Inktober Day 13

Today is Inktober Day 13 and the prompt is “kind.” I almost pulled out a KIND bar for this one. We have two different types of Kind Bars in the closet and my first thought was to sketch one of them. It would have been fun. I can still do it even though I already did this sketch first.

I thought of “kind” as people being nice to each other. I have these two little dolls in studio that I often use as inspiration and I chose them for today’s representation of “kind.” The girl doll is giving the boy doll a flower and the boy doll is giving the girl doll his heart. Usually it’s the other way around but sometimes hearts don’t work in the way they normally do. I have these drawn as cats but I am not sure if they are cats or mice or what. They could be dogs. Either way, they caught my attention this morning so they are my prompt inspiration.

I can’t believe we are nearing the end of the second week of October. Time just seems to zip on by. We didn’t buy a pumpkin yet. We found out the hard way if you put them out too early in Florida, they become mush in a week. When we used to live in the Northeast, pumpkins could last outside until Christmas if they weren’t carved and the squirrels hadn’t found them yet. Once the squirrels found them, they got “carved” pretty quickly. The squirrels were pretty devious about it, too. They would eat the side that was hidden from view. We usually discovered the “crime” when we put up the Christmas lights and the pumpkin was being removed due to the holiday swap out.

Well, I am checking off another Inktober day.

Inktober Day 13
Pen and Ink drawing of two catlike creatures dressed in clothing.  They are giving each other a heart and a flower. The one on the left has a satchel and has a coat on and the one on the right is wearing a dress.  They have catlike ears
Inktober Day 13 – Kind

Inktober Day 12

Whew! Day 12! Almost halfway through the month. Wow, October is blazing by!

Today’s prompt, “forget,” was a little tough since the concept could be a little abstract or could be an expression or even a verb action. This one almost stumped me a little. I had to give this one some thought about how I could represent this and that’s where I went back to Rodin’s “thinker.”

Usually when you forget something, you turn the house inside out to find that item you may have misplaced, because maybe you forgot where you put that something. Or, you forgot a date or appointment or even a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary. You know that feeling that you get when you know you should remember something but you can’t put a finger on it? Like Neville Longbottom with the Remembrall? It could be something like that. (Or damnit, where did my cell phone get to now?)

One of the old traditional icons for remembering something was a string around the finger. Remember that? Today, we are more likely to put a reminder on our phones. I thought about showing that, but sort of felt that the phone reminder was a little “sterile” because it was technology.

Then, when I thought of the “Thinker,” I thought that maybe I could show a human lost in thought, maybe that thinking was a struggle to remember something? I know many people have their version of what the Thinker is thinking, some enlightenment or something really important, but maybe he was just trying to remember something he forgot. So I used his body language, slapped clothes on him, and he became my illustrator for today. Ironically, he has a post it on the wall that says “Don’t Forget.”

Forget could be so many things. At least I didn’t forget to do this post or my sketch, LOL.

Inktober Day 12
Pen and Ink drawing of a man sitting in a chair in a pensive moment, a note on the wall behind him says "Don't forget."  But he has and is thus trying to remember what he has so clearly forgotten.
Inktober Day 12 – Forget

Inktober Day 11

Whoo hoo Day 11!

Today’s prompt is Eagle. Our National Bird. Eagles are really cool and I have been lucky to see many eagles in the wild. One really good place for eagle spotting is Assateague Island, VA. Actually, the whole MD/VA Eastern Shore is a great spot for eagle watching. I was driving to Chincoteague down Snow Hill Road and and eagle flew right in front of my car. Talk about a close encounter and a near miss. I had to swerve not to hit it.

I have seen eagles in NJ. One eagle pair used to stalk the wild cats near my office and would pick off the kittens. Sort of ironic how birds are usually prey of cats but the roles were reversed here. Eagles are opportunists, LOL.

We used to have a place in Villas, NJ, where along the Delaware bay, eagles would hunt off the beach. We had to make sure we our chihuahuas were on leashes and supervised at all times so they wouldn’t become dinner. The eagles would sit on the sand by where the bay was when the tide was out. I was always fascinated by that because I didn’t expect them to be on the sand. I guess they felt safe out there because not too many humans would brave the mud that had to be waded through to get out there.

Here in Florida, I have seen them in Port St Lucie near the Savanna State Park. I have also seen them in the Lake Placid area of Florida. They are BIG birds. I have heard that their nests are the size of a king sized mattress, but I don’t think I ever seen an eagle’s nest. Plenty of Osprey nests, but not eagles, as I can recall. I guess I am due to see one.

Inktober Day 11
Pen and ink drawing of an eagle on a large branch, making some noise
Inktober Day 11 – eagle

Inktober Day 10

Well I made it to Day 10.

Happy Monday Everyone.

Today’s prompt is crabby. I went for the crustacean although I imagine some folks may go with a cranky person. I am fond of crabs, both watching them in nature, and the consumption of the Blue Claw persuasion. We used to catch blue claws when my kids were younger. I remember measuring them to ensure they were the correct size. My kids were really good about measuring and tossing back the females and smaller crabs to ensure we had more crabs the next year. Or even just later in the season.

Land and Ghost crabs, on the other hand, are pretty awesome to just watch. I am really amazed that I have seen ghost crabs on every Eastern seaboard beach that I have been to, and that’s quite a few. I have seen ghost crabs on Fire Island, in NY, at several beaches like Cape May and Sea Isle City, and Wildwood, I have seen them on Assateague and on the Outer Banks, (where kids run around the beach at night with flash lights, playing flash light tag with the crabs.) I have also seen them here in Florida. I have seen some pretty cool land crabs along the coast in Jamaica. I don’t remember if I saw ghost crabs but Jamaica definitely had the land crabs digging holes in the grass.

Today’s crab is one I saw on the beach here in Jensen Beach. We were sitting out one evening and this little fellow was doing his thing as the sun was setting, so I snapped a few photos. I love how they dig holes in the sand and how some crabs try to steal another crab’s hole and then there is a little scuffle while that gets sorted out. It’s like, really Dude? Dig your own hole. Ghost crabs a re pretty awesome.

Inktober Day 10
Pen and ink drawing of a ghost crab walking on a beach
Inktober Day 10 – Crabby

Inktober Day 9

Happy Sunday!

We are up to Day 9 of the Inktober Challenge and today’s prompt is Nest. I opted for the bird’s nest interpretation of the prompt. There are a lot of interesting bird nests out there, but some of the more quirkiest nests are from birds that aren’t real, but imagined. This is one of those imaginary birds that came about from my morning (daily) practice of turning blobs of smeared acrylic paint into imaginary creatures. This blob practice was a little trick I learned from Carla Sonheim. Carla has many little tips for pushing the imagination to produce some really awesome imaginary creatures that I would never had thought of on my own. I have been doing the daily blob exercise for several years now and it has helped me produce many odd creatures.

This funny bird has popped up once before, in one of my Valentine’s Day sketchbooks. I played with him, again, for today’s prompt. They don’t always come out the way I originally sketched them but that’s ok. They become several personalities each time I redraw them.

This fellow is a bit stuffy but he’s a good nest builder and sitter. The Mrs is off scarfing up some insects while the Mr is having a turn at sitting. The nest is a little wild and hairy, sort of like the bird. His expression looks like something may be occurring either on the nest or nearby.

On another note, the Phillies have made the wild card and they have beaten the cardinals to move on to the next round of play, which I believe they are playing Atlanta next. I find it hard to watch my hometown teams. It’s sort of like watching a horror movie peeking from behind my fingers. My daughter says that’s not being a fan. Yes it is, it’s called being a fan of a Philadelphia team. On the bright side, they aren’t the Jets.

Inktober Day 9
Pen and ink drawing of a quirky bird sitting on a nest.  His expression looks like something may be occurring either on the nest or nearby. He has a fluffy crest and his tail is alert, similar to a Carolina Wren
Inktober Day 9 – Nest

Inktober Day 8

It’s the eighth day of the Inktober Challenge and today’s prompt is “match.” Now I have to admit, the first thing I thought of to skate by this one was to draw a match stick and be done with it. That was a pretty simple solution. OK, I could have sketched a pack of matches or a box of stick matches if I really wanted to do something more involved. That would have take a little more time but it would have been interesting.

Or I could have just made my life easier, drew the match with a flame burning for the Day 5 post and then been a wise ass today and just posted “see day 5 for today’s “match.” That would have been a little bit simple as well, right? But it would have kind of defeated the purpose of doing each prompt separately and it’s not like we are being graded for these.

I could draw a match with a face and burning hair. (Which makes me think of the burning candle(?) from one of the “Christmas Carol” movies.) Mmmm, a little bit scary? No.

Then I just drew one of my little witch’s and suddenly I thought of two witch sisters in matching outfits so I did a sketch and that’s how today’s drawing came to be. Unfortunately, working with ink means an occasional mishap, and I accidentally smeared this one a little, but it still looks ok. That’s really the only negative about working traditionally is you can mess things up a bit. But some things can be repaired digitally so if I were to take this and scan it, I could remove anything I thought was a problem. White out doesn’t really look good on the text wove paper. Best to leave it and not make it any worse.

Inktober Day 8
Pen and Ink drawing of two little witches holding hands with matching outfits and holding pumpkins. They have striped tights and dresses decorated with stars.  Their witch hat have sickle moons. Grey ink added for shading and interest. Also show with Uniball vision, Lamy Safari and Kuretake Cambrio pens
Inktober Day 8 “Match”

Inktober Day 7

Today’s Inktober prompt is “trip.” Now this is a word that could be interpreted in a few different ways. For instance, is someone taking a trip? Can you use luggage? An airplane? A train station? Platform 9 3/4? Animal House road trip? Business trip? The word “trip” then takes on a more vacation or travel sort of reference. If I go that route, how to illustrate that? Again, so many possibilities. Car? RV? Fly? Cruise?

Then, there is the another way “trip’ could be interpreted. A psychedelical ’60’s drug trip? Mmmm, no. That’s way out there. A trip as in FALL? That has some comical possibilities. A character falling flat on their face. Wil E Coyote getting handed another can of Whoop ass? Slipping on the proverbial banana peel? (Has anyone ever slipped on a banana peel? Where did that come from?) So many ways to interpret “trip” as in fall-flat-on-the-face, a mishap of some sort, accidental or premeditative (Picture a diabolical cat tripping their owner or family dog) and so on.

I can’t say I was stumped with this one as opposed to the many possibilities and opportunities for ideas being presented here. This could be a fun word.

I was sitting outside listening to the birds this morning while I did my morning drawing and writing routine. This time of year, the birds come back from their vacation up North. So many of the bird calls that were missing over the summer are being heard again. This led me to thinking about how a trip could be for a migration. Migration = bird = trip. So I got to thinking about birds packing for their migration and I thought of a little bird with an aviator’s hat and goggles, rucksack packed and ready to migrate! Voila! Today’s sketch!

Intober Day 7
Pen and Ink drawing of a little bird with an aviator hat and goggles with a backpack on his back and he's obviously ready to travel. Grey ink added for shading and interest. Also show with Uniball vision and Kuretake Cambrio pens
Inktober Day 7 “trip”

Inktober Day 6

Today’s prompt is “bouquet.” When I first saw the prompt, I had a few ideas for what to draw, but sometimes falling back on what’s in your sketchbooks, or previous paintings you have done, can save you a lot of time. A few years ago I attended the Lima Bean Festival in Cape May. There was a florist attending the festival selling bouquets in pumpkins. I thought the idea was so amazing that I bought one and when I got it back to the house, I did a painting of it. The painting sold a long time ago, but I have the scanned image as a reference. I still love that image although sometimes I lament selling the painting. That painting inspired today’s sketch.

This was another sketch that I did in my Plumchester sketchbook first and then redrew it in my Halloween Sketchbook. I should probably post both because sometimes the sketches have more life and spontaneity than the final drawings. The brush pen also acts differently on the Arches Text Wove paper than it does in the Plumchester, too. I should probably experiment more with that as well.

Incidentally, the Kuretake Cambrio brush pen that I have been using to add the grey washes isn’t holding the original ink anymore. I found a way to refill these pens and I am using Herbin’s “Gris Nuage” ink to refill the pens. I have two of the grey pens, one for travel and one for the studio. I really like them a lot and I use them everyday. I love these these pens and I received the first one as an Artsnacks giveaway in NYC at their first Inktober Meetup a few years ago. I met Jake Parker at that meetup (really nice person, too).

I also have a tube of Sailor’s Ink (another grey) that I received from the Goulet Pen company that I will try as well, to see which grey I like better. Now what did I do with that little sample? It’s around here somewhere.

Inktober Day 6
Pen and Ink drawing of a floral arrangement with a pumpkin as a vase.  Grey ink added for shading and interest. Also show with Uniball vision and Kuretake Cambrio pens
Inktober “Bouquet” with Uniball and Kuretake pens used

Inktober Day 5

Today’s prompt is “flame.” Since it is October and the month of Halloween, I went back to one of my earlier pieces and redrew it in ink. I have done a cauldron a few times in October and have done them a few different ways. It has also popped up in my Little Witch Series. October is the Season of Witches so it only makes sense to draw some witch related items, like a cauldron to represent today’s prompt, “flame.”

Just a footnote of a sort, I have been sketching all of my ideas in my square Plumchester Sketchbook from Artsnacks first, before transferring the finals to my Innovative Journaling Halloween sketchbook, using the Arches Text Wove Paper. My Halloween Sketchbook is the Pathfinder size. It’s black with skulls woven into the binding and in the pull loop. I wish I had put red or purple leather inside so it would have a Dracula feel to it, but it’s pretty badass the way it is. I love it and it is the perfect size. The Arches Text Wove paper that Arthur likes to use when making his journals is a really nice paper. It has a little tooth and texture, but it performs well with dry or wet media. I have used watercolor, gouache, and acrylic on the paper. I don’t saturate it but it handles light applications very well. These are refills so when I fill one refill, I pull it out and add another. I can make them myself or order the machine stitched ones from Arthur, which come with a nice soft cover.

I originally purchased the IJ Halloween sketchbook (journal) for my Little Witch Series. There are some in there from last year. Just having this journal that screams Halloween is inspiring somehow. I like how the paper has a little “drag” to it so it slows the pen down for more precise drawing. It holds two refills so I guess I should get cracking and put some Little Witch stuff in the other refill.

Inktober Day 5 - "Flame" Pen and Ink cauldron over wood with lots of flames and some concoction brewing and bubbling in it.  Pen and ink with grey wash. Pens shown, Lamy safari, Uniball Vision and Cambio
Inktober Day 5 – Flame
My Refillable Halloween Journal by Innovative Journal