Getting Ready

It’s almost September… which means it will soon be October… which means Inktober will be here! Yes, surprisingly, I’m excited about Inktober, mostly because my little monkey mind and I have been playing around with ideas… and, well, you’ll just have to wait a little longer to learn what fun things Cheeky and I are planning.

Planning is important in anything we do. And along with planning comes preparation. They’re similar concepts, but a bit different. Planning is primarily thinking, coming up with ideas, and letting imagination and inspiration take over — in a somewhat logical and reasonable way. In other words it’s taking all that the muse offers and putting it into something workable. It’s seeing the vision and defining it.

Preparation, on the other hand, is more substantial. Once the vision is defined, it has to be brought into reality, and doing that requires a few tools, as often as not. Inktober, of course, requires inks and pens and drawing paper, and maybe a few other things, too.

Yesterday I spent a good part of the morning looking at inks. My goodness! I never knew there were so many different types of ink for drawing.

There’s India ink, of course. I think we’re all familiar with that. But then, right alongside it, I found acrylic inks, pigmented inks, fountain pen inks, and Bombay inks. There are black inks, blue inks, and inks of all different colors. I ended up buying no ink at all because I was a bit confused by all the choices.

I’m going to go out on a limb here — with my cheeky little monkey — and take a guess that the right ink depends on the type of pen we’re using, and maybe it depends, too, on what we’re doing.

What I’m going to be doing — hopefully — will be drawing and inking with a set of dip pens. I looked yesterday while out shopping, but I couldn’t find what I wanted at a price I wanted to pay. So, back to Amazon. I’d already picked out a very basic “beginner’s set” of nibs and had them waiting on my “wish list”, so I clicked the “one-click shopping” button, and my new Speedball set will be here on Saturday.

Speedball Sketching Pens
My new “Sketching Set” will arrive on Saturday!

I’ve done calligraphy in the past — many, many years ago — so I have some familiarity with dip pens and how they work. I did notice that Speedball has another set specifically marked for calligraphy. I’m wondering how that set differs from the sketching set I purchased.

I still have my Pitt Artists pens, as well, although some are nearly used up. I’m sure I’ll be using them for many of my Inktober drawings, at least until I’ve had a bit of practice with the dip pens.

Before I can use the pens, I’ll have to figure out the best ink, and I’m thinking a Speedball ink will be a good choice. Speedball Ink

I actually do have some India ink among my art supplies. I’ve used it for ink washes and a few other little ink projects, but mostly I’ve worked with my Pitt Artist Pens, and last year during Inktober, I had fun making monsters with a few Sharpies.

If you’re not sure what tools to use for Inktober, you can always hop over to the official Inktober website for a bit of advice. You’ll find suggestions for pens, brushes, paper, and more.

I have a drawing pad set aside for Inktober, my pens will be here soon, and I’ll probably buy a new bottle of ink. I’ll be ready to go!

But, before Inktober arrives, I’ll be doing a lot of drawing practice. I haven’t come up with any information or prompt lists for Sketchtember, but I won’t let that stop me. Each morning during September, I’m going to sit down at my drawing table and do a little sketching. I’ll be using Matt Fussell’s list of easy things to draw, although some of them aren’t all that easy. I know this from experience, you see. When I first began learning to draw, I used this list, and some of the easy projects were very challenging for me. It will be fun to see it they’re a little easier for me now. I’m sure they will be.

For my little Sketchtember project, I need nothing more than my drawing paper and my pencils. Well, all right, yes, I’ll also need a pencil sharpener, and a good eraser. I have those supplies close at hand. I’m ready!

NOTE: I’ll be away from blogging for a few days over the Labor Day weekend. I hope everyone has a safe time if you go traveling. I’ll be back on Tuesday with more of my art journey!


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