Some weeks ago I wash ere on the blog writing about my first 15 days of Inktober, this beautiful initiative which consists in filling 31 days of October with 31 ink drawings. Well, we are now at the end of this path and I’m happy to say that, despite my negative thoughts, I successfully completed all the 31 illustrations! But let’s see how all things developed…
First of all there are several reasons why I decided to enter this challenge; I’ve always been a big fan of this initiative, following artists and illustrators for years now. It was just time to try and get lost in this project! September 2017 was a month full of new ideas and intentions for me, I really wanted to draw more, since I often take care of various things for my small biz which do not involve the use of pencils and brushes; sometimes I really miss the creative part of my work.
For months I wanted to try again with a certain technique I tested a couple of years ago, when I entered some illustration’s contests and while I was attending a beautiful illustration class with Marco Somà. These are basically the reasons why Jake Parker created the Inktober after all: draw daily and improve in a certain technique.
I must say I was really I was hesitant and I kind of flinched till the last; I thought I wasn’t really ready for that, I couldn’t find the time and complete the project, since I’m also having a rough time in my family. So, when I finally decided to enter, it was so hard to pick a subject for my Inktober!
I didn’t want to follow the Inktober’s prompts, I wanted something more consistent that I could turn in something more at the end of the month. I also needed s subject easy to draw, since I couldn’t really draw this all day long; I noticed I didn’t really had animals in my portfolio, so I finally ended to draw bugs! I was so excited to illustrate them and I really wanted to show the most beautiful and interesting side of something we often consider annoying and useless.
The technique I used is really simple, It’s really something I enjoy drawing with and that gives me a nice control on my illustration. So here’re my Inktober’s tools:
- Ballpens in various colors, mainly black
- Winsor&newton watercolors
- Canson watercolour havyweight paper 140/lb
Every bug was drawn with ballpens, creating the chiaroscuro with a vertical lines’ cross-hatching. The paper I used was perfect for this first layer, not really for an artwork made only with watercolors, but I used them just in the last layer, to give the illustration some color and add some shadows I didn’t reach with the ballpens, so this paper was just the perfect one.
And so how was this Inktober?
Since I decided to draw bugs a few days before I started the project I wasn’t able to put together the whole list of bugs in advance; however I knew I wanted to show the most funny and interesting sides of these insects, or maybe just draw the most beautiful, vibrant and fascinating ones.
So among the 31 drawings I made you can find 12 butterflies and moths and I realized I just love to draw them for their colors and their peculiarities. There are a lot of beetles too, my new obsession, I illustrated 14 of them in this project and every one of them has impressed me for its colors or its look.
There’s also an intruder, a little spider, who’s not properly an insect, but I really wanted to include some of them in this Inktober. You can also find a bumblebee, a grasshopper (my phobia!), a moth’s caterpillar and a dragonfly, could I avoid to draw a dragonfly?
I also included some old friends, like the “Amata phegea” from day 16; I’m really attached to this butterfly, since I was always see it when I was a kid, playing with my cousins during my summer holydays at my grandparents’ house in the hills above Vicenza. This is my favorite drawing of this challenge, along with the “Gonepteryx cleopatra” from day 8, with its wings similar to leaves.
There are also some illustrations I’m not really happy with the result, because of the difficult subject or the limited time I had to draw them that day, as for the “Bombus ortorum” from day 11 or the “Acrida ungarica” from day 9; I’m terrified by grasshoppers, but I decided to draw it anyway because of its look.
I was also very impressed from the “Acherontia atropos” also known as death’s-head hawkmoth for her skull-shaped pattern on the thorax. Often related to death and evil, you can find this moth in the movie “The silence of the lambs” or in a novel by Edgar Allan Poe called “the sphinx”.
It was a very challenging project, I often thought I couldn’t really upload every single draw, but I did. I put a lot of hard work into this Inktober, drawing the bugs with extreme care, taking photos of them and editing all these pics, but moreover there was a lot of research behind the scene of this project, selecting the perfect insect for every single day! The only thing I regret a little bit is I didn’t decided to enter the initiative before, so I could have my insects-list in advance and maybe find some more interesting bug! I could avoid stopping along the way to make new researches and find the perfect subjects to draw. Anyways, I’m really happy with the result and I’m glad I finally had the chance to improve with this technique, since I want to use it for a beautiful project on which I will work soon!
So, what’s going to happen to all these guys?
The original illustrations will be soon available for sale on my Etsy shop! Some prints and other products are also coming soon, I’m working on that! I also want to keep drawing some bugs since I enjoyed making them and I noticed you’re liking them too!
They also will be part of an exhibition in a beautiful museum in my area, but I will tell you more about that later.
So follow the developments of this project, I will update you soon!
See you soon