember ------------------->
Last year I took a landscape painting class at Schoolism (I did a lot of urban landscapes in it as well) and it really helped me with getting over the fear of drawing environments. This past month I have been working a lot on my reboot of The Pines and I have found I have a lot of environments to design, both indoor and outdoor. Out of all of them, the ones with trees give me the most headache. Environments really are important if you want your images to be interesting and convincing. If this list seems overwhelming then definitely give it a shot. I promise by the end of a month you will see an improvement in your work.
I've decided to go ahead and post the August art prompt a little early so it's available for the weekend. This month's art prompt is "Creature Features'. I love to draw from movies and I love creatures so I thought combining the two would be great for drawing practice. If creatures aren't your thing you can always draw your favorite scenes, characters or props from the following film list. Happy sketching!
I have been on the (nearly) daily drawing path since last October. I moved a couple of months ago and took a few weeks off drawing to get packed/moved/unpacked. When I sat down to draw again I had a killer artist block. I really had to push hard to get past it. One of the things I was having the most trouble with was I couldn’t think of anything to draw. I finally got on Pinterest and started looking for writing and drawing prompts to inspire me. Thankfully there were one or two that I liked and it got me going. Sadly, I noticed there were a severe lack of what I call “good ones”. I mostly like ones Halloween or horror themed. Most of them repeatedly listed “draw your favorite animal”, “draw your favorite food”. Well ok that’s something, but when you have a lot of years ahead to draw something every day and every prompt is the same as the next, it’s going to get uninspiring fast. Long story short, I saw a need for art prompts in the world, so I decided to make some. I have made up a full year’s worth in advance of this post. So I have a bit of material to keep me going until I come up with some more. Without further ado, here is my first ever art prompt for the 31 days of July:
Cross Genre, Multimedia Grab Bag
1) Comic book character (already existing or one you’ve designed)
2) TV show villain
4) Noir film still
5) Movie character
6) Book villain
8) Video game character
9) Movie prop
10) Environment – Aquatic
11) Post apocalyptic
13) Old car/ truck
14) Comic book villain
15) TV show character
17) Silent film still
18) Environment- Subterranean
19) Video game prop
20) Hot air balloon
21) Diesel punk
22) Post apocalyptic weapon
23) Environment – Interior (any)
24) Book character
25) Movie villain
26) Futuristic car/ truck
27) Ray gun
28) Video game villain
29) Environment- Urban landscape
30) TV show prop
The rules: There are no rules! This list is meant to be an idea starter. If you don’t like one then substitute it with another, come up with your own idea. You don’t have to do them in order. Style listings (Victorian, Steampunk etc) can be anything- clothing, architecture, a prop, an environment. Props can be anything, an example would be a priest’s bible from The Exorcist or Doctor Who’s phonebox. Environments don’t need to be detailed- draw a hallway. The idea is to get you thinking about perspective/ spacial awareness. Use a reference. Draw from imagination. Have fun. Use any medium. Experiment. Draw as many days as you can, but strive for all 31. Good luck!