October has come around once again, bringing with it calls for Inktober. (We’ll set aside the drama around the “official” Inktober.) I almost sort of started a version of Inktober last year, and it ended a few days into it with expected results. While yes, a prompt system is useful for many, I found that a) my skills just didn’t feel flexible enough to follow along and 2) putting content that I didn’t feel good about in public was honestly not a great feeling.

But because I’m a glutton for punishment, I’ve decided that I’ll be creating my own prompts with a little less rigor around it. A few months ago, I picked up a set of cards by the incredibly talented Alain Vanderauwera and framed a few of them to hang above my desk. They’re beautiful sketches of the fountain pens that he used, drawn with the tools in question. They bring me great joy and inspiration, so I’ll be working in that same vein this month. A bit of “Draw Your Tools” for October.

What I want to work on:

  • Proportions - Sure, I could just trace each pen and go from there, but that’s not a challenge! Figuring out cap:body ratios and such is a big part of some of these pens.
  • Longer lines - My lack of confidence lends itself to short, quick strokes for sketching. That’s fine for a pen cap, but bodies need a little more confidence. We’ll see if I can find it.
  • Consistency - I’ve had a recurring task in Things for years to “Doodle for 5 minutes”, but it would be cool if I made it through the month with some consistency.

So, that’s the plan. Draw a little more, maybe record the process? It won’t be just fountain pens that I draw, but that’ll be the main focus. Will I stick with it? Time will tell!

PS: To see Alain whip up one of these sketches in literally seconds, check this out.