Sunday, 3 November 2019

Inktober 2019: day 31 - mapping pen and ink wash

The Mirror Twins and their friend wish you a happy Hallowe’en! Be careful who you greet after dark.

I posted a terrible, late-night photo of this on twitter just to prove I finished it on time, because it was so close to midnight!

Inktober 2019: day 30 - gel pens

There was also just time enough for one more Sweetpea! He really wants to show you how lovely he tree’s Autumn leaves and acorns are.

Inktober 2019: day 29 - Pentel pocket brush and ink wash

Berix isn’t crying, those tear tracks are permanent stains caused by a hallucinogenic drug.

Just time enough to introduce one more new person! Berix is another courtesan of the Dai Empress. His people make extensive use of mind-altering drugs, so one of his special skills is formulating them for courtiers. He enjoys music.

Inktober 2019: day 28 - ink and water

In principle, divination can be done with anything that has an element of chance. Even throwing rocks and dust in the air.

Fun fact: I didn’t clean my waterbrushes properly after using them for silver paint, so this one is slightly sparkly in real life.

Inktober 2019: day 27 - fineliners and grey pens

I was handing out minicomics featuring Patience at MCM, so I thought she could join in Inktober too! She’s the last character I can think of for the ‘girls looking straight ahead’ set, so I’ll have to come up with something else to do on busy days next year.

Inktober 2019: day 26 - G-pen

Poppet’s friend found a smashed up breakfast bar, and it was far too big to eat alone.

This was much simpler in my head than it was to draw! Poppet and her friends are very easy to draw, but I didn’t factor in having to draw the breakfast bar and figure out how to position them all.

Inktober 2019: day 25 - ink and water

She emerged unharmed from a deadly house fire, and now when she touches objects they ignite.

This is the same girl from day 21, somewhat earlier in life. By the time she’s employed as a servant she’s learned to control whatever is happening to her, but at first she would leave charred footprints everywhere she went.

I was tabling at London MCM from the 25th to the 27th, so I tried to keep them simple for those three days.

Inktober 2019: day 24 - ink and water

This isn’t quite as dangerous as it looks.

This one was originally going to have a dramatic background, but I was travelling to London with a suitcase I could barely lift, so this was all I could manage. I think I might re-draw it; it might be interesting to have a true comparison between what I had in my head and what I was actually able to do within the limits of the challenge.

Inktober 2019: day 23 - Pentel pocket brush and ink wash (G-pen for the strings)

Here’s another character we haven’t met before, although you may have seen his eye if you’ve been here a while. Jothan is a courtesan at the palace of the Dai Empress, with music among his specialist skills. His people never show their open mouths, so he wears a veil if he’s been asked to sing as well as play.

(The harp design isn’t final, I think it should be a bit less symmetrical.)

Inktober 2019: day 22 - gel pen

Sweetpea and some of his friends are comparing the Autumn fruits of their trees.

I was trying to keep this one simple because I was starting to get very tired, but I put in too many characters and props! It wasn't hard exactly, but it was time consuming.

Monday, 21 October 2019

Inktober 2019: day 21 - ink and water

She knows she’s supposed to use matches to light the fires.

This is another character who hasn’t really appeared before. You might see her again before the month is over.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Inktober 2019: day 20 - mapping pen

It’s not clear to anyone why Coda attracts so many butterflies.

I went for something simple again because I’m tabling at London MCM this weekend and I’m starting to panic a little bit!

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Inktober 2019: day 19 - brush inking and coloured ink

If they fall down without time to prepare, they don’t come out right.

Inktober 2019: day 18 - fineliners and ink wash

Jessie can summon lightning even on a clear day.

I spent a good 20 minutes just staring at my sketchbook drawing a total blank on ideas, so in the end I decided to extend the ‘girls looking straight forward’ set from last year. Maybe I’ll do a few more?

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Inktober 2019: day 16 - gel pens

Spider starts to feel a bit sick if Nettle spins him around too much.

I don’t think I’ve done this picture in gel pens before? I’ve drawn it every Inktober so far, but I was at work and couldn’t check which inks I had and hadn’t used.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Inktober 2019: days 14 & 15 - ink and water

“Those thus blessed shall ye know by a stain of blood that cleareth not, neither by water nor by milk.”

Something very exciting has been happening this Inktober! I’ve had Meilee and Lin since I was a teenager, but I could never get a bead on who they are or what their story is. Now all of a sudden I’m learning a lot about them! I normally try hard not to do the same thing two days in a row, but I didn’t know about their port wine stains until a couple of days ago, so I drew these two back to back so I could post them as a pair.

Monday, 14 October 2019

Inktober 2019: day 13 - brush inking and ink wash

A character we haven’t really met before! This is ‘Sapling’, the Dai Empress, in extremely casual clothes. This might even be something like pyjamas. She rules a vast empire that spans more than half a galaxy.

I normally try not to use the same inking method two days in a row, but carrying bottles of ink to and from work was making me nervous so I thought I’d better do all the brush inking at the weekend. I did use different brushes though!

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Inktober 2019: day 12 - brush inking and coloured ink

The way Nettle’s hair waves around when she uses her powers is a sign of poor control.

I wanted to practice using those rigger brushes a bit more, so I drew something pretty simple. They’re so hard to control! You can get more ink in them at once without losing the fine tip though.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Inktober 2019: day 11 - fineliners and grey pens

He can’t speak, they cut out his voice.

I don’t like these grey pens as much as I used to, I don’t know if I’ve gone off this style in general or if I need to find a new brand of pen.

Inktober 2019: day 10 - G-pen

Sweetpea is trying on a new hat, but I don’t think it’s going to stay on over his hair. Maybe he’ll have better luck once the other ear frill drops.

I promise I drew this on the day, I just ran out of time and/or energy to scan it! I keep coming up with ideas that I know will take too long, but then I can’t bring myself to go with a weaker idea so I end up having to finish it at night. I know Sweetpea well enough that I didn't have to think too hard about this one, but there is a certain irreducible length of time it takes to do all that cross-hatching.

(If you know your nuts and seeds you can work out how big he is by that hat.)

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Inktober 2019: day 9 - dip pen and ink wash

The Mirror Twins have spotted a potential new friend.

I’m getting really tired so I tried to keep this one simple, but it actually took longer than yesterday’s picture!

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Inktober 2019: day 8 - fineliners

If you tell her to wait, she’ll wait.

I was going to shade this with grey pens, but I decided on a whim to try doing just clean line art instead. I’m quite pleased with it?

Monday, 7 October 2019

Inktober 2019: day 7 - ink and water

Nettle is not renowned for her masterful control of her temper.

I wanted to have another go at blending only part of the picture like on day 1, but it didn’t work quite as well this time, it came out too dark and flat. In hindsight maybe spot colour would have been better, but hey ho this is how we learn.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Inktober 2019: day 6 - brush inking and coloured ink

One foot in front of the other, repeat as necessary.

I inked this with some rigger brushes that I’ve never been brave enough to use before, they have minds of their own!

Inktober 2019: day 5 - dip pen and liquid ink

Isaac doesn't always know how to pass the time at night

I had the idea for this one a few days ago, but had to save it for the weekend because I knew I wouldn't have enough time on a workday. In hindsight I could have pushed the lighting even more, maybe I'll give it another go later in the month.

This is also a turnip pen instead of my normal mapping pen. I've been having trouble finding replacement mapping nibs (although I've finally tracked down some that I like) so I've built up a small collection of alternatives.

Friday, 4 October 2019

Inktober 2019: day 4 - Pentel pocket brush and ink wash

Lottie wears her hair over that eye for a reason.

This one snuck past my 90-minute time limit, I'm not as quick with the brush pen as I thought!

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Inktober 2019: day 3 - Fountain Pentel

Divination can be done with almost anything if you know how. Aichmomancy would normally be done with a knife or a spear, but a sharpened pencil will do.

I stayed within my time limit today, this one took almost exactly one hour. I'm already developing a much better grasp of how long it actually takes me to do something.

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Inktober 2019: day 2 - gel pens (and a brush pen)

Louise and her foster parents are not the only creatures that live in her house.

My 90-minute time limit fell apart already! I could only get the lineart and the spot black done in that time, so I've been frantically crosshatching in odd moments throughout the day. I'm very pleased with it though!

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Inktober 2019: day 1 - ink and water

Spider often 'falls asleep' in lessons, but he isn't always sleeping.


It's finally time for my favourite art challenge of the year, Inktober! I've started doing cover pages in my sketchbooks since last year, so I did one in preparation yesterday. I also go a full-time job since last Inktober, so this year will be a real test of my skills. I'll have to do each piece in the 90 minutes I can squeeze in before work, how is this going to turn out?

I'm never sure if people know what I mean by 'ink and water' - it's a drawing in water-soluble ink which I then move around with water. I've never tried to do it on only part of the picture before, how does it look?

Monday, 10 June 2019

Mermay 2019

If you follow me on twitter or instagram you'll know I attempted the Mermay challenge this year! The idea is to draw a mermaid every day during the month of May, not unlike Inktober but with the subject chosen for you instead of the medium. Here are all 31 of my completed mermaids!

I tried my best, but I wasn't quite able to finish these inside May. I fell behind a couple of times and had 3 mermaids left to do in June. I also spent more than one day on the last one, since it was already late.

Since the medium isn't restricted in this challenge I did a lot of experimenting with techniques I might not normally use, mostly colouring with a set of cheap novelty pencils (2, 19, 21, 24 and 27) and trying to paint with water-soluble felt tips (8, 13, 14, 23 and 25). I don't know if the felt tips are ever going to look quite the way I want them to, but I was pleasantly surprised by the kind of results I could get out of the cheap pencils with a little patience. (They don't scan very well though, there isn't enough pigment.)

I'll be printing these in a little zine now that they're all done, so please look out for that!