#Inktober 2: Conan Doyle, felines, fish

I’m giving #Inktober a go this year – a 31-day challenge created by one Jake Parker to help “develop positive drawing habits”. The idea is to produce one ink drawing a day throughout the month of October. This post collects my scrawlings since the first selection – entitled My #Inktober Symphony – which I posted a week ago.

Fancy giving #Inktober a try? Why not pick up a pen and see what you come up with? I’d love to see the results!

Saturday 7 October 2017

Let sleeping Sundaes lie? My wife realised that last Saturday (7 October 2017) was our “Gotcha day” – one year to the day since we got our beautiful guinea pigs, Sundae and Praline. I tiptoed over and managed to draw this image of Sundae whilst he was fast asleep (for those who do not fweep, guinea pigs often sleep with their eyes wide open).


Sunday 8 October 2017

Most Sunday mornings I make a pilgrimage to the statue of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I took a picture whilst there last weekend, then sketched it once home.


‘Tis the season to be Halloweenful… so here is a somewhat silly Dracula pic.


Moustachio’d gent, perhaps somewhat large of chin… but an affable sort, overall.


Purple pen, meet notepad.


Monday 9 October 2017

Skull ‘n’ coffee sketches from the train to work of a dark and – yes – Octoberful morning.


School Kills? Sketch of a boy with a provocatively-slogan’d jacket sitting against a wall, who I saw on my way home from work, then sketched whilst on the train.


Tuesday 10 October 2017

My tribute to the phenomenal (and phenomenally titled) picture “Cat on velux”, which my friend Adam Creme tweeted on Sunday 8 October. Mr Creme, I hope I did some kind of justice to this veluxulent feline.


When you are drawing a picture, you sometimes get to a point where a slight change of tack could ruin the whole enterprise. Midway through my “cat on velux” tribute, I wondered about adding in some grey shading. I tried the following quickie experimental sketch to see how it might look.


Wednesday 11 October 2017

Wedding ring. Getting married back in the summer was the biggest change to my life this year. And also the best. My friend Laurie Ruettimann gifted me the following words in the run-up to the big day:

“Congratulations on making the best decision of you life.”

Thank you, Laurie – you were so right!


Oh dear, perhaps all this drawing is getting me muddled? I definitely drew this post-it note portrait of a fictional woman on Wednesday 11 October, even if the date I wrote on it suggests otherwise!


Thursday 12 October 2017

I love fish (in their living, breathing and swimming form, I mean – see the “wallpaper” on 

my Twitter for further evidence of this). As this #Intkober #FridayJunior rolled around, I thought it high time to get piscine with my scrawlings.


And a second fishful #Inktober picture, this time on a bright post-it note.


I tried to do a quickie biro sketch of a bird I’d just seen fleeting by the window on my train journey home. Once again, what I got down on paper is but a pale shadow of the idea I had in mind (which in turn was but a pale shadow of nature’s own artistry).* But I present it here as evidence of my #Inktober efforts, all the same.


Friday 13 October 2017

Bird of fire, blazing sun. A variant on Thursday’s biro sketch (and perhaps even further from the original, real-life bird that first got me drawing that day). 

“Honour thy error as a hidden intention.” So advises one of Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies cards. I bore this principle in mind here. The blazing sun was a late addition to cover over some distinctly messy overspill in orange!


Saturday 14 October 2017

Last but most definitely not least, rounding off this week’s #Inktober selection is a picture of our rather elderly fish, Yan. These days, he tends to spend a lot of his time resting in the corner of the tank with his chin (or the fish equivalent thereof) on the gravel with his body elevated. And such is how we find him in this picture.


If you fancy dipping your toes into the welcoming waters of #Inktober, why not give it a go? I’d love to see what you draw!


* Like I said last week, it can be frustrating to contemplate the gap between the picture you have in mind and what you end up with on paper. So far, I’ve found #Inktober truly inspirational in forcing me to draw quickly and accept the results. On Monday this week, I listened to a great Joe Rogan Experience episode from earlier this month, in which Rogan shares some pertinent words:

“Every time you fuck something up and every time you do something badly, there’s a lesson that you get out of the weird feelings of failure, of discontent. Those lessons are extremely valuable. A person who doesn’t make mistakes and doesn’t do anything wrong – they don’t learn shit. You don’t learn anything from doing something perfectly every time.”

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