In 2015 I took part in Inktober, the annual celebration of traditional illustration methods.
It's quite a commitment, producing one drawing for every day of October and sharing the results on social media.
I wasn't going to take part in 2016, but I bought myself a new fountain pen and, well, it'd be rude not to use it. So, this year I'm going to use one pen, a TWSBI Eco Extra Fine fountain pen, to make thirty one drawings. The pen is currently loaded with Diamine Imperial Purple ink.
In addition to putting the results on Facebook and Twitter, and anywhere else I can, I'll gather them all here too.
Today is Oct 2, so I'll start with the first two.
Fingers crossed I can get through the month without stumbling.
For the record, all drawings will probably be made with TWSBI Eco Fountain Pen with extra fine nib using Diamine inks (probably Imperial Purple, or Teal if I get bored) on 260gsm Bristol Board.
So far (Day 9) the TWSBI Eco with extra fine nib has behaved very nicely. The Diamine Imperial Purple ink flows well and holds a clean line on the Bristol board I'm using.
All is going to plan.
If I'm honest, for Day Ten I'd have liked to fill in the blackness of space and added stars and possibly a moon etc., but having committed to doing the entire Inktober challenge only using the one fountain pen, it would've taked a long time to do a suitable job of it. So, I kept it simple.
It's Day 11, imagine the horror if you woke up one morning and one of your hands had been replaced by a robotic version - then switch that around.
The inktober challenge is more than two thirds through! As the month progresses, there are days when you have to squeeze the inky action in between more demanding stuff. Today is a busy one. This dinosaur on a scooter happened just after our evening meal and took just over an hour before I continued with the rest of my work.
For Day 23, I decided to add some pencil shading to assist the form. That's not breaking my rules, because I still used my TWSBI Eco fountain pen for the inking.
That's the end of my Inktober challenge. 31 days, 31 ink drawings, all carried out with a single pen. The TWSBI Eco Extra Fine performed very well. It's deffinitely a pen I'd use in my sketch book. I started with a half filled pen, had to refill around #18, then there was ample ink left on Day 31. I'd estimate the month could be completed from one full pen. The Diamine Imperial Purple ink was delightfully wet. If I work any of the drawings up to completed artwork, I'll re ink them with waterproof ink. One disadvantage of using fountain pen ink is that it's water soluble, so that rules out any watercolour or ink colouring of them.
Some days were better than others. There were days I didn't have a clue what to draw until I sat down at the drawing board, others were decided in my head the night before. On some days, where I thought I knew what I was doing, when it came to it, the shapes didn't behave, so I ended up doing something totally different.
In retrospect, if I applied the time I'd put into 31 drawings into one single piece, I could've made something spectacular. Which would be the better option? I'll let you decide.