Long week and #Inktober2017

It has been a long week of working seven days with one of those days being an eight hour shift on our Thanksgiving Holiday here in Canada. I don’t mind. It is a joy to interact with people, learn their plans for the holiday and helping them to find what they need to provide their holiday meal for their family.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to keep up with my Inktober sketches for those seven days. My work is very physical which means I end up very tired especially after an eight hour shift. It turned out easier than I thought it would. I believe this was due to my forethought of making each sketch conform to a small area on the page.

These are page 1 and page 2 of my #Inktober2017 sketches. The pages are 7″ x 10″ which includes the area where the pages are bound. Each square is approximately 2 1/2″ x 2 3/4″, therefore each sketch is relatively small.  Some of them took only 15 minutes or so to sketch while others took a bit longer.

One of the reasons I decided to attempt the #Inktober challenge this year was the fact that I could do them while sitting on my sofa, resting while watching videos. This was important because my hours for when I work fluctuate. I don’t go into work at the same time every day. Some days I go in as early as 7am, while other days I might go to work at 2 or 3 in the afternoon or other days as late as 6 or 7pm. Therefore, it was important for me to be able to do my sketches either before I went to work or after coming home and needing to put my feet up and rest for a couple hours.

I try to do more intricate artwork on my days off as well as write a blog post, but most of the time I end up not having time for both because what I couldn’t get done on the days I work is left to be done on my days off, which means running errands or getting housework done. I usually reserve one of my days off for doing laundry which sometimes means I can work on larger pieces or paint in between loads of laundry. Today was supposed to be one of those days, however, we have an appointment today which interferes with those plans, so I’m at least working on posting on my blog.

I mentioned in the last post that I was working on another tangle page. I’m not yet finished with it, but here it is so far:

IMG_1027

I basically used this page as a sort of practice with various tangle patterns and learning how to make the page feel cohesive by repeating different patterns in various sections. I still have some spaces to fill and shading to do.

What I find interesting is this… when I photograph something I work on and then place it here in my blog, my mind, for some unknown reason, sees it differently. Looking at this piece in the photo, I am better able to visualize some changes I could have made, or how I could have made it more cohesive. I might still be able to do it and may play around with it to see if I can.

The thing I love about tangles is the flexibility of working with them. They can become anything you want them to be. If you look at the bottom right section, I used that tangle in one of my #Inktober2017 sketches, in particular, the one dated 7October2017, for her hair. I changed it slightly but in essence it is the same tangle. I used a similar technique on 10October’s sketch.

I have today’s sketch to do yet which will be done later this afternoon or evening. For now, I need to get ready for our appointment and then do laundry and clean up from our late Thanksgiving dinner we had last night. I don’t always get to the cleanup right away. Yesterday, I was still recovering from working seven days straight. My body ached and I felt tired. At least, I had the energy to cook our long awaited meal and run a couple of errands while we waited for the ham to cook in the slow cooker. (I love my slow cooker.)

On top of this my daughter wasn’t feeling well the past few days. One of my mornings started about an hour earlier than expected with her waking up suddenly and throwing up. On days like that it is hard to leave for work even when she reassures me she is feeling better and will be okay. This maybe why I was compelled to draw such sad faces on a few of my girls for #Inktober.

I want to talk a bit about my sketches so far for #Inktober. I did decide to focus on faces. I just wasn’t sure how it would go. I thought I would incorporate tangles too, but again wasn’t sure how. I am intrigued by the progression of my sketches. The first few obviously reflect the mind of a beginner, someone who is searching or stretching outside of their comfort zone. Some of them not coming out as well as I would have liked them to be but persevering through those uncomfortable moments of wanting to just wad them up in a ball and throw them away.

I’m glad I didn’t.

I love seeing the progress I’m making. I also love certain things about each one and the movement into the more graphic design. The graphic nature of the last few faces I did and incorporating a mandala structure around them in a way represents what I learned in my mandala journey and its influence on my practice of drawing faces. The last sketch I did yesterday, though it isn’t as obvious still contains the graphic structure but now going back and using cross-hatching to add in more dimension.

I did not expect this to happen when I started #Inktober this year and chose faces. I just thought I would work on learning how to draw different facial expressions. I never imagined it would take this turn or journey into possibly discovering a style I would embrace as my own. I am intrigued where the rest of October will take me on this journey.

 

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