Inktober 2017: Day 24 (Blind)

Image: Inktober 2017 - Day 24 (Blind)

Kung Fu Trash Panda: Blind Fury. Time to take out the garbage!


Based on a doodle I made while waiting for a meeting to start. The doodle was originally way more cartoonish, and the final drawing sort of evolved as the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack came on. Coincidence?

I tried to keep the gender ambiguous. Looked a bit at clothes for martial arts, and raccoons to get the fur pattern right. No pose references used for this one...

Original doodle:

Sketch

Inktober 2017: Day 23 (Juicy)

Image: Inktober 2017 - Day 23 (Juicy)

When the cat's away, make a smoothie?


Zero references with this one. My ink lines are still way too thick and uneven. Maybe I shouldn't draw tiny details on A5 paper...

Inktober 2017: Day 16 (Fat)

Image: Inktober 2017 - Day 16 (Fat)

"Hi! Wanna play?"


Couldn't sleep, so I'm continuing my struggle with perspective and anatomy, featuring a pudgy gryphon baby (kit, cub?) this time! First one I've ever drawn I think. Normally I would consider this type of drawing way too hard. Turned out surprisingly well, although if I keep staring at it I'll have to throw it away because I keep spotting glaring issues. :(

I had some inking accidents, but decided to use my white ink pen to fix them rather than redoing the entire thing. Turns out that the white ink blends pretty well when smudged. The most exciting thing for me about this drawing is that I didn't use any references for the pose. That is, the entire thing is pretty much from my imagination.

For most other Inktober drawings I've had to find a handful of references that resembles the creature or pose I'm trying to achieve, then look at them when I'm uncertain about perspective and certain details. While this still allows me to get my idea on paper, it can take hours to find references that are close enough, and even then I sometimes struggle filling the gaps; it's both restrictive and frustrating.

Being able to draw purely from imagination is one of my goals. Maybe not as a result of this year's Inktober, but it's something I want to be able to achieve.

Inktober 2017: Day 22 (Trail)

Image: Inktober 2017 - Day 22 (Trail)

On the trail.


It's always fun trying to come up with a good idea to draw. So far each prompt has given me at least one good idea, but that idea is usually way too complex or elaborate, more suitable for a comic book or something I'd spend days on painting digitally. In this case, one of the first ideas involved a hunting party (or pack) and rather detailed backgrounds. That's not something I could pull off reliably within a reasonable timeframe.

I do this when programming too; I envision the finished project, including a host of use-cases that may not even come up in practice. When I was younger, this was a major cause of project stagnation; I suddenly had a mountain of tasks, not knowing where to begin. It's not a good thing to do, because it instills a feeling of daunting futility before you even get started.

Nowadays I just scope projects down to a Minimum Viable Product, which makes the entire thing much more manageable. It also ensures that the vast majority of work will not be wasted effort. This has become so routine that I rarely realize I'm doing it; anything not part of the Minimum Viable Product plan is put in a separate pile for later evaluation, allowing me to focus on the important parts.

I don't know why I haven't applied this to art before; it's a very similar scenario where ambition without matching skill or resources produce worse results. Realizing my own limitations and timeboxing each drawing forces me to come up with a variation of the idea that is more feasible, or come up with another idea entirely that fits the daily prompt.

For this one, I originally simplified the idea to a few paw prints, before I decided to throw in some visual perspective and draw an actual paw.

Inktober 2017: Day 5 (Long)

Image: Inktober 2017 - Day 5 (Long)

Lóng... Python hybrid thing?


Started drawing a Chinese-style dragon head, then it became a snake? I don't know how I ended up there. Side effect of too much Python programming?

My ink brush lines are getting better, though I really do wonder if the uneven thickness is more due to the paper than a lack of skill on my part. Many of those lines were continuous with more or less constant speed. The ink just pools so fast on the slightest contact. I should be able to draw thinner lines. Resorted to using fineliners for the mane.

Inktober 2017: Day 21 (Furious)

Image: Inktober 2017 - Day 21 (Furious)

Vengeance fueled fury


This one got a bit dark. Possibly related to my Inktober day 13 drawing, I'm not quite sure. Lots of stray ideas left from that world building session.

I wanted to add a bunch of more details to this, but I was already pushing the limits of what I can do currently. This would've been a lot easier to improve digitally. Can't zoom in and scale the brush tip with physical pen and paper... At least I figured out my black ink pens are dark enough to overpaint with. Now I just need to figure out how to reliably fake opacity!

Inktober 2017: Day 19 (Cloud)

Image: Inktober 2017 - Day 19 (Cloud)

"Just throw the data in The Cloud*!"


Rushed through this one. I think I like the concept more than the actual drawing.

* Not an accurate depiction of cloud storage.

Inktober 2017: Day 20 (Deep)

Image: Inktober 2017 - Day 20 (Deep)

Bioluminescent cavern.


Bought some new Sakura Gelly Roll Moonlight pens and ended up drawing some weird scenery. The store only sold separate pens and I forgot to buy a blue one. Oh well...

Inktober 2017: Day 13 (Teeming)

Image: Inktober 2017 - Day 13 (Teeming)

The dragon's lair teemed with toys and trinkets; gifts from the local town.


Based on a stray thought that snowballed into something bigger. Had to stop myself before going too deep into world building territory.

I only used fineliners this time. Don't quite trust myself with an ink brush and these many details.


My process so far has been to start with an idea, then sketch a very crude concept based on that. The concept serves two purposes: to ensure it makes sense visually, and to see if it's possible to pull off within a 1-2 hour timeframe. This one took just over two hours.

The idea started with the sentence "a hoard teeming with gold". However, it was clear before I even started sketching it out that it would be too complex, so I scoped it down to a single treasure chest.

Concept sketch

Around this point my mind decided that it was entirely too cliché, and went on a world building quest. The dragon turned into an orphan, "adopted" by a nearby town, and... I managed to stop myself somewhere between mapping out the geographical area, and fleshing out the history and culture of said town.

Inktober 2017: Day 15 (Mysterious)

Image: Inktober 2017 - Day 15 (Mysterious)

A raven in front of a solar eclipse. Partly inspired by the weird weather yesterday.


Bought some black paper and a Uni-ball Signo Broad UM-153 Gel Pen with white ink. This was pretty fun to draw with, although I found the ink flow inconsistent at times. The shitty pencil I normally use to sketch out an idea with didn't really work on black paper, so I ended up inking most of the drawing without an underlying sketch.

Turned out way better than expected!