Back in October I took part in Inktober: a challenge for artists that encourages daily drawing and sharing art. It wasn’t my first time. Last year I had fun with quickly-drawn dragonflies (that later became regular guests on my social media), and this year I decided to push myself a bit more. By common demand (expressed via Facebook and Twitter polls), I was to draw witches.
I’m not very good with anatomy, so I had to settle for simplified humans rather than realistic ones, and many of the prompts pushed me far beyond my comfort zone, but all in all, I had fun, and missed only one day due to work overload.
If you weren’t following my witches on social media, you can find them here.
The first prompt was ring, and I wasn’t sure if it showed, but I’m happy how the drawing itself turned out. The next one, mindless, was pure fun to draw. Bait challenged my anatomy skills, but I wanted to try it out instead of setting for something easier. The fourth day’s picture, with freeze prompt, is probably my least favorite one, while the fifth, build, was again pure fun to draw.
For the day 6 prompt, husky, I had to decide which meaning of it to choose, and settled on “burly/robust/large”, because drawing a curvy witch seemed like fun. The next prompt, enchanted was another pure joy to draw. Frail always makes me think of old ladies, and I rarely draw elders, so it was a perfect opportunity to practice. Swing made me think of a moon-shaped swing, and a witch fashionista seemed a perfect match. My pattern was a very simplistic one, but my arm was already sore from drawing all those spiders.
I had several ideas for snow prompt, but in the end I went with a snow globe, and I think dragon for day 12 is self-explanatory. I liked my idea for ash, “a curse gone wrong” but drawing ash is difficult and I somewhat failed in that regard. Overgrown was another of my favorite prompts to draw and I was really happy how the final picture turned out. I struggled with an idea for legend until Inq reminded me that maps have legends too – and drawing this picture made me want to draw a map for my epic fantasy.
I couldn’t get the idea for wild – a tarzan-like witch – to work, so sadly, I settled for something more generic, but you can’t win every day, right? My drawing for ornament was simple as well, but I did have fun working on it. Day 18’s misfit is one of those cases where the idea doesn’t really match execution. I failed at anatomy of sling-shooting witch, and one with her arm in a sling felt boring, so I had to get creative: according to a dictionary, sling is a drink made of alcohol, sugar, water, and lemon. Tread was another fun one to draw.
My take on treasure was a tribute to all the book lovers out there, while ghost was just a quick drawing between work and more work. My first thought for ancient was to draw a mummy witch (since I already did an old one for frail), but in the end I decided to mimic ancient Egyptian drawings and loved how it turned out. I skipped day 24, so no drawing for it, and then I had fun with tasty even if the idea for it wasn’t particularly original one. The reverse black & white drawings are always a bit of a challenge for me, so I wanted to give them another go when I saw the dark prompt.
Coat was a quick, uninspired drawing – but hey, at least it has a cat, right? From the beginning of the challenge, ride was one of the prompts I really didn’t want to draw, but at least it got me to study spider anatomy more closely. I have to confess, I had the idea for injured from early on, and I was really looking forward to drawing this one! The idea for catch came with so many anatomy challenges that final drawing turned out quite disappointing. By the end of the month, I was getting quite worn down with both drawing and image-related creativity, so my last picture, ripe, isn’t quite as creative as it could be, but I thought it was a nice on to wrap the challenge up.
All in all, the challenge pushed my limits more than I expected, and reminded me that although I enjoy art, I lack a lot of skill to get my drawings anywhere. But for a month, once a year, I can have fun being an amateur artist, so if time and circumstances allow, I’ll be coming back to Inktober next year as well.
How about you? Did you participate? Or maybe you enjoyed your social media being flooded with various pictures? And – of course – which is your favorite witch?
Joanna Maciejewska is a fantasy and science fiction author who enjoys all things SFF: books, movies, and video games.
Her short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies in Polish and in English.
Her epic fantasy adventure series, starting with By the Pact, is available in ebook and paperback at all major retailers.