I am sad to see October end and with it the end of Inktober. I had such a blast participating in the challenge this year, and it's really encouraged me to continue my daily sketchbook practice. Yet, not having a daily prompt has left me a bit frazzled. I sat down and thought of the subjects I would like to get better at drawing. First and foremost, people, so that's exactly where I began. I thought it might be interesting to share some of my process. I went to a word generator and tried to pick out some random adjectives that would relate to a person and their expressions. You can see a cropped and scratchy list of them on the leftmost sketchbook page. The first word was 'amused' but I kind of gave up on this entire idea, and later began a sketch on top of it without any clear direction. Funnily enough it was a girl and she did look pretty amused, so the plan was put back in action. But what was she looking at? First I thought a cat, but then possibly fish. I then made a transfer, which you can see on the second sketchbook page, and my thoughts flowed to the cold weather, and then to the wild animals I saw on a nature walk last week. Suddenly she's bundled up and looking at a chipmunk. The first chipmunk I drew in her hands was a pretty unrecognizable blob, so using references I drew a more accurate friend for her. For the final sketch I made another transfer and tried to round out the idea.
It's fascinating to watch thoughts play against one another and flow onto the page, connections are constantly being made. Doing research and finding references is another really exciting part as well. Everything that making an illustration requires is so fascinating to me. It's exactly like a puzzle, beginning it, building up, putting things together, breaking down, getting rid of things, adding, experimenting. I love it. I love trying to figure it all out.
This month is going to be really different than last month. It's always a little scary when a routine you've gotten comfortable with changes, but I do know that it will be a month full of adventures and experiences that will give me plenty of fresh inspiration. The most important thing will be to give myself the space and time to get ideas onto paper and then make them into some incredible illustrations.
Let's do it.