Ink landscape and musings about the creative process

So life is busy as usual. Is it busy work to distract myself or am I genuinely busy? I don’t know. Social media can be a huge time sink if I let it. I finished this piece in my Canson 7×10″ multimedia sketchbook this week. It’s finally done and I thought I’d share it.

I had found a photograph on the web that inspired me. What inspired me about it? I liked the framing of it. The way the rocks seemed to cascade down the slope, the trees formed a path. I started out thinking I would combine using my Copic Multiliners with my Tombow dual tip markers. I did my initial under drawing and then used the tombows for the background trees and sky and I think it works well.

Excuse the photo, it was late and the lighting in my dining room isn’t the best

But as I tried to bring it forward the effect wasn’t as pleasant to my eyes. It felt like it conflicted with the sharpness of the line work when I used it for shadowing under the distant trees.

How many times do we as artists draw,  paint,  write ourselves into a corner?  At that moment in time I was looking at it going “Oh God, this is awful! What was I thinking?  It’s ruined.   Into the bin with it! Start over!” but as I’ve written before there’s always a ugly stage in all art and we need to work past it.

Off on a tangent, sorry…

I don’t know how many times I’ve been reading a scifi or fantasy series and thought “Ohhh…I wonder how the author is going to write the protagonist out of this one?”. I remember one series that I really enjoyed. J. V. Jones’ Cavern of Black Ice. The author’s style and descriptive writing really drew me in and to be honest was the only reason I picked up a book to read that wasn’t a technical manual in years. After the first book I really looked forward to the second book. When the second book came out I enjoyed it but by the end all I could think was that I didn’t know how she could write the heroes out of their situations without using a deus ex machina. The next book was supposed to come out soon so I waited, and waited, and waited. The book was delayed a very long time it felt like and when it came out I felt disappointed in the resolutions. This is not to say I regret reading her books. They are really wonderful and I still recommend them to anyone interested in fantasy works but it felt like she, like many of us, had painted herself into a corner.

We now return you to our regularly schedule program

The middle ground was killing me… how much detail?!?

In the end I continued on with my multiliners and have a nice piece but I wonder… should I have finished the piece with Dr. Ph Martin Bombay inks to colorize it? Do some watercolor washes? I really don’t know. I kept fiddling with it. Adding more details until I wasn’t.


Any suggestions?


Back to it

With Inktober over and work and life being full I’ve only managed to do one piece. I grabbed a scrap piece of Arches 300# watercolor paper it’s 7.5×11″. It’s a river bank scene.

It felt good to work on it. I think I’m subconsciously working on a plan fir a series because I seem to be adding similar elements to different pieces. I’ll have to wait and see where it will go.

Until next time.


The end of this year’s Inktober

I would be lying if I says I finished the challenge this year. As you can see from my previous posts I only made it through day 14.

Am I disappointed? Yes. I really wanted to complete it this year. However, life got busy as always so I will look at the positives of it instead of feeling dejected and beat myself up.

Things that went right

My hatching improved immensely. I’m more consistent with the line thickness, spacing, and direction. They aren’t all random. I’ve even done more curved hatching.

My composition is better. Everything wasn’t just thrown on the paper to get it done because it was late, and I was tired and I don’t wanna do that prompt Waaa!

Things that went wrong

Because I was more focused things took longer and I think I burned out. I did better, I think I did two more days than last year, but I burned out none the less.

Because I was focused on using hatching I didn’t use brush pens or do shading with washes. Actually, this was because the sketchbook I was using wasn’t a good choice for washes. I adapted but I wasn’t happy about it.

Lessons learned and take aways

My theme fell to the wayside pretty much before I started. I wanted to add animals and people to each piece. Next year I will not use the official prompt list. I’ll create something that aligns with my art goals. to avoid burn out or incorporate the prompts into one large piece.

I’ll ensure that I pick the correct paper for my style and if it isn’t working I won’t dig in and be stubborn “I paid good money for this durn it! I’ll make it work!”. I’ll set it aside until I find something to use it for.

So here is the piece I did on the 30th. My scanner doesn’t like picking out the details for some reason so I appologize for the phone camera image.

Forest Spirit

As you can see I’ve used hatching, stippling and brushwork and there are little background characters. I’m happy with it.

See you in the next post and enjoy your art, whatever it may be.