Yesterday I was watching some videos about Inktober projects, and one of them featured a cool technique in which you sketch with water-soluble ink using a fountain pen, and then go over with a water brush to add some shading. I don’t have any water brushes yet, so I just used my watercolor brush to give it a try. And I am pleased with the results! It’s really fun, actually.
For these two sketches, I started with pencil, then used my Pilot Metropolitan (M) and Pilot Namiki Blue/Black to draw the lines on watercolor paper. After waiting for the ink to dry, I erased the pencil then used the brush and water to pull the color from the ink.
For today’s drawing, I skipped the pencil and paper and jumped directly into Adobe Illustrator. I was worried that I might have forgotten some of the sketching-specific tools in Illustrator, but happily, it all came back to me instantly. 😀
I don’t know how I forgot to post this one, but I finished this drawing a while back! Anyways, it changed somewhat from the first iteration, and I ended up having her hold a Fujifilm X100 camera (of course). The reference photo had the model/actress holding a Sony NEX camera, but I prefer Fujifilm so…
Below are some photos and progress images.
October has started and I am following a bunch of artists who are participating in Inktober. Someday I’d also like to try it, but I know that I just don’t have the time every day to devote to it. Right now I am perfectly content to take my daily photo and write a bit about what happened in the day. However, props to those who are tackling Inktober! Much respect.
Tonight I went with my friend Mikey to see The Night is Short, Walk On Girl at the theater and I was blown away! The movie is so fun and crazy, I found myself smiling ear-to-ear almost the whole time. The artwork was really bold and simple, and it was very inspiring. I have some new ideas on how I’d like my next drawing to look like. It’s funny how inspiration can come from some kinds of animation, but not from others. For instance, when I watch Ghibli movies, inspiration never comes to me, but with The Night is Short, Walk On Girl, so many ideas pop up in my mind.
Last week I finished this sketch, but I hadn’t posted about it until today. It started off from a reference photo that I drew from, then I brought it into Illustrator to outline and refine. The pose started off just like the original photo, but I ended up changing it up a bit, also the facial features are different, as well as the hairstyle. I have been thinking about how “original” it has to be to be called your own artwork. I guess it’s a different medium, I’ve altered the pose so it might be enough. Anyways, these are more for practice and not for profit, so I’m not so worried about it. However, I’d like to not use other people’s photos except for practice.
I’ve been adding a little more detail to the eyes while keeping similar shapes as my previous sketches. I guess I like to keep things that work for me and build off of that.
And here’s the sketch that I started from:
Next up is a sketch based off of a photo that I took, so I can have a completely clear conscience when I finish it. ☺️
To see all the sketches I’ve been working on, you can check out the Flickr album “My Sketching Journey”, or my Instagram account barron.sketches which I created just for posting sketches, watercolors, and stationery items.
This evening I worked on this sketch, which was based on a photo I found on Flickr. The first sketch I did was not very good, so I got a little bit discouraged and went straight into Illustrator to trace over the photo. I know that eventually, this will become a digital drawing, so I thought “Why not cheat a bit and get the proportions perfect?” But, the lines I drew looked even worse than the pencil sketch! 😭
So I went back to my original sketch and used my favorite tool, the mighty eraser. 😄 After drawing, erasing, drawing, erasing, etc. I finally finished with what you see in the photo above. I know it will need more adjustment in Illustrator, but I’m pleased that I have a good base to work with.
A came up with a couple of takeaways from this simple experience.
First, when I get stuck on a sketch, I should not be afraid to erase and redo certain parts. In my mind, it has always seemed like a waste in that I spent effort on the first attempt, and that erasing it would remove it forever. But if I think objectively, then why shouldn’t I erase/delete the parts that are not good enough? It’s all part of the longer process to get to a better place. I should really keep that in mind. The eraser is my friend!
I also learned that the pencil sketch is necessary for any new project of mine. It’s fast, and feedback is immediate. The “shortcut” straight to digital is not a shortcut at all (for me at least). It was good to give it a try, though, and see how awful it turned out for me. I know other people can go straight to the computer, but it’s not something I can do. Good to know!
Finally, the experience reinforced the idea that it’s necessary to step back from a sketch, take a little breather, and then continue with some fresh eyes. And also, looking at the same sketch from a different perspective, angle, or even distance/size can help pinpoint problem areas. For instance, I took a photo of the sketch when I thought it was done, but then looking on the small camera display, it didn’t look right. So I worked on it some more until it was good enough for this step in the process.
Anyways, I am planning to work on this some more on the computer this weekend, but I think I have a good basis to start!
To see all the sketches I’ve been working on, you can check out the Flickr album <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/barron/albums/72157684772726464″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>”My Sketching Journey”</a>, or my Instagram account <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/barron.sketches/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>barron.sketches</a> which I created just for posting sketches, watercolors, and stationery items.