I’m working through the Inktober-Classic 2021, creating an ink drawing for every day in October, using the prompts supplied by Jake Parker, who began this annual event in 2009. Since 2020, there has also been an Inktober 52, which offers a single prompt for every week of the year. I’ve done some of those, but not all of them.
NOTE #1: I might get a day or two behind now and then, in October, but I’ll be doing all 31 drawings, and will post them all here, in chronological order
NOTE #2: If you want to see larger versions of the drawings, you can right-click (PC) or hover (tablet/phone) and choose to see the picture on a new/separate tab.
The #1 prompt for 2021 is CRYSTAL.
The #2 prompt for 2021 is SUIT.
I drew the picture using only the black and red pens from my Staedtler set.
Using my favorite bridge-sized deck of cards, I traced around each card in pencil, for the correct size, then I sketched in the pips in pencil, and finished by coloring them in ink.
The #3 prompt for 2021 is VESSEL.
The #3 and the #4 prompts (vessel and knot) actually go together well, and I had hoped to come up with something that would link them in a single drawing, but I couldn’t quite make it happen. There are lots of ways to tie (pun intended) those two words together. I’ll still be doing that, since my #4 picture will be a simple drawing of gauge that shows how fast a boat travels over a nautical mile, which is measured in knots.
For this drawing, though, I settled on just the vessel, which I drew with my Staedtler ink pens. I used a light water wash over the hint of water below and around the boat. For the foam being produced from the special engine this rather newly-invented vessel uses, I twirled in some white-out from one of my Pentel Micro Correct Pens (also purchased from Amazon).
My four-year-old granddaughter Abbi was quite a bit of help, with good advice and bits of encouragement and approval. 🙂
The #4 prompt for 2021 is KNOT.
As noted with my #3 drawing, I had intended to put a “vessel” and a “knot” together, in order to represent both days in one drawing. That didn’t work out, but I stayed with the same theme for this drawing.
First, I used my Orbis Circle Scissor (it can be used with a tiny blade, or with a pen/pencil) to draw the four concentric circles I needed for the perimeter of the gauge. The rest was drawn in by hand.
The hardest part was figuring out the approximate spacing for the 10ths that create the 0-70 marks on the gauge.
The #5 prompt for 2021 is RAVEN.
I had all sorts of ideas for this one. When I did an internet search for the word “raven,” I got even more. It took me hours to run through the many possibilities, and then to settle for something MUCH more mundane and “inside the box,” than I had originally intended.
I generally like to take the prompts and “unpack” them, just because that’s something I like to do with just about anything creative. Here’s one of the ideas I liked very much…
Raven Glacier lies along the Crow Pass Trail, in the Chugach National Forest, near Girdwood, between Seward and Eagle River (which is just outside of Anchorage). I’ve lived in both Seward and Anchorage, and have been to both Girdwood and Eagle River MANY times, in my young adult days. I’ve never actually seen Raven Glacier before, but I’ve seen plenty of others…even a couple from a small plane where I (at age 13) was allowed to sit in the copilot’s seat in the cockpit, while flying from Cordova to Valdez. Glaciers are AWESOME! It would have been fun to sketch that setting, but to do it justice, I’d need to use tools other than pens. I may attempt to paint it, in the future, though!
I also thought about “raven tresses [hair],” but after seeing a lot of images that use that (nearly obsolete) terminology, I decided, “Ummm…no!”
Finally, I went through 100s of photos of ravens of several different groups, and finally settled on a good strong picture of a Common Raven–one of the species that can be found all over Alaska. Ravens have always been one of my favorite birds. They are very intelligent, and quite magnificent in flight, as well as just being a beautiful, rich, irridescent black.
I wasn’t sure I could do this guy justice, using just my fine-liner pens, and in the end, I really couldn’t. For the “soft black” areas where the feathers weren’t clearly indicated in the photo I used for inspiration, I first put my highlights in with ink. I would like to have then been able to use a hard-ish charcoal and a stump (for blurring the charcoal into the highlights). Instead, I had to settle for one of my old PRANG 6B Graphite sketching pencils, laying it sideways and lightly pulling it across the shaded areas. Once that was accomplished, I used a fingertip to lightly smudge the graphite into smoothness. The benefit from doing that, is that he oil in one’s fingers seals the graphite into the paper, much as if it were ink. Yet it doesn’t cover up the ink. It only helps define it to a better lighting contrast. I didn’t get it as dark in the raven’s chest area as I should have, but…it is what it is, and I’m pleased with it.
The #6 prompt for 2021 is SPIRIT.
I would love to have done a drawing honoring Holy Spirit, but after a bit of trying to decide whether or not I would be capable of presenting any such imagery on paper, I decided to lead any[spirited spiritual] conversations about Him with words–either spoken or written.
Then I thought about the fact that liquor products are usually called spirits. I could easily draw a wine bottle or two. However, since I long ago quit drinking, and because there was a long history of alcoholism in our family, I decided I’d rather not draw something representing those types of things.
Searching the internet for “spirited,” led me to pretty much NOTHING but images from that movie, to which I will not link. Searching for “spirit,” led me to more movie images. I wouldn’t mind drawing any of the horses from “Spirit,” but those images are copyrighted, so…nope.
Then I remembered that SPIRIT is part of something that has, in previous years, been a big part of my artistic life! So…here is a representation of a can of “Mineral Spirits,” which is used for (as you can see on the face of the product) thinning paint, cleaning paint off of things where you would rather it not be, and cleaning things you own that may have gotten accidentally (or purposely) covered with just about any type of grease.
In order to avoid any copyright issues (since I drew this from an advertising photo), I deleted everything but the basics and tied it directly to Inktober, rather than any particular product. If you would like to see the original, though, and perhaps have a need for some of this product or a related one, you can click this link.
The #7 prompt for 2021 is FAN.
Once again, I chose to not choose the obvious. This little Rufous Fantail caught my attention during an image search for “fan,” and I fell in love with him. I really wanted to capture the flaring colors of his fanned tail, but in the end, I wish that I had just done him in black-and-white. Still…his fantail is supposed to be rufous, so here he is, showing it off.
The #8 prompt for 2021 is WATCH.
My first choice for “watch,” was to draw a railroad watch. I actually have a newer version of one that I bought in 2000, when our family had a reunion over here in South Dakota. My daughter and I rode the train most of the way, so I bought each of us a special watch for the trip. 😀 Unfortunately, the train on the front of mine wasn’t really conducive to drawing, and I couldn’t find a photo of one that I liked, so…
I switched directions and searched for “watchtower.” I found a fairly easy one to draw, on Wikipedia. It’s the Watchtower of Torrelodones.
I didn’t try to be hugely accurate with it. Just simplified it, and had fun with it. Since I needed an easy sky with clouds, I began with it, and used my water pen again to smooth and blend the single color into a fairly decent background. The bushes along the front of the rocks were all just swirled in with a few colors, and again blended with the water brush. I wasn’t sure I’d carry that blending over to the watchtower, but tried it on a different piece of paper and decided to go with it.
All in all, I’m pretty pleased with it, and hope you all like it, too.
The #9 prompt for 2021 is PRESSURE.
The first thing I thought of was a pressure gauge, but since I already drew a gauge for #4, I dropped that idea immediately. The only other things I could think of were a pressure plate and a pressure cooker. A pressure plate would have been pretty much a “nothing” to draw, so pressure cooker it was…and is.
I copied this from a photo of a name-brand cooker, but made it completely generic, except for its shape, which is what it is. I did look at some photos of old-style cookers like we used to use when I was growing up in the 1950s. Most of them were pretty battered and unattractive, so I opted for the new style.
The #10 prompt for 2021 is PICK.
This was not my first “PICK” for this drawing. I know a couple of you saw my original drawing, which was of part of a guitar neck, with a pick inserted under one of the strings. I realized, JUST after I posted it, that I had interpreted the way the guitar was lying, incorrectly, and that made all of my shadows wrong, and the wrong-type of strings on both sides of the neck…sigh.
SO…I quickly took down that drawing, and was going to start over with it, and correct everything, but I just couldn’t face all of the tiny, tiny fine lines that it took to make that drawing, so soon after finishing the first one.
Instead, I decided to use the prompt as a “quip,” as you’ll see in the title of the drawing. I found the cup online, and loved its clean lines. Obviously, it’s very stylized, but that’s OK. It kind of goes with the quip.
Rather than my Staedtler pens and my water brush, this time I used a set of markers that I’ve had for several years. They are by Sargent. They have more “gentle” colors in the set, than my fine-liners do. They also say they are fine-liners, but they actually have a very medium tip. They are made from the same type of ink as the Staedtler ones (which is also very similar to the ink that is used for digital printing these days). I used my Uni-Ball fine-point black pen for the lettering, making it bold and stylized as well, to suit the drawing itself.
The #11 prompt for 2021 is SOUR.
There are many uses of the word “sour,” that I thought of before going in this direction. For one thing, I was raised in Valdez, Alaska, where you become a “sourdough” after an indeterminate amount of time, with an acceptable amount of experience–one part of which should definitely be how to make a sourdough starter, and how to use it. If you’d like to read an article I wrote back in 1988, that contains a little more information than that, you can find it on my website. It’s called “Alaska–All the Colors of White,” and it can be found by clicking this link.
However, I didn’t go in the dough direction, for the “sour” prompt. I might have, but as I was looking for something else on the list, I found this little bunch of lemons just waiting for my pens to draw. What caught my attention first, was that the photo was attached to an article about dwarf citrus trees! My mom kept several of those going, through a long period of time–both before and after the big Alaska Earthquake (March 27, 1964). If you’d like to read about our family’s experience through THAT, you can also find it on my website. It’s called “The Great Alaska Earthquake–My Memories,” and it can be found by clicking this link.
At any rate, once I saw the lemons, they became my “sour” topic to draw. Once again, I used only my Staedtler pens and my Uni-Ball black fine-point pen, after doing an initial drawing with pencil.
The #12 prompt for 2021 is STUCK.
My brain actually did get pretty “stuck” on this one! I almost chose to do a combined #12/#13 drawing with someone STUCK on a ROOF, with the ladder falling away, and then I saw the old joke pop up. Yes! 😀
I have a stack of old card envelopes, so I quickly picked up my Uni-Ball pen, “addressed” one of the old envelopes with the joke, drew some blank stamps, stuck the answer on them, then stuck the whole thing on the right size background paper, and voila!
The #13 prompt for 2021 is ROOF.
I had a hard time coming up with anything for this prompt. I play The Sims 4 (have played all of the previous versions of the game, as well), and I love making very complicated roof systems on the houses I build in that game. We have tremendous tools with which to accomplish that, though. Doing an ink drawing of even one of the simplest of those homes would be WAY too large and complicated for this project.
Here are four of the varied house styles with some interesting roofs, that I’ve built in TS4…
After much thought and searching for inspiration, I finally settled for this little collage of six different roofing materials. It wasn’t particularly hard, but it wasn’t just a breeze, either. It came out pretty well, I think…I’m not displeased with it. 😉
The #14 prompt for 2021 is TICK.
Once again, coming up with a picture to draw for the word “tick,” escaped me. I didn’t want to do a clock, a watch, or a (shudder) an actual tick. I checked out “mattress ticking,” and almost did a bolt of that special fabric, I also thought of “tickets,” and I almost went there.
Then I decided to make a handwritten list of the 31 prompts, and TICK off all of the drawings that have been done to date. I have a similar form that I will keep with the drawings into the future…made with the Open Office Spreadsheet application.
Here is my handwritten list with the 14 TICKS in place.
The #15 prompt for 2021 is HELMET.
This bicycle helmet caught my eye almost immediately, when I was looking for “just the right image” to work from. I used all three of my ink pen types to work through this drawing. There are links to each one, from Amazon, on my website page (linked above).
While I was looking for inspirational photos, I searched for “helmet of salvation,” which led me to a wonderful site I had never seen before. If you are interested in scriptures and how they relate to daily Christian living, you might want to check out the site I found. The scriptures in the link are ones I’ve known for a long time, but I was particularly impressed by the simple yet profound explanations on this site. Excellent!
The #16 prompt for 2021 is COMPASS.
To create this drawing, it would have been a LOT easier if I owned a set of drafting tools similar to some that can be found at the link I’ve added to the intro section, above.
I really could have used a good drafting compass, in order to more easily draw this navigation compass. I used to have a good set of drafting tools, that had belonged to my mom who worked for many years for the State of Alaska Highways Dept., in Valdez. Her set also contained instruments that my dad had used in his career as a carpenter/cabinet-maker.
I still have a few things, but not a good drawing compass. I was able to, however, use my ORBIS Circle Scissor that I used to make the speed gauge for Prompt #4. Even this very simplistic compass rose, though was a lot harder than I had thought it would be. It all looks pretty simple, now that it’s done, but this was my third try, and it definitely was NOT the simplest thing in the world to draw…whew!
The #17 prompt for 2021 is COLLIDE.
If you’ve never been through a serious earthquake before, you might not understand why I even looked for something to do with the word “collide,” concerning tectonic plates. This drawing should give you at least an inkling of what that means, in general.
On a more personal basis, here are some articles and photos from the 1964 “Big Alaska Earthquake,” that should further enlighten you. I was only four months into my 14th year–living in Valdez, Alaska–when it occurred. My brother Gary still lives in Valdez.
Here are two sites that show a bit more about what geologists have learned by how the tectonic plates moved when the 1964 quake occurred. As you can see, these papers came out many years later. It took a lot of study to figure out the mechanics it took for such a large quake (the 2nd largest ever recorded in our world) to occur. During those studies, many previously-held theories were disproved.
As for this drawing, it took me nearly a whole day to draw in this small piece of a road from somewhere, that evidently was ruined by an earthquake–when tectonic plates collided.
The #18 prompt for 2021 is MOON.
You may have a bit of a time finding the MOON in this drawing. I really wanted to use another one of my brother Gary’s photos, so on the 500px site, I searched for “moon Gary Minish,” and only the following photo was found.
Now I KNOW he has other photos that at least have effects from the moon, but as soon as I saw this one, I really wanted to draw it…if I could…even if the MOON in the photo is very small, and very faint.
I started with experimenting on white (computer-printing) paper with a wash effect for the background, but that didn’t work well. Then I went to the off-white drawing paper that I generally use. That was better, but the colors I wanted to use were just not looking like they should, on that background.
Suddenly, I realized that I have two brand new pads of actual, white-primed canvas that I purchased from Amazon nearly two years ago. So I trimmed one of those sheets to the size I needed, taped off the edges as I would for a painting, and proceeded to get some fairly good effects using both of my sets of ink pens.
I’m fairly-well pleased with the result sitting in front of me on my desk (except the moose is too blobby). However, the canvas drawing didn’t scan very well. I was able (in Paint Shop Pro) to brighten and sharpen it a bit, though. It is what it is, and I wish you could see the actual thing, but…hey! At least I got it done, and now I’m only three days behind…again. 😉
The #19 prompt for 2021 is LOOP.
This Christmasy bow, that would be suitable for a wreath, perhaps, is made from LOOPS of ribbon that are secured in the middle (usually with a lightweight wire, or some yarn), then fluffed out. Merry Christmas in October!
The #20 prompt for 2021 is SPROUT.
What a day it has been. In case you didn’t know, I’m a night owl. I got up at 4:30 PM, and the Lord just poured Himself into my day. He always does, but this was definitely an intense day. Thank you, Holy Spirit.
After our late dinner (we rarely eat before 8 PM), during which David and I watched Matt Amodio pass up James Holzhauer for the most contiguous wins in Jeopardy–yes, we’re way behind on watching, I came back to my desk and looked at the prompt for October 20 (even though it was the 22nd). Then, while looking through my e-mail, I discovered that I had somehow missed the fact that the GMA Dove Awards were on tonight (it’s still tonight…only 1:21 AM on the 23rd).
Of course, the live feed was over, but…JOY! The replay was already available, and I’ve been soaking in it ever since. While listening to the first couple of songs, I grabbed my drawing tablet, and began quickly sketching a very simple piece of bare ground in the early sun, with a tiny tree–just a SPROUT–reaching out for a life yet unknown, for all it’s worth. Then I felt like it needed something more, to hold it up, so I searched for an appropriate (short) quote, and found it almost immediately. DONE! Glory to God, and thank you, Jesus! 😀
The #21 prompt for 2021 is FUZZY.
FUZZY appeared on my drawing pad yesterday, right after SPROUT popped up. I wasn’t sure how he would turn out, so I drew him in pencil. Then I decided I liked him, but didn’t have time to re-draw him last night. After a busy day, I tried to make it happen once, then twice, then ended up wadding up both efforts and tossing them in the trash…sigh.
After a couple of hours and a little time away from my desk, I started again, and finally this little guy reappeared. He hopes you will like him. He even got dressed up to make his appearance! 😀
The #22 prompt for 2021 is OPEN.
OPEN…open WHAT? Doors, windows, books, gates, minds, roads…any number of things kept going through my mind. Throughout the evening and into the night, while listening to some really good scriptural teaching and some worship music, I sketched two other “open” ideas…both of which I actually like, and I’m keeping my pencil drawings.
One is an open door, looking out on a tree growing on a lawn. The other is a can of something…probably peas (grin) without a label, with an opened lid still attached and pulled back. Next to it there’s a P-38, military can opener (it would have been a two-fer for this prompt).
Then, while searching online for the next prompt (LEAK), and finding what I want to go with for that one, I saw this little wooden keg, and decided, “OK! I can draw that!” The drawing, itself, took very little time. It’s pretty straightforward, with lines that just need to give the SENSE of the wood grain…nothing needed to be perfect.
Then came the coloring, which (due to my decision to use my fine-line pens which have more accurate colors for what I wanted to do) became a task-and-a-half–a true labor of love. I had to stop several times to rest my right hand, while wishing I’d chosen the medium-point pens, instead. Whew!
So now I’m only three days behind again…still hoping to actually get caught up by the end of 10/31. 😀
The #23 prompt for 2021 is LEAK.
I think I threw away five or six starts for this prompt. I had couple of small pencil sketches that weren’t too bad, but I just couldn’t seem to get my mind wrapped around angles and shadows to do those or anything new, with ink.
Finally, I searched with desperately for something that I felt I could draw without much more ado, and this is what I came up with. It does, at least, represent a LEAK.
The #24 prompt for 2021 is EXTINCT.
According to Dictionary.com, the meaning of the adjective “extinct” is…
1. no longer in existence; having ended or died out.
2. no longer in use; obsolete.
3. extinguished; quenched; not burning.
A few synonyms would be “defunct,” “gone,” or “vanished.”
After looking at page after page of depictions of extinct animals (from long ago to not so long ago), I decided that I didn’t want to draw any of them, so I chose to use a bit of an op-art approach for this prompt.
“Op art” is a style of abstract art in which lines, forms, and space are organized in such a way as to provide optical illusions of an ambiguous nature.
Inside of this stylized sunset (a symbol of the fading of a day), the word “extinct,” has become itself, since there is NOTHING LEFT inside of its outline.
It is, however, known by its outline, which is how we are able to describe any item that has passed away. Entire groups of animals, for instance, have left behind only bones, inside of the spaces where they last lived. Entire civilizations have left behind only bits and pieces of their lifestyles. Yet, when found, those signs of life–however obscure–have led us to “see” what has been, in relationship to what still is.
The #25 prompt for 2021 is SPLAT.
‘nough said… 😀
The #26 prompt for 2021 is CONNECT.
I know this is skewed, and I know it’s way simplistic, but it fits the bill, and leaves me only one drawing away from being caught up! Hooray!
The #27 prompt for 2021 is SPARK.
Seriously, though…I’m now caught up!!! Hopefully I’ll be able to do the last four on their days, now. 😀
The #28 prompt for 2021 is CRUNCHY.
Most people have definite choices of the type of cookie they will devour. Personally, I generally prefer chewy ones (probably with milk), but there are times that I would rather have a crunchy pile of CRISPY cookies sitting on the table, alongside a cup of hot coffee. Offer me a couple of each, and I’ll be ecstatic. 😀
The #29 prompt for 2021 is PATCH.
I was telling my daughter Judi and my granddaughter Liz, the names of the last three prompts, which start with this one. Liz suggested that I draw “a pumpkin patch.” I replied that I had thought of that, but I figured EVERYONE would be drawing those, given the date, and that I was leaning more towards a clothing patch, like for jeans. As I left the kitchen a few minutes later, on my way to my desk, it hit me…
Accordingly, this “PUMPKIN PATCH”–sewed carefully onto one of the worn knees of an old, previously-patched pair of blue jeans–is dedicated to Elizabeth. Thanks, Sweetie! 😀
The #30 prompt for 2021 is SLITHER.
I would imagine most people would choose a snake, a lizard, or some type of imaginative dragon to draw, to represent “SLITHER.” None of those were attractive to me. I thought of sliding on ice, so perhaps a windblown highway or sidewalk would work, but not really, with just pen and ink. An internet search for “slither,” gave me this link, with absolutely nothing that appealed to me.
I decided to check out several words that could be used synonymously for the purpose of this drawing…
1. to slide down or along a surface, especially unsteadily, from side to side, or with some friction or noise.
2. to go or walk with a sliding motion.
3. to cause to slither or slide.
4. a slithering movement; slide.
1. to proceed by or take a winding or indirect course.
2. to wander aimlessly; ramble.
3. a circuitous movement or journey.
4. an intricate variety of fret or fretwork.
1. the act of a person or thing that winds.
2. a bend, turn, or flexure.
3. a coiling, folding, or wrapping, as of one thing about another.
4. something that is wound or coiled, or a single round of it.
5. (in electricity) a symmetrically laid conducting current path, in any device, or the manner of such coiling.
6. bending or turning; sinuous.
7. spiral, as stairs.
I decided to look for “meandering streams,” and found quite a few I liked, but nothing “grabbed” me. Finally, I turned again to my brother Gary’s photographs on his 500px site. In his gallery “Thompson Pass Alaska,” I decided to base my drawing on his “Alpen Bow” photo.
As you can see below, I didn’t try to use the whole thing…just the left side of the lower half. I also left out Gary’s dog who was in the stream in the photo. Given the “lumpy moose” I produced for the MOON prompt, I figured the dog would end up just about the same, so I just ignored him. 😀
I didn’t try to be studiously accurate with the whole thing…just to give the basic perceptions of a small mountain stream, slithering through its rocky surroundings. I really like my actual drawing, but am not really happy with the scan. However, it’s the best I can do on that front, given the equipment I own, so here we go…next-to-last for Inktober 2021.
The #31 prompt for 2021 is RISK.
I think we can all agree that allowing oneself to jump from an airplane or helicopter, toward solid ground, wearing a backpack that contains nothing but a carefully-folded parachute and the strong straps to which it is attached, is risky–even in this day and time. There are any number of things that could be wrong…thus qualifying the act as a “RISK.”
With this drawing, I have actually completed an entire Inktober with the classic prompts…ALMOST on time! I finished the drawing at 1:35 AM on Monday, October 1, 2021. It’s still my extended “day” from what is now yesterday, since I didn’t get up until 5:30 PM. So I feel good about my finish time. Hooray! \0/
This is my first COMPLETE Inktober, and I’m quite pleased with it, overall. Thanks to everyone for cheering me on.