Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Inktober Day 29 - United with extra pumpkins

The first real cold of the season has been working its way through the family, hitting me first then M and now Dave who has struggled into work today, saying he has things he needs to get finished. One of those things, is needing to submit his pumpkin for his employer's pumpkin carving competition.

M and Dave spent yesterday morning hollowing out and carving pumpkins. Dave went for a novel design, transforming his pumpkin into skull. M meanwhile was working on her allotment pumpkin, a fine specimen that she felt should be a tiger. M did all the scooping and drew her design, but Dave went in with the knife to make it come to life.
Meanwhile I spent the day dividing my creative thinking between Hallowe'en and Inktober. The former required research, putting together some fun things for M to do over the next couple of days. There'd normally be a fair bit of seasonal baking at this point, but the oven chose to die on Friday night so no baking for us. Someone is organised to fix it at some point on Tuesday (i.e. Hallowe'en) but that isn't much help in terms of having an oven for some serious baking sessions.

The Inktober prompt for yesterday was a difficult one - 'United'.

I'll admit I was stumped and lacking in inspiration. My immediate association was 'football' (or 'soccer' if you're across the other side of the Atlantic) but that is so not me, it held no appeal whatsoever. Then there was 'tea and biscuits', but I couldn't be bothered to set up a suitable still life to use as a base. I could be terribly cliched and draw two hands holding each other, but I'm not into cliches. So I asked M, who said "Charlie and Missy", who are our cats.

Once I had the suggestion, I was off and after a bit of thought, looking at pictures of fires in fireplaces to see what happens with the shadows, this is what I came up with.
Inktober Day 29 - United
Note this is not a picture of my cats, just two similar animals. I do have a fireplace, but it is not as impressive, has not been lit in years and is buried in toys. So this is not my living room, but maybe one day...

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Inktober Day 28 - Fall

A very quick update from me for #inktober. We had a full day yesterday, Christmas shopping and we picked up a pair of winter boots for M. The evening saw us helping some family friends celebrate their wedding, so it made for another late night drawing session. The prompt was 'fall' which I decided should mean both falling and autumn, hence I drew the following which is loosely based on a photo of M when she was a toddler.
#inktober day 28 - Fall
It didn't turn out too badly, but I'm not sure about the shading, something I find very difficult to do with an ink pen.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Channelling Christmas yet to come

Briefly because I plan a full day of Christmas shopping, because yes, it is nearly that time of year again. And in keeping with the theme, I channelled the festive spirit for last night's #Inktober drawing as per the prompt - Climb.
#Inktober2017 - Day 27 - Climb
I thought it might be interesting to show a similar picture I drew last December, albeit in pencil not ink, to see how things have come along.
From my archive - drawn December 2016
While both of these drawings make me smile, last night's sketch definitely has a more three dimensional feel to it.

Friday, 27 October 2017

A trip to the allotment and Inktober day 26

We've been suffering the first real cold of the season, with it being my turn last week and M's this week, which means we've not really been able to take advantage of 'half-term' activities. M was well enough to attend a friend's Hallowe'en party earlier this week, but otherwise poor M hasn't felt up to much, so was keen to go to the community allotment yesterday.

Disaster struck a few minutes after we arrived when M moved some stacked garden chairs which had been rained on. Unfortunately the rain had pooled in the bottom chair on the stack, so when M picked up the last two chairs she tipped a sizeable puddle onto her legs and into her wellies. Fortunately, M took it in good humour as I sat her down and poured the water out of her wellies while she inspected her soaked trousers and sodden socks. After a brief check to see if there were any spare clothes/wellies on site, we went home so M could change but were back half an hour later.

M immediately got stuck in with planting beans, decorating a pumpkin with pins (we'll carve it over the weekend), saw onion seeds for the first time and helped set up a new mud kitchen. We ended up staying an hour past the end of the session so M could help test the mud kitchen thoroughly, before we headed home with a happy girl.
An afternoon at the allotment.
Inktober continues here and yesterday's prompt was 'Squeak'.

M elected to draw a very big mouse.
M's drawing for #Inktober2017 Day 26 - Squeak
While I decided on hamsters.
My drawing for #inktober2017 Day 26 - Squeak!
Dave drew our cat Missy because she came up to him as he was staring at his sketchpad and squeaked to get his attention. No photo though, as it isn't mine to share.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

A slight change of direction

It's been a while since I've posted here, as while we've been as busy as ever I just never seem to get time to sit still at a computer, other than when I'm working. I've been doing very brief posts over on Tumblr from time to time, but not here. I guess it might be time to think about using a mobile app to update this blog.

Amongst the things I haven't been talking about (due to lack of posts) is this year's main crafty activity for me has been to practice my drawing. Like most children (or at least M) I drew all the time, as often as I could get hold of paper and pencils. Drawing as a thing petered out in my teens, although it saw a brief resurgence in my early 20s as I dabbled with watercolours. After that, being an adult took over and drawing mostly stopped.

M of course loves drawing, so I'd occasionally draw for her and at some point last year I started drawing for me. Last Christmas rolled around and I decided that this year, I would try to improve my drawing skills by practising a lot. Which I have done, mostly to the detriment of knitting time.

Rolling forward to now, 10 months after that decision and despite my preferred medium being pencil, Dave persuaded me to try #Inktober, which is an internet challenge to draw a picture a day in ink for every day in October. I don't use ink, I have a long standing fear of it as I hate the permanence, the fact I can't erase and have to go with the first mark I lay down, so I was hesitant but M thought it was a fantastic idea and in the end the whole family had a go.

We've been using the official prompt list from Jake Parker (http://mrjakeparker.com/inktober/) and I've been posting daily on Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr, with the latter being public, so if you want to see ALL of my drawings go take a look.

In the meantime, here are some of my favourites so far:
Inktober Day 4 - Underwater

Inktober Day 8 - Crooked

Inktober Day 9 - Screech

Inktober Day 11 - Run

Inktober Day 13 - Teeming

Inktober Day 17 - Graceful

Inktober Day 18 - Filthy

Inktober Day 20 - Deep

With only a few days to go, I'm feeling pretty accomplished in that I haven't missed a single day of the challenge, although producing a complete drawing each day is proving exhausting. Sometimes I have an idea straight away, other days I have to brainstorm a bit on the prompt to come up with a drawing. Strangely, those drawings I've had to work on and struggled to come up with something suitable to match the prompt, or had to do preliminary sketches or thumbnails, are the ones I think have been the best ones. A lesson in the learning perhaps?

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