Inktober Day 18

It’s Day 18 of the Inktober Challenge. Today’s prompt is “scrape.” Another word with a multitude of ways that it could be represented. To be honest, I was thinking about just scrapping today’s word after streaming Episode 9 of the House and Dragons last night and just shouting “DRACARYS!!! DRACARYS!!!” on paper as my reaction to that episode. We were a day behind because my husband was simultaneously watching the Eagles kick Dallas outta Philly, and the Yankees hanging on to win to stay in the playoffs, on Sunday. A lot of sports going on around here.

The one thing nice about football is that it keeps my husband busy so I can work in my studio without being interrupted. The Yankees and Phillies being in the playoffs are just icing on the cake at this point. GO PHILS!

Getting back to scrape, for some reason a scrape across the blackboard was my inspiration today. I thought of scraped knees or scraping pans, walls etc but for some reason that God awful scraping of chalk on a blackboard seemed to be a good and obnoxious way to represent “scrape.” Maybe I can “dracarys” that teacher tomorrow for screeching the chalk.

So we are obviously Team Targaryen in our house. So at this point you probably know who we wanted burned. We were Team Stark in the original Game of Thrones. We used to have a Game of Thrones Iron Throne that I made for my husband’s birthday 5 years ago but we sold the house where it was and we left it there by accident. Oh well. I can make another one. Anyway, I don’t care who’s playing this coming Sunday, we’re watching the Season Finale.

We are still pissed about the whole Jon Snow thing being left high and dry. That’s what happens when you don’t finish writing your book series and you leave it up to two TV writers to finish it for you.

Inktober Day 18 "Scrape"
Pens and ink sketch of the front of a classroom.  Teacher is writing on the blackboard with chalk and the chalk has screeched across the blackboard sending the students into complaints and the two pictured are holding their hands over their ears. There is an old fashioned cursive writing chart and clock above the blackboard, which has a mathematical equation on it.
Inktober Day 18 “Scrape”

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

inktober Day 4

Today’s prompt is scallop. I thought about doing some sort of design but I decided to take my mussels “inches” and make them into a larger 4×6 sketch and used scallops instead. OK, so it is a little macabre with the scallops crying over the ones that were cooked. I am not trying to make a statement or anything, my warped sense of humor was going a little in the “Far Side” direction.

If you are not familiar with the “Far Side” cartoons by Gary Larson, they were genius and took everyday things and turned them into humor, like cows, dogs and cats. Some of my favorites are the cows standing around on hind legs and smoking, one yells “car” and they all go back to grazing and doing regular cow things. There’s a frog that sticks his tongue to an airplane flying over and gets lifted in the air, but two of my favorites are the ones about dogs and cats and what they hear. These two are priceless. You need to read the dog one first to really appreciate the one for cats. It’s so true.

There’s also so the cartoon of the kid going to a mentally gifted school and trying to push the door that clearly says “pull.” Something we have all done at one time or another so the humor hits home. Gary had sooooo many cartoons. My coworkers and I used to stand in a bookstore at lunch time and cry over his books. We used to have everyone in the store laughing. We had one coworker who we would drag to the store when he came into the city so we could share the cartoons with him. Yeah, I think we actually bought him a copy, LOL.

Laughter truly is the best medicine and the best way to bring people together. Now that I think about it, we never complained about anything, we’d just go do something that made us laugh. That’s a good memory for me.

Inktober Day 4 - Scallop Pen and Ink drawing of a steaming bowl of scallops on a checkered tablecloth.  There are scallop shells crying in front of the bowl because the others were cooked.
Inktober Day 4 – Scallop

Inktober Day 3

Good morning everyone! Today’s prompt is “bat.” Since it is October, I thought bat the animal would be better than a baseball bat. Although baseball still does run for another week or so. I am a Phillies fan so I hope we make it to the wild card game, at least. My husband is a Yankees fan so of course they clinched (eyes rolling). It’s not too bad with baseball and football in our house. I’m an Eagles fan (4-0) and he’s a Jets fan (notice I didn’t put the standings for the Jets), so the Eagles and Bucs are his back up teams. We have a saying in our house, well I do, that the Jets are the kiss of death for any player’s career. I said if I was a kid in the draft and the Jets picked me, I’d stay in school and wait for the next year. So there is a bunch of good natured busting of chops here in the house.

However, hubby is a RANGERs fan. Blech ptooie!!!!!!! I am a Flyers fan so we don’t discuss hockey unless I am gloating when the Rangers lose. I went to a Rangers/Blackhawks game once with hubby and was rooting for the Blackhawks. He goes with my daughter now when they are in Tampa.

For those of you who asked, we are on the East Coast of Florida, below the path that Ian took. We got a lot of wind (60+ gusts) and rain, but we fared well. Unfortunately, the West Coast not so well. I really feel bad for the Ft Myers region folks. Although Florida has hurricane building codes, there are many old Floridian structures that are being wiped out by these storms. It’s really sad to see them being wiped out and sad for the people who lived in them or conducted their businesses in them who have to rebuild. Yeah, they can rebuild, but it doesn’t have the same charm or memories, and when it floods, not even concrete is invincible. Our thoughts and prayers goes out to them.

Inktober Day 3 "Bat" - pen and ink drawing of a bat in a sketchbook using a black Uniball Vision pen and  a Cambio brush pen with grey ink, also in the photo.  Sketchbook was made by Innovative Journal
Inktober Day 3 – Bat

Inktober Day 2

For Day 2 of Inktober, I am sure that I am not the only one that used a mouse for today’s prompt, “scurry.” Whenever many of us hear the word scurry, we think of mice scooting across the floor. Which usually leads to someone screaming and if you have a cat, mayhem.

I played around with sketching mice for this one and settled on what I chose as my final idea. It was fun drawing mice although they aren’t something I normally pay attention to, unless the cat brought one into the house. My mom used to tell us entertaining stories about field mice when she and my dad were living in California. The mice used to come out of the fire place and duke it out. Now there’s an image, boxing mice. (Trying to figure out what they were doing in the fireplace?)

I was trying to find the post I saw this morning from Jake Parker, the artist that started Inktober. It tells about why he started Inktober (to help artists improve their drawing skills was one reason, and the important one I forgot to mention yesterday) and the ideas behind the challenge. I guess I will have to add the link tomorrow if I come across it again.

Adding my thoughts on ink, as an outdoor sketcher’s point of view, many artists, like myself, draw directly in ink because you want to get what is in front of you on paper as quickly as possible. When you are drawing on location, you don’t have much time if you are drawing something that will change, like people or animals. Or a delivery truck….When one parks in front of what you were originally drawing. Using pencil slows you down because no matter how hard you try not to, pencil enables you to erase marks, and the temptation to erase is too irresistible, inevitably bringing out the perfectionist/procrastinator in us and the subject long gone before scratched on the page with nothing to show for your time. Ink is there, ready to go (unless you forgot to refill your Lamy Safari) and although maybe not the most perfect of sketches, your recorded information in its raw form, has the subject captured on the page.

The other nice thing about ink drawing, all you need is paper and a pen and you can sketch anywhere.

pen and ink mouse sitting up on its high legs, wavy tail Inktober Day 2 "Scurry"
Come on Kitty, BRING IT.



You were the last thing

we wanted

You came to us

on a warm summer evening

Tiny and sick

dark as the night

We took you in

and you grew on us

You thought you were

a chihuahua

You ingratiated yourself

into our hearts

Soft and silky

svelte and lanky

A queen in your own right

Gardening with your company

Birds and mice brought

into the house 

There were those times

we pulled our hair out

You ate almost  

 a whole cake

But we loved you

You went to Florida 

with Erin

a companion and

a friend 

We enjoyed your company

during lockdown

Then one tragic day

you fell ill

No vet could save you

You were only five

We didn’t want you 

to go

But we had to let you

We feel your loss

every day.


The fourth prompt is “witch” and it happens to be one of my favorites. Usually for Inktober, I work on my “Little Witch” series, which started back in 2018 as a desperate need to find ideas for postcards to mail to my mom.

(Mom was placed in Assisted Living back in 2018 for memory care. I mailed her postcards to give her something to look forward to and help her settle in.)

This year I did the “TheyDrawtober’s Cook” list and that’s what I sent my mom this year. I thought the food art would give her some memory triggers. I haven’t seen her since December 2019, thanks to CoVID 19 but occasionally my sister is able to FaceTime with us.

I have to admit it’s been hard to keep up the daily practice. She likes cats and always dressed as a witch for Halloween, so that’s where the idea for the “Little Witch” series came from. I do enjoy doing the “Little Witch” series and Inktober made it fun to use the prompts for the character.

Here is the Little Witch as a pre-schooler….as I mentioned yesterday, I might switch to watercolor; I actually used watercolor and the Arteza brush pens together.



I am still trailing the other October lists for now. As I write this, I have one of the Hallmark channels on TV to help with the holiday transition, even though I don’t want to transition yet. I’d love to wallow some more in post-Halloween, pre-Thanksgiving vibes and enjoy November for November.

It’s hard to transition in the State of “endless” summer. Autumn creeps slowly into my part of Florida. The overnight temps creep downward and daytime temps are around 80, for now. We actually do have autumn here and trees will lose their leaves. It’s very comical. One day the trees have leaves, and the next, they drop them like PJ’s dropped on the floor before a shower.

Today’s prompt is “Haunted.” I am trying to use the Arteza brush pens that I normally use for Inktober, but they aren’t performing very well on the textured Arches paper. I’ll probably switch over to watercolor on the next one.