I’m doing my 4th InkTober this year. I did ink wash portraits last year and I really learned a lot, but I also spend a grotesque amount of time on it. Although I loved doing the ink washes, and the end result, I really didn’t enjoy doing the underdrawings. I was doing them with grids and was spending more time on fine tuning them, then I did on the ink washes. It felt like copying not drawing, which I in essence it is. Using a grid can be great when the likeness have to be spot on, like a family portrait, but for me it became a bad habit I didn’t enjoy and I almost haven’t drawn since December.
So it’s time for change and it’s going to get ugly. I have a busy October so it also have to be much faster this year. I will do portraits again but I won’t be too fussy about likeness. Using smaller references with less detail is fine too. Here is my general battle plan;
-Block it in in pencil, ink with fountain pen
-No grids, only tool for measuring is my pencil
-Don’t make it easy by scaling the reference to the same size as the drawing
-Shade with hatching trying to use as few strokes as possible
Sounds simple but I know I’m going to be struggling. My brain/vanity will have a problem accepting the results knowing that I could do better with more time and other methods.
I’ll keep updating this post with my progress during InkTober.
I thought it would be a good idea to draw more guys. This one was drawn from a random mugshot from the book “Booked”. It’s Scot Weiland and it easy to see that I’m more used to drawing women. Frustration also turned “as few strokes as possible” into quite a lot of lines. Think I’ll stick with one problem at a time and not worry about drawing more guys for now.
Sktchy drawing today. Couldn’t make up my mind on how to attack the hatching. Got frustrated and ran out of time so I just left it as a line drawing.
Didn’t have a plan when I started hatching so I just kept adding more lines to try to fix the mistakes I made as I went along. Absolutely dit not succeed on the “as few strokes as possible” but I still like the drawing. Sktchy drawing again.
It’s way over my bed time and my fountain pen is skipping more then it is drawing so thats it for day 4. Might add the hatching another day.
Words of visdom: Don’t shake an acrylic marker without the cap on. I now have little white dots everywhere… Just one of those days.
Half a day late and I still havn’t had time to fix my fountain pen so fineliner today – or rater yesterday. Sktchy again and still don’t have a plan for the hatching so loads of lines.
Speed increased a tiny bit today and at times I felt I had a bit of an idea what I was doing with the hatching. Started out using a fountain pen I normally use for writing. It was loaded with normal water soluble ink and it started smearing a bit under my palm. Normally I use waterproof ink and don’t have that problem so I switched to fine liners.
I don’t have a lot of time so I’m trying to find references that are “easy” to draw; Closed mouth, smooth skin, ears hidden by hair etc. Thought todays drawing would be very easy.. Not so, it was really hard and took me ages. On the bright side I did use fewer lines when hatching today. Sktchy drawing with fine liners.
I use a blue pencil for the underdrawing and don’t bother erasing it – I really like the effect and that you can se a bit of the process. Now I’m finally having some fun experimenting with hatching and portraits. Making loads of mistakes but just try to fix them with more line – and I’m not getting stressed by the mistakes anymore. Fewer lines is the goal though.
Sktchy drawing and mostly fineliners again – had more or less destroyed the paper with too much erasing so the fountain pen was skipping.
I was really proud of myself, I did the underdrawing much faster than normal, but then I realised that the eyes where of and started correcting again and again so absolutely no time saved in the end. I was so determined not to lose the tilt of the head that I seem to have tilted it a bit extra. Hatching went a bit crazy.
If I don’t get the drawing time down I wont be able make all the drawings the next 10 days…
Sktchy drawing and mostly fine liners again.
Was a bit faster doing the underdrawing today but I could happily have spend the whole afternoon improving it. Hatching also vent a bit faster. I need to get used to the thought that it will get ugly before it gets better if I really want to improve my speed.
I have no idea what possessed me to take on this drawing on a day where I really wanted to finish quickly. The under drawing actually went fairly fast until I realised that the eyes and nose where off. I must have drawn the eyes 100 times before I realised that it wasn’t only that they where off, they where also way too big. By the time I got to the hatching I was too tired and it went a bit all over the place.
One day late, hope to catch up tomorrow – or at least not fall further behind. I even tried to draw this one on public transport. I like a to do urban sketching but trying to draw from the phone screen in a cramped space didn’t work for me. Better done the perfect will be my motto the next while.
Still one day behind and barely made it today. My pale blue pencil is not best tool when drawing after dark in rubbish light. I was trying to rush it and for ages she kept looking like a 10 year old. In the end I didn’t care about likeness as long as she did’t look like a child anymore, unfortunately I lost what had made me pick the photo in the first place in the process.
On catch up today, 3 done and up to date… but I have a very busy day tomorrow so I’ll fall one behind again :-/
I really like this one and I finally managed to cut down on the hatching. I was doing to many straight on “easy” faces. I was picking the “easy” ones to try to save time but I seem to have as much trouble with the “easy” ones as I do with the “hard” ones anyway. Go figure.
I was faster the normal with the underdrawing. It didn’t look as good as normal but I managed to fix most of it while inking. It’s blatantly obvious what I have to do to cut down on my drawing time; not do a more or less finished contour drawing as an underdrawing but just block it in to make sure I get things in the right places. I know it, but I alway get stuck refining the pencil drawing.
A day late. Still trying to do hatching with fewer lines. I think the lines have to be more confident when there is fewer of them, mine are still insecure. I’m not sure there is enough contrast – I’ll look at it again tomorrow, maybe it needs a quick going over with the brush pen.