Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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Inktober 2019: Director's Cut

For the uninitiated, Inktober is a drawing challenge where you have to make one drawing in ink (no digital! but you do you I guess) for each day in October, with each drawing based on a certain prompt. This year’s prompts list is:

I’ve tried participating in this a few times since 2016, I think I only completed the full 31 days once before this year though. You can view my current and future entries through the inktober tag.

For this year, I decided to up the challenge a bit more by doing a sequential series of drawings, something akin to a comic strip I guess? It’s not a super good story or super original, but I did enjoy the challenge. Basically, I started out with a small group of adventurers (initially 2, but later 3 characters) in a dungeon for some reason, and followed them as they tried to get out of various dangerous situations. I also consider my handwriting quite atrocious, so I tried to avoid having to write too much text. (There was one drawing where I tried putting drawings in speech bubbles instead to get around this.) The sketchpad I was using was fairly small, and my manual dexterity is not so good these days, so a lot of my lines are shaky, since I don’t have the advantage of digital sharpening etc.

The challenge usually came when I had to find a way to link the prompt to the current situation they were in, and to “advance the story” a bit every time, shall we say. I ended up having some days not have a single drawing, but rather a more comic-book style sequence of smaller panels. I think on average my ink drawings weren’t as detailed as they were in previous years, but I did enjoy the challenge of having to string them together to form some semblance of a plot and also doing the panel layouts. The challenge was pretty fun, although stressful at times. I would only look ahead on the prompt list a few days of a time, so I didn’t have a beginning-to-end plan or anything like that, but I did have some anxious days where it took me forever to figure out a way to somehow meet the prompt.

I made these drawings on a 152mm x 229mm sketchpad, using a Uni pin fine line pen I got a few years back. Many of them had pencil sketches first (especially those that were more complicated or challenging, and I didn’t really erase the pencils thoroughly so you can still spot them on most of the drawings. There was also one day where I tried using some colored markers I found around the house to add some color, but the lines ended up way too thick so I was unhappy with it and didn’t use them again. I had uploaded this series to Instagram as square images (since that’s what Instagram accepts), but the original scans were mostly of full rectangular sketchpad page, so I present them here for your viewing pleasure. (Note: I’m not claiming these are super good works or anything!) You can also view the original individual posts with captions via the inktober2019 tag on this site.

Since I enjoyed the challenge so much, I’m hoping this can set me back on my daily sketching routine. Though I’ve already missed the first two days of November due to being out of town, but that’s not something unrecoverable, hopefully!

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