Friday, October 8, 2021

Inktober Week 1: Cue Womp-Womp.wav


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I am sad to admit that I haven’t been particularly inspired by the prompts so far. I wanted to provide an ink drawing for each day, but nothing I have finished this week is worth sharing, to be honest. I have decided that I will post my reviews each Friday for the products I have used while attempting the prompts for the week. This week I used the Inktober sketch book, a variety of technical pens from Micron, Prismacolor, and Kuretake Zig Mangaka, and the Fude Pen #55 that came with the Kuretake Zig Illustration set

Image of the Inktober sketchbook with other sketchbooks and multiple pens
My copy of the Inktober Sketchbook by Eye Sooksaai

Inktober Sketchbook

The Inktober Sketchbook by Eye Sooksabai is an inexpensive and fun way to organize your daily Inktober sketches and drawings. I bought the 8.5 x 11 size, but there is a smaller one available. The book can be used for any year as each of the 31 pages has a block at the top labelled “concept” where you can add in the idea prompt and date. At the bottom of each page is a tiny ink drawing of an empty ink bottle and a drop of ink. I decided to put the dates in the little jars. 

Image of front cover of Inktober sketchbook from
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Amazon information is sparing on this product, but I figured it would be worth $8.99, and I was right. I compared the white paper to my other papers on hand, and I feel like it is in the 60lb range. That is standard sketchbook paper, so you won’t want to use washes or layers of marker on it. I think it is perfect for pencil sketches and light use of ink with technical pens, but it is too delicate for the sharp steel comic nibs I use with my dip pens. I can’t determine if the paper is archival or acid free, and I wish the product category would include that information. Bottom line: it’s a cute “gimmick” that you can keep your sketches in for the Inktober season. 


Prismacolor and Micron Technical Ink Pens

I used Prismacolor Premier extremely fine line markers in the .005, .03, and .05 widths and Micron Pigma liners in .03, .05, and .09 widths. I have black and sepia sets from both brands, and from years of experience with them, I have concluded that they are equal in quality. For this reason, my observations apply to both Prismacolor and Micron. If both brands are available to you in your area, I suggest buying whichever is cheaper or whichever package has the most variety.

Technical pens can give crisp, dark lines on thin sketch or copier paper, heavier card stock, and smooth Bristol board. They are less likely to bleed or feather on a tight smooth surface. I love to use the tiny extra fine points for small works of art and tight details. They have delicate nibs, however, so using them on heavy textured paper is not ideal, and you want to take care not to flatten the tip by pressing too hard.

A lot of young artists use them for manga and comic art, especially for details and very straight lines. These two brands are safe to use with alcohol markers without worrying about your lines being smudged. You can trust them not to skip or feather when using a ruler. Any liner will have limitations with line expression, however. You are not going to get variations and tapered lines like those from a brush or felt tip pen, but they are fantastic for crosshatching and creating other textures with short directional strokes.

Kuretake Fude #55 Brush pen 

This double-sided handsome Japanese brush pen is nice to hold and draw with. One side is a flexible brush nib that offers a nice line variation and smooth, rich ink coverage. The ither side is a very fine felt tip for details and fine lines. The fine tip is more flexible than the technical pens I have reviewed, but not as flexible as the brush tip. Both sides are brilliant for drawing any type of hair or fur, especially eyelashes and eyebrows. You can create dynamic lines with tapered ends and varying weights. The brush side is great for inking in small or medium solid spaces without any streaks or brush marks. The Fude #55 is an ideal pen for your travel art kit as you can get a nice range of lines from a single pen.  

Image of Zig Kuretake illustration set for Inktober
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Last year I bought the Kuretake Zig illustration set for Inktober 2020, and it is still available this year. The set includes the Fude #55 brush pen, the Zig Cartoonist white brush pen, the Zig Cartoonist Mangaka 01 technical pen (a good substitute for the .005 extra fine Micron and Prismacolor pens) and a Zig Cartoonist Mangaka flexible fine felt tip marker. You can use the last two pens with alcohol-based markers without smudging, but the Fude 55 will smudge in contact with alcohol markers. It makes for some interesting effects, but any fine lines will be lost if you combine the two types of ink. The white brush pen contains a heavy white ink that you might use for highlights. 

Closep image of the Fude #55 brush pen on top of the Inktober sketchbook
The Fude #55 Brush pen from Kuretake Zig

Out of the first eight Inktober prompts, my favorite was day 3: “Vessel”. My concept was a vessel for a spirit, and what makes a great almost human-looking vessel for a disembodied spirit? A doll, of course! Who doesn’t love creepy dolls? Ok, I know a few people who aren’t very fond of them, but even they will agree that it is a suitable horror concept. I mean...Annabelle, right? I made a pencil and pen sketch for that day, and while the result was not my best work, I think it is a good start for another finished work on better paper. (I will be editing this post with WIP images once I can get my photos transferred. Having technical issues, cue the womp-womp)

How has your first week of Inktober gone so far? Are you sharing your creations on social media?

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