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Top tips for Participating in Inktober 2019

illustrationCara OrdComment

Inktober is a wonderful art challenge which runs for the whole of October. It was created by Jake Parker in 2009 as a self exploration not improve his personal inking skills and is now a world wide event which gets bigger every year. It is free to participate and a great way to jump into some artistic practice and be part of the world wide artist community.

My dog inktober poster available on  society 6 store

My dog inktober poster available on society 6 store

Since its inception Inktober has grown to include artists working digitally and traditionally (ink) in colour and black and white and it hosts a phenomenal out pour of creativity. I myself have participated before and loved the challenge of 30 daily illustrations finished and inked, and I will be participating again this year. It is great way to accelerate your growth, make new friends I the art world and even up your online following.

As October is only just around the corner and the challenge is quick approaching I thought I would share some advice for participating in this challenge.

5 tips for complete your Inktober challenge

  1. Make the time to get the daily drawings done
    It can be overwhelming if you start to lag behind, and before you know it have 10 drawings to do in one day. My advice is to set aside time in advance every day for the challenge. whether you wake up an hour earlier and draw then or dedicate the time between work/school and dinner for your inktober time. Pre-schedule your art to alleviate the pressure and stress of not getting it done.

  2. Check out the prompts in advance
    The official prompt list is already out, I have linked it at the bottom of this blog post. There are also plenty of artists making their own prompt lists so if you want to work with one of them go ahead, but start thinking of ideas now. I have a list of ideas written down to tie in with this years prompts so I can get straight to drawing and not spend time thinking about what to draw

  3. Pick an overarching theme
    If you are worried about getting stuck as the prompts are so broad pick a theme. One year I picked dogs and used Inktober to interact with my insatgram following by drawing their pets. The theme can relate to the prompts or be its own thing, it will just tie everything together. Plus a coherent theme means in the end you will have a beautiful collection of works you can later use as a portfolio piece or sell in a form such as a zine or print.

  4. Work in a medium you are comfortable
    Now Inktober is all about ink but there are many forms of ink. You could use ball point pens, art liners, brush and ink, or dip pens. you could use straight black ink or use colour ink like water colours. You could even do black and white inks on your digital device if you are a digital artist. The point is, pick a medium you are at least familiar with. Do not jump into a challenge not knowing how a medium works. If you want to use Inktober to explore a new way of art making I recommend spending a week before hand practicing and get the feel for the medium, that way your drawing time won’t be stressful for the daily challenges.

  5. Share your work
    The reason why Inktober is such a great art movement is because it builds community. Get your art out there, share your skills and stories with others. Comment on other peoples work, explore new artists and see what is possible. If you share your work online please let me know in the comments below or link it to me on instagram @cara.ord.create I would love to see it.

So there you have it 5 simple tips to get the ball rolling on your Inktober challenge and make this year a success. Please let me know if you participate, I will be posting daily over on my instagram if you would like to work alongside me.

Below is the prompt list, it is time to get started.

Official Inktober prompt list for 2019 by Inktober and Jake Parker

Official Inktober prompt list for 2019 by Inktober and Jake Parker

Keep creating,
Cara

Improve your Illustration with Character and Story

illustrationCara OrdComment

Illustration is two fold; how you draw and what you draw. The how is the practical skills, your understanding of the medium (in example pencil/paint), anatomy, gesture, etc. The what is the content, story, character, illustration style and mood conveyed in your art. Levelling up both these sides of your illustration skills is important and often artists tend to focus on the how and not the what and this can lead to beautiful but uninspiring work.

You may have mastered the pen or the brush but your illustrations can still appear dry or amateurish if you don’t have intriguing content. I know each and everyone of you reading this are filled with great ideas and awesome art, however you may be struggling to realise these stories and visuals in your work.

In light of this I have created a class series for you, helping you add depth, character and story to your illustrations. The first course which is released today focuses entirely on your characters and figures, creating real personalities in them to draw your audience into your art and activate an emotive response and connection.

This class is an in-depth look at character design and development and it is packed with useful information to boost your stand alone illustrations and visual stories (such as comics and graphic novels). Take a deep dive into your characters, discover how they think and act and learn how to easily bring this out in your work. This class is great for all drawing skill levels. It focuses on the content of your illustration rather than the how to draw side, allowing you to vastly improve the quality of your work with minimal practice hours. Ideally this course works best coupled with practical drawing classes to help you improve your skill and theory simultaneously, I have a few classes here that could give you a hand with this and another coming next month to really push your art forward.

The class is a great asset to help you start from square one and develop your skills or brush up on ideas which you may have forgotten or lapsed in. It even includes a free workbook to help you focus your studies with short and simple exercises. And of course if you take the class I will be there along the way to help you with anything you are struggling with.

That being said, it wouldn’t be right to leave this blog post without a few helpful tips to give you a head start on your way to creating better illustrations.

Add interest to your art with these 5 simple techniques

  1. Always start with a thumbnail sketch
    When you are working out an idea, the first iteration of it on the page can be a bit stiff and bare, give thumb nailing a go and draw quick one minute doodles to flesh out your idea and how you wish to convey it visually. This eliminates the need to re-draw work to level it up, and speeds along your process to a grea finished piece.

  2. Allude to the environment
    Your character illustrations and figures in your work shouldn’t exist in a vacuum. When you are developing your works think about the characters context, where are they likely to exist? You don’t have to draw out a fully realised background but you can give hints to intrigue the viewer. In example if you are drawing a fantasy dwarf, he may be prone to going to the bar, so adding in a tipping stool and a sloshing pint of ale adds a story to the piece without a detailed background.

  3. Add movement
    adding action or movement rather than stagnant poses adds drama and emotion to the piece. Depending on your style you can express movement through gesture lines, speed lines or mid way poses. Think about how your character talks, walks, runs and what activities they would do and add it to your work, be creative.

  4. Extreme posing
    Maybe extreme is too strong a word, unusual could suit too. When planning out your illustration eliminate the first pose you think of, it may be standing facing forward or looking out, often it is a stagnant pose with stiff limbs. Instead grow the pose; if you are drawing a couple in conversation, add hand movements and expressions of talking and listening, add leaning in for excitable connections and leaning out for discomfort. If you are drawing an active character like a hunter, think about poses of stalking or shooting and then try and make it more extreme

  5. Use your angles
    Think about your drawing like a still through a camera. If all your photos are front on mid-distance it can become tedious and repetitive. Think about levels and interesting angles you can use to add interest to your work and make a dynamic story in a single frame. For instance a worms eye view of a boy playing with lego may make him seem like a tyrant in his kingdom playing make believe, when an above view makes the audience like a parent or care giver watching over the boy as he plays.

I hope that these tips and advice are helpful to you. If you would like a more in-depth look at taking your drawings to the next level check out the class and help yourself along the way to your creative goals. Let me know down in the comments any questions you may have. I hope to see you in class.

Keep creating,
Cara