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On track with Inktober: Weekly Art Dispatch, No.34 🎨

25 October 2021 - Reading time: 5 minutes

Still October: still Inktober and Drawabox. I've now hit my stride for Inktober, while striving to maintain an open, exploratory mindset for those drawings.


I'm well under way with Lesson 7 of Drawabox, which is all about drawing vehicles in perspective and proportion. According to the Drawabox Discord community, I've been using an inappropriate method (not in keeping with the spirit of the course) to draw these vehicles, so I'll have to revisit my drawing strategy completely. Just goes to show how valuable it is to draw/study in community!

Some homework for Drawabox Lesson 7: a jeepney (left) and Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle (right).


It took about half the month for me to settle into a rhythm for Inktober. I've gotten comfortable enough with the process (mentioned in the previous dispatch #33) that I can free up enough headspace to think up more fanciful concepts for the prompts. I've been looking up photo references and inspiration since the beginning, but now the drawings are getting more elaborate, with more thumbnailing and preparation before I start doing the pencil undersketch and then inking.

On the other hand, I noticed that I was starting to treat the drawings with greater care. It's ordinarily not a bad thing, but I wanted to use Inktober to experiment and test drawing methods, in particular, shading and linework. But when I start treating the drawings as refined illustrations, I get uptight about getting the drawing to "look good", and stop experimenting. And that's counterproductive to my Inktober goals.

Inktober Days 17-24.  Prompts:
17 Collide, 18 Moon, 19 Loop, 20 Sprout, 21 Fuzzy, 22 Open, 23 Leak, 24 Extinct. Full prompt list here.

So this week, I made a conscious effort to return to an open, exploratory mindset, and be less timid with trying new drawing methods. Days 17 (Collide) and 20 (Sprout) were attempts to loosen up my pen work, reduce reliance on the pencil undersketch, and not stress so much about the picture "looking good". Days 18 (Moon), 21 (Fuzzy) and 24 (Extinct) were experiments with different mark-making and hatching methods.

Some of the Inktober pieces required more preparation.

Day 17, Collide. I wanted to draw the Motorball scene from the movie, Alita: Battle Angel. I watched a clip of the scene from YouTube, iterated the composition on thumbnails, and then did a little bit of posing in front of the mirror to get the proportions right.

Day 20, Sprout. I liked the blue ballpoint sketch so much I was tempted to just use that for the day's prompt. I tried to capture the same gesture and life in the black fineliner version, but no matter how I kept my linework loose, the act of copying the blue sketch already stiffened the drawing. Both have their goodness!

At the start of October I wasn't sure if I had the stamina or willpower to stick with Inktober on a daily basis. So I'm quite glad that I managed to keep up every day and find a process that suits such a quick turnaround. The end of the challenge is in sight!

If you want to see bigger versions of the Inktober sketches, I'm posting them daily to Instagram and Twitter, and I'm updating the gallery page on my website. I recently revamped my website to reflect my art growth, and it was definitely a good experience to curate my work more tightly to make an online portfolio.  (And it was a fun project too, where I could update my HTML/CSS and other front-end web development skills!)

Topics for next time: wrapping up Inktober, and more Drawabox.

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I'm Vega.

Welcome to my blog about my art journey.

Email me at: vega{at}