Inktober: Limitations and Freedom!

Inktober is rolling on, and my little Moleskine book is filling out nicely! I feel like I’m hitting my stride with these, after being a bit rusty with the one-page cartoons. I’m considering keeping this up as a regular thing. It’s not so much the drawing, because I do that nearly every day anyway; it’s the mental exercise of coming up with an idea of what to do with each prompt word! My creativity is definitely being stretched, by giving myself the twin restrictions of a theme (animals) and the prompt words. And it’s true that:

“The absence of limitations is the enemy of art.” — Orson Welles

I’m using the official Inktober prompt words, but if you want to try this with different prompts (Try it! It’s a workout for the grey matter!), just google “Inktober prompts” and you’ll find lists and lists of them, more than enough for years!

I’m still a day behind on my prompts, due to Oct 8-9 being a very busy couple of days, but I don’t mind. A day will come when I’ve got lots of time (possibly tomorrow!) and I can do two in one day and catch up. In the meantime, here’s my very first flea! Ever! I mean, how often would the need to draw a flea come up? Turns out they’re really kind of neat to draw — although I cartoonifeid this one, they have some pretty cool details — and jumping ability that resembles a superpower!

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One of my goals for this challenge was to draw some animals I don’t usually draw (unlike cats, and horses, and tidepool critters). Of course with the small space, I need to make them cartoony, and that led at first to a bit of frustration, because I had this initial idea of creating all these little masterpieces of animal art. I think later I’ll have to go back and draw some of these guys for real; to draw something is to understand it, and even come to love it! Incidentally, the chickens in this picture are all dead ringers for the chicken who featured in my last challenge, Gladys the surfing hen, who made several appearances in that book (here, here, and here)

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Oddly, I don’t draw many dogs. When “worried” came up, I immediately thought of those dogs with wrinkly skin (I was more thinking of a bloodhound, but when I looked them up I thought they looked more sad than worried). I have several friends with pugs, and they always look faintly worried to me; and Golden Retriever’s faces are supremely expressive. So I put them together.

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OK. So I was seriously tempted to do a cucumbers-scaring-cats joke (I had a pretty good visual idea), but then I watched a video on a possum playing possum, and got so fascinated by the whole process that I decided to do that. It’s probably not as funny as the cat one, but I got to draw a possum and some bears — this is also my first possum. I surprised myself by being able to sketch the bears from memory (though I checked some photo reference afterward to make sure I hadn’t gotten anything grossly wrong).

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Now that I’m having a bit more time in my life, I’m spending more time on these. There’s only so much time you can spend on a 3.5 x 5.5 inch rectangle, but somehow I’m packing more into the small pages!

Yesterday I also completed and posted my latest page of Mermaid Music, my webcomic. Now that I’m an artist of leisure (haha), I’m hoping to get back to having a backlog! Here’s yesterday’s page, which I drew and painted over a couple of days. If you’d like to know what is happening here, why not start at the beginning of the story?

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