It’s October, and normally that means I take on the Inktober challenge. Sadly, though, I couldn’t reconcile the spirit of the challenge with the increasingly questionable ethics of its founder, Jake Parker. I was a bit frustrated since I’ve been doing Inktober regularly since 2017, but thankfully my friend and fellow artist Lynne Hansen stepped in with a brilliant idea. She made her own challenge with prompts selected by her followers during a Facebook Live event wherein she and her husband, The Clown Prince of Horror himself Jeff Strand, drew words out of a hat. Knowing the election process behind the prompt list really hyped me up about the challenge, and already I feel really good about what I’ve produced. Let me show you what I mean.
Day 1: Scars
This was a tough start for me because, as a fan and cosplayer, the first thing I thought of was Heath Ledger’s Joker. But I’d told myself I wouldn’t draw fan art this year. Everything had to be my own original ideas and interpretations. So, I took awhile fleshing out this prompt. My sketchbook is full of trial and error, but finally I settled on this concept and ran with it.
My motivation for this one was the abuse and cruelty internalized and how those scars, while unseen, often do more long term damage. Being called a loser, dumb, crazy, or any other insult at a formative age will inevitably imprint itself and follow the person forward. Children are cruel, but it’s even crueler coming from an adult.
I sketched the concept then inked the line art with my Sketch Ink loaded fountain pen, the colored with Tombow dual-tip brush pens. I softened off the hard edges with some colored pencil work, then added the gory blood look of the wounds with J. Herbin ink in Rouge Caroubier. I absolutely love any excuse to use that beautiful shade.
Day 2: Winchester
I knew I wanted to tackle Sarah Winchester and the infamous Winchester Mystery House for this one. I spent a long time on Pinterest familiarizing myself with the architectural style and the style of dress for the time period. I knew her story, it was a favorite of mine when I was a kid and I’ve always wanted to visit, but but I took the time to refresh my memory a little.
When I was in high school, I took a drafting class as an elective, and this drawing really brought back memories! I had to pull out my T-square and everything! And even though the perspective was tough to lay out, I really think it makes the piece stand out. I really can’t wait to watercolor and ink this later.
Day 3: Membrane
It’s no secret I’m a fan of eldritch horror. I really couldn’t think of anything for membrane except the optical membrane, and that lead to me thinking about eyeballs. I love creepy monsters, the weirder the better, and I thought of just putting eyes on long gangly stalks. Later, I realized this creature reminded me of something from an old game I played as a kid called Altered Beast. There’s one boss in particular that I thought of, the Eyeball Boss at the end of Stage 2.
The whole game is like a weird mix of Greco-Roman mythology with Lovecraftian elements, In hindsight, it’s no wonder I find eyes so creepy yet interesting.
It’s really hard to focus on an art challenge this month, especially with the presidential elections coming up here in the USA, COVID-19 still a threat, and all the other stress in the world right now. But art if made for troubling times. And so far, I’ve found it really liberating. I really love the work I’ve produced so far, and I can’t wait to look back on the pieces I’ve completed at the end of the month. It’s always such a good feeling.
Are you doing an art challenge this month? How are you doing so far?