Inktober 2019: A Drawing Exercise

In keeping with last year, I am once again trying Inktober with the goal of drawing more than I otherwise would have. I also used it to explore my tools again. My hope is I will find the tool that clicks and be able to make drawing part of my general existence because it makes me happy. But, I don’t know if I’ll ever make it to that point. Part of the problem is I don’t have the patience to draw well, so finding a tool that will achieve the patience is unlikely.

Anyway, October began without my knowledge or permission. It was several days into it before I even realized this was the Inktober month (I saw mention of it on one of my writing forums). This means I’m struggling to incorporate drawing and likely to have very few to show for the month, especially since my energy has been low this year. However, I completed two “drawings” so far, one I like and one I don’t hate. I’m showing them in reverse order because I know which one I want the sharing to pick up.

Inktober 2-2019-traced from a photo with finger using GIMP One of my science fiction and fantasy discussion groups on Facebook asked about aliens, which made me think about a book (or books) I want to release at some point called Shadows of the Sun. The first version was 100% in the alien perspective, and the inspiration for one of the two alien species was Sri Lankan Loris. I’ve been fascinated with them since my mother helped run a conference there when I was a kid (and got to meet Arthur C. Clarke — much jealousy here). When Kyrnie, the lead in Shadows of the Sun, appeared in my dreams, she came as a cross between a spider monkey and a lori with mottled green and blue fur.

That’s the inspiration. On the technical side, this drawing is the one to prompt the quotes above. It’s a trace of a photo rather than raw drawing, done with my finger on a convertible laptop in tablet mode using GIMP. I’ve been trying to find a good drawing stylus for years, but getting the level of precision (even for my drawing) along with a software that allows me to export in layers I can manipulate has been difficult. My finger was a test rather than a solution, but I will get an active pen soon because my finger was better than the other pinpoint stylus I own, which isn’t saying much. You can admire the photo I traced here.

This one is my first drawing, a random inspiration grown from the thistle in front. I used the Jot Flip stylus with little success as it kept skipping. My frustration was enough to know I needed to find a better solution or end up scratching my laptop screen. You can see the difficulty in the jagged lines that are not typical of my style.

Inktober 1-2019-drawn with circle stylus using GIMP
As with last year, you can find many examples far superior to mine on Twitter, but it’s the attempt that’s important to me.

Note: Click either image for a larger version.

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