Inktober 2017 Round-up

Blog

#Inktober. A portmanteau that only the best of the internets can come up with. Usually for me, it’s an annual instagram/twitter event that I look on as a spectator – or at best with a degree of guilt having posted maybe one inked image on instagram to shamefully capitalise on the hashtag.

But this year I decided to go for it and pragmatically declared that I’d do it most days, sometimes using the prompts, sometimes just following an idea or train of thought, shonky or otherwise, to inky completion.

It is a significant challenge to make an image you’re proud of every day, especially as I tend to work slowly, despite knowing that caution and deliberation can stunt the life within an image, making marks muddier and inhibiting spontaneity and animation. So it’s with delight that some of my favourite inktober images were those with no prior pencil work, just making the most of the brush or pen I was using – seen with the magpie, the snail trail and ‘mysterious’ images.

For many artists it was clear that their inktober was about them exercising their ideas within their style of drawing and it was largely mind-blowing, entertaining and envy inspiring. However, for me it was really important to use the month to understand ink. I’m always frustrated when ink ruins pencil work. That’s one reason why I find working digitally pleasing.

So here was a chance to deal with those issues to find a way to really work with ink in way that works for me and I’m delighted at how some of the images are and can only be ink with a brush, with a nib, or from a technical pen. That’s ink’s beauty.

You can see them all on instagram.com/patchmiller.

I’m selling 7″x7″ prints (on Arches 300gsm watercolour paper) and the original artworks of most of these inktober posts. Please drop me a line if you’re interested.

The images

Mysterious

Bearskin

Trail

Furious

Koschei The Deathless

Day one (for sorrow)

The tools

The mark-makers

The inks

The eraser

Central line commuter

Secret Portraits

If this looks a little different from the usual sketch post it’s because I’ve been getting a masterclass from Jen Wright, mastermind of Inky Collective who, apart from being a serious force in the creative industry as a copywriter and creativity-monger, is now forging a formidable business as a letterpress printmaker, blogger and social media guru – my next business cards are absolutely coming from her. Sorry Moo.

After a lovely lunch with her yesterday I’m  trying to be more focused. From being more organised with my posts (everyday, 10am on Twitter (@PatchDasmiller), and Instagram (patchmiller)), to the way posts are presented. She’s an excellent photographer and every one of the images she posts on Instagram, the blog and in her Etsy shop is exquisite. So go there now – go!!

• Blog: http://inkycollective.com
• Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/InkyCollective
• Instagram: https://instagram.com/inkycollective/
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/inkycollective

Secret Portraits

Guy checking his phone after a snooze in Mamamiya Coffee, Guangdong Book Centre, Tienhe, Guangzhou.

Guangdong Book Centre is 7 floors of homeware stuff, gadgets, sports gear, art supplies… But mainly books. A lot of books. Think department store with mainly books in it, and the other concessions are the bonus. It includes a good big section of English language books in Chinese – heaven for Ms. Das of course. The art supplies bit is full of ornate ink blocks and epic brushes – heaven for me. A cute cafe too, Mamamiya (see what they did there), with lovely staff who seemed genuinely happy to see us, and a more diverse clientele than in other cafés we’ve been too, with older women (drawing interrupted), girls alone and boys in gangs. Like.