Day 22. Tess rocking a Afro-Goth-ish hairstyle with matching outfit and makeup. She will eventually be wearing a look like this in the comics I’m planning for her.
I wanted to follow the official prompt, “Ghost” but couldn’t get the thing I wanted to do to work during the drawing session before work. It’s the sort of thing I would have to thumbnail out, and I simply don’t have time to do that – if it’s so complex I have to thumbnail it, it’s too complex for me to do in my spare time. So I switched to “Hairstyle” from the Temperature 1 set of A.I.nktober prompts, and to a sketch that I had started earlier.
New toys: because the Faber-Castell PITT brush pen wasn’t sufficiently eraser-proof for me, I bought some Pigma Sakura brush pens to try instead. They’re fun to work with but also no match for my habit of erasing vigorously. In fact, I ended up smearing some of the ink over unused areas of my paper and had to process the image more than I wanted to in order to get that cleaned up. Colors were done digitally in Autodesk Sketchbook on iPad Pro.
Day 21: In the tomb of “Victor William Babbage”, Tess and Abby discover the true treasure it has hidden for 150 years.
Sometimes, they don’t turn out right. I’m tired, I’m a little sick and this one was a little outside my comfort zone to start with. I had the same problem almost exactly a year ago, with drawing no. 22 of that year’s Inktober.
They say done is better than perfect, but is done better than good? It may well be, because I’m doing development for a comic and now I can see what I need to work on to get that sequence to look right.
Pitt brush pen & Staedler fine liners on A5 illustration board, Affinity Photo on iPad Pro. The brush pen turns out to be not quite eraser resistant, which means that I will have to try something else.
Day 20: Tread. This is not a unique interpretation of the prompt nor is it a particularly complex drawing, but for me it’s a return to trying to tell the story of Tess and her gang. These are Absolute Unit and Abby’s footprints in the snow. His are massive; hers are small. Neither appear to be wearing shoes.
Technically, I wanted to focus more on the fact that these drawings are first and foremost brush pen and paper. I wanted to see if I could tone-correct and process them without losing the paper texture. First thing I did was make the paper texture more obvious by drawing on the side of the paper that has the stronger, coarser grain. I drew the image, scanned it and instead of correcting the levels in Pixelmator, I took the image directly to my iPad and used the Develop controls in Affinity Photo to make the black blacker while keeping the other tones almost the same. It works and I’ll be doing that more often. Next time, I will try and see how that texture affects coloring an image.
Day 19: Cat Becomes Abundant. I’m a little under the weather and have spent much of the day either in bed or on the couch with some light reading. But I still wanted to do an Inktober drawing, so here’s another one that I did in a fast and furious way on a small piece of illustration board. The prompt, once again, comes from A.I.nktober: A neural net creates drawing prompts, the temperature 1.4 set. “Cat Becomes Abundant” is a nice prompt to take very literally. This sleepy kitty is abundant.
Colors were done in Autodesk Sketchbook on Mac, using the free Inktober brush set plus some of the default brushes. It turns out that the brush pen in the Inktober brush set is a pretty close match to the dried-out brush pen I used to do the cat’s fur.
Day 18: Misfit. But also Camel. I combined the official prompt and the AInktober prompt (Temperature 1.0 this time), like some other people have done. Giraffes and camels don’t even thrive in the same environments, and as much as one might argue that Cervus Camelopardalis is sort of like a camel, it won’t work.
I worked smaller on this one, because I drew it during my lunch break and wanted to focus on the essentials more. For part of the image, I used a Pigma brush pen that, it turned out, had seen better days. I tried to embrace the dry-brush effect but after inking the camel and the giraffe on the right, I had had enough of that and switched to the Faber-Castell Pitt brush that made a smoother line. I’m not sure the difference is clear on the scanned and processed image but it was clear to me as I was drawing it. Some errors fixed in Sketchbook on iPad Pro.
Day 17 and the official prompt is “Ornament”. This morning, that didn’t inspire me and with as little time to work on these things as I have, you gotta come up with something fast, so I took a look at the prompts from AInktober: A Neural Net Creates Drawing Prompts, especially the Temperature 1.4 set. “Ornery Beach Sheep” fit my mood exactly.
This was drawn entirely in traditional media with minimal touch-ups. I may readapt this later into some folk horror thing with the ornery sheep in a cornfield or desert, burning a wicker sheep.
Day 16: Wild. Absolute Unit again. Just trying to develop the character a little more. From the look of him, it’s, er, clobberin’ time? Something like that anyway. If I’m going to use Copics to color again, I should work at a smaller size and that should also allow me to get proportionally thicker lines more easily.
Day 15: Legend. Inside the tomb of “Victor William Babbage”, Tess and Abby find a stairway that leads to a catacomb, whose walls are lined with not one, but two legendary machines of the mid-19th Century. And their journey of discovery is not yet over!
I thought this was going to take me two days to draw, but I found a solution (solution was to half-ass it).
Day 14: Overgrown. Tess and Abby are back in our world now, and are investigating a tomb attributed to Victor William Babbage. They have reason to believe the tomb is not what it seems, and the name is a clue.
I said I was going to go back to traditional art after two fully-digital one, but the digital process right now works better for me, because I’m on a long weekend and the schedule does not include a long interruption while I’m at work. Working digitally, I can just power through instead of waiting for ink to dry.
Inktober 2019, Day 13: Ash. After crossing the lake of molten lava and landing their dragon (a motherfucking dragon! Whoop!), Tess and Abby find themselves in a peaceful meadow, at the center of which is a large ash tree.
“What’s so special about this tree?” asks Abby.
While looking for ash trees to draw for this challenge, I saw a photo showing one that had a familiar shape. My first thought was “It’s a Steeleye Span tree”, and then I realized that there was a reason that band featured that specific tree on several of their album covers. Yggdrasil, the tree of life, happens to be an ash.
Like the last one, this one was done entirely in digital media. I’m going back to traditional tomorrow, but it was nice not to have to worry about smearing, blobbing, waiting for ink to dry and getting my pen caught in the grain for a while.