It’s that time of the year! Autumn is so close I can almost feel it. For those of us in the northern hemisphere, the equinox ushers in the start of the season next Monday. I am more than ready!
But autumn isn’t the only reason to celebrate. The fall holidays are coming too. Thanksgiving, of course is in November each year, but before that, there’s All Hallow’s Eve — better known as Halloween.
As always, I’m browsing websites for ghastly, ghoulish, and ghostly ideas for treats, crafts, and decorations, and my husband has been chomping at the bit to get out all the spider webs, glowing orange lights, and other spooky things that will go up on the porch.
My plans include painting pumpkins this year and maybe doing a bit of fall flower arranging. Of course, later on in the season I’ll be doing a few fall landscape paintings.
But before any of that happens, there’s Inktober. Yes, I’m excited, and yes, I’m ready! How about you?
Several people have asked what I’ll be doing this year. Do I have a plan? A theme? Any specific ideas? Will I be following the prompt list created by Jake Parker, the founder of the Inktober event?
Yes, I have a plan. I’ve “joined forces” so to speak with my monkey mind — the silly, irreverent, mischievous part of my brain that loves doing ridiculous things — and together we’ve devised a plan that’s going to be a lot of fun. I know it will fun because we’re already stock-piling ideas and information and having a grand time doing it! Am I going to share that plan today? Nope. Cheeky Monkey Mind and I are keeping quiet on the exact details.
So, how about a theme? That decision was a little trickier. I knew I wanted a theme, but choosing one wasn’t easy — for me. Cheeky stepped in and told me what we should be doing, and I quickly agreed. Nope. We’re not revealing that yet, either.
Do we have specific ideas? Oh, yes! That’s been the fun part of our pre-Inktober preparation. Once Cheeky and I had a plan and a theme, we got busy. I was still a bit skeptical about the whole thing, you see. Could I really pull this off? Having planned the work could I work the plan? In other words, would our silliness — and yes, it is silly — actually lead to specific, usable ideas for drawings? Thankfully, the answer is yes.
In preparation for the big event, I made a list — numbering the days of Inktober from 1 to 31. Yeppers. Thirty-one drawings in thirty-one days, and it will be a challenge. Let me clarify that just a bit. Thirty-one ink drawings in thirty-one days.
Drawing every day can be a bit of a challenge in itself. Drawing in ink every day can be daunting. I’ve gotten back into the daily drawing habit, and I look forward to my early morning drawing time each day. And, I’ll say it again. Yes, I’m excited, and yes, I’m actually looking forward to the challenge of completing a full month of ink drawings. I succeeded in the challenge last year for the first time. I want to do it again.
But back to ideas! After making my numbered list, Cheeky and I began putting actual ideas together, one idea for each day. It was fun to see our list of things to draw growing.
As for the prompt list… well, yes, we are making use of it, but in our own way. Enough said. All will be revealed once Inktober arrives.
Preparation is always important in any endeavor, and Cheeky and I have been busy there, too. As you know, I purchased a set of dip pens. I’ve practiced with them, but, honestly, it’s going to take a lot more practice before I’m able to use them. In other words, you probably won’t see any drawings done with a dip pen.
I’ve also purchased that lovely sumi-e set of brushes and ink, but don’t expect any Chinese brush work during Inktober. I’m only now beginning to learn the ancient art of traditional Asian brush painting.
I have a new set of Pitt Artist pens on the way. Amazon tells me I purchased my first set in November 2015. That was only a few months after I’d started trying to learn to draw, and I knew nothing about Inktober back then. I bought the pens because I was working through a pen-and-ink drawing course at The Virtual Instructor.
I remember wincing at the very thought of spending money for ink pens — ink pens I was supposed to use for drawing. I couldn’t draw with ink! I could barely draw with my graphite pencils. What was I thinking? Was I out of my mind?
I loved the pens when I got them, but I didn’t love The Pen and Ink Drawing Experience — the course I was taking. I struggled through a few lessons, decided I just wasn’t ready, and I quit. I felt bad, but at the time, I knew it was the right decision.
Now, I’ve learned a lot more about pen and ink drawing, and I love my Pitt artist pens. After almost four years, it’s no wonder they’re running out of ink and are ready to be replaced.
Along with pens, I’ve bought a new pad of drawing paper. I’ve gathered other drawing supplies together, too. I’ll probably be doing a lot of graphite under-drawings, so I have my artist’s pencils sharpened and ready to go. Of course, I’m using them every morning for my daily drawing sessions, so they’re close at hand. So are a few good erasers.
Yet the most important aspect of my Inktober planning and preparation is the mental part — not Cheeky Monkey Mind, but the positive attitude part of my brain. Where the thought of Inktober once instilled fear and trembling in my bones, I’m now eagerly anticipating those autumn mornings at my drawing table, picking up my pens, and putting ink on the pages of my drawing pad. I know I can do this. I know I will do this.
How about you? Are you joining in for Inktober? I’d love to follow along each day and see your ink drawings. If you’re taking part, please let me know. On September 30 — the day before the event begins — I’d like to post a list of fellow-bloggers who have decided to take the challenge. Will you be adding your name to the list?