52 more

Jake Parker, who runs the Inktober challenge, got it into his head to do 52 weeks of drawing prompts this year, and I’m crazy so I decided to do it. No really, I missed it. I found myself on the internet searching for drawing prompts. I think one a week is actually more doable given my life so here we go. This is January.

Sketches of feathers with different ideas for the feathers like a heartbeat graph, tree branches, wire, mountains and lakes

January 2, Week 1: Flight. I was getting warmed up and had a bit of panic over drawing again, so I decided sketching feather ideas was the way to go. I’ve actually sketched four pages of feathers now. My favorite on this page was the bottom right one, which I may do more with.

January 9/16, Weeks 2/3: Jake missed sending a week 2 prompt, and week 3 was SHADOW and ended up being super personal, so I haven’t decided abou thtat one. It actually was a follow-up to one from Inktober.

Ink drawing looking down on a skink sitting on a rock in a garden, with gravel and sand on one side and grass and a wood deck on the other.

January 23, Week 4: SNAKE. My drawing is actually of a skink, which is a type of lizard, but a very snakey kind of lizard. I think of them as half snake half lizard. This one is a snake-eyed skink. My daughter is fond of reptiles in general and we spent some time looking this creature up one day, and now share a fondness for it.

On the drawing side, I was going for practice in textures. This is an entirely inked drawing, which is rare for me to do, and makes me nervous about fucking it up, but it was all theoretically natural materials I could wiggle about with, so I tried to make any mistakes into something intentional looking.

Ink drawing of the Berlin Wall

January 30, Week 5: Balloon. If you’re my age-ish, you may immediately get this reference to Nena’s 99 Luftballons from the 80s. The Berlin wall and the cold war figured prominently in my 70s/80s childhood, and the constant threat of nation-leaders annhilating each other and their entire populations for unnecessary and stupid ego-centric reasons (not that I have an opionion about it) is perfectly encapsulated by this song. The German lyrics are about a cataclysmic war resulting from red balloons mistakenly interpreted as potential enemy aircraft, causing mass conflict, destruction and ugliness with no winner in sight. Rolling Stone (referenced in the Wikipedia article) reported this:

” While at a June 1982 concert by the Rolling Stones in West Berlin, Nena’s guitarist Carlo Karges noticed that balloons were being released. As he watched them move toward the horizon, he noticed them shifting and changing shapes, where they looked like strange spacecraft (referred to in the German lyrics as a “UFO“). He thought about what might happen if they floated over the Berlin Wall to the Soviet sector.

As far as drawing goes, it’s pen over (a lot of erased) pencil with watercolor pencil for the balloons. For inspiration, I used the very first photo I saw, not because it was the first but because I realized that photo would present a challenge in drawing perspective, which I struggle with, so I took that as a sign to work on it. Yes, I’m intentionally using the prompts to work on my drawing abilities. I’m not 100% happy with how I did with that challenge, but it was a good exercise.

That’s not to say I don’t like my drawing, I really do. It feels like the sort of making-a-point art I probably would do more of if I had the time. That original photo is here, from an article at the Atlantic of a woman and child walking beside the wall before its fall. The graffiti and general feel I used is from that photo and this one.

Week 6 was released this morning, hammer. No ideas yet!

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