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All illustration images © John Shelley, not to be used without permission scribblatosis(at)gmail(dot)com

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Inktober 2017 – the final week!

… Or rather 10 days, to finish off the month-long daily-ink-drawing exercise that ran through October.

I’ve really enjoyed Inktober this year, though at times it has been a rather big distraction! Here are my last installment of drawings.

I’ve learned a lot from this exercise this year, it’s really given me a chance to grapple with the capabilities of my materials – though it’s a shame I didn’t try line & wash, or do more with brush pens (reminder- need to buy more Kuretake!).

I had hoped to do some more brush-pen and also ink & wash drawings in my studio, but the second half of this month has entirely been in Pilot HI-TEC-C pens, basically because I’ve been busy with work and a London event, because I love them, and because they are remarkably portable and easy to use. The pressure of deadlines meant that studio time is for commissioned work, these drawings on the other hand are sketchbook activities drawn in the kitchen, the lounge, on the train etc, and to a very short deadline (mostly drawn in 1 day, at most 2 days!) so I stuck to the medium I’m fondest of – that’s just the way it worked out.

I don’t often join in social media group-art exercises but Inktober is very much my kind of thing, this year is only the second I’ve attempted, and the first I’ve joined in from Day 1.  I loved it! More (it has to be admitted) than current commissioned work because it’s almost entirely down to me what I draw, with just the optional prompt words for guidance – it gets me exploring the corners of my imagination, challenges me to draw every day, and pushes the boundaries of where I want to take my work.

When I get into “the zone” it kind of takes over, some drawings grew on the page and took rather longer than planned, sometimes well into the early hours.

Some evolved from completely different ideas, some I’ve looked at afterwards and realised in retrospect – oh, it would have been better had I done it this way, or that way, tweaked this or that…. but they are drawings of the moment.

Despite some heavily crafted compositions these are ultimately sketchbook drawings, exploratory, sometimes a little rough around the edges, but that’s what gives the drawings their appeal for me, I’m not sure they would be as challenging if everything was planned out and drawn over a long time.

Will I be doing it next year? Well it depends on circumstances, deadlines etc. I hope so. First I need to catch up on housework and some sleep. But I will definitely be filling my sketchbooks and posting the results, maybe not at such a frenetic pace, but exploring the byways, pushing the boundaries!

#Inktober #inktober2017 #sketchbook #sketching

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