Thought I’d emerge from my NaNoWriMo cave and post something! Though I cheated a little, as this is a compilation of thoughts I had while doing #Sketchtember. Even though it is a different style than my normal posts, I hope you will enjoy it anyway. ❤️
On Monthly Challenges
I actually decided to do the #Sketchtember challenge as a sort of warm-up for NaNoWriMo. Yes, the two are different art forms, but the concept of a month-long stamina challenge was the same, so I thought it would help. I think it’s safe to say, though, that I didn’t have any idea what I agreed to.
Even before #Sketchtember, I sketched pretty much every day or every other day, depending on my free time. The opportunity to sketch every day, not just for “free time” but as a sort of job was really liberating because now I didn’t worry about taking time away from work. (Or at least, not as much.)
On Sketching Daily
On the other hand, having to sketch and post every day quickly became a chore. . . until suddenly it wasn’t. Somewhere in the fourth week, it went from being a chore to a habit – and an enjoyable habit at that! I think that was what prompted me to challenge #Inktober as well.
On Pen & Paper vs Digital
Having switched over from traditional sketching to digital, I can say that they are very different experiences. Pen and paper feels more organic. . . there’s only so many times you can erase before the paper shows it, of course, and there’s the texture of the paper as well. If you draw lightly and build up, you don’t need to worry about drawing a ‘perfect’ line first try; the texture helps disguise the series of small lines. And maybe it’s just that I’ve sketched more traditionally, but it comes more naturally to me than digital. I can be happy with a sketch more quickly, anyhow.
I haven’t sketched digitally in a while, so I relearned a lot of things this month. Like, digital sketching tends to take more time as layers and the eraser tool appeal to the perfectionist within me. GIMP has no limit on layers (just what my computer can handle without slowing down, haha), so the “sketch” part itself may take 3-5 layers: skeletion/gesture, blocking out, adding detail, hair and clothing each have their own layer.
And since there is no physical limit on erasing (digital paper doesn’t pill or fray), I tend to redraw the same line over and over until it looks perfect. This is why some of my digital #Sketchtember posts are more like inked drawings than sketches!
I think I mentioned this before, but it feels like my style changes when I sketch digitally. I don’t know why. . . . No, that’s not true. It’s at least partially because of the tool. With smoothing pen options and the pixelation, the lines don’t always come out the way they would on paper. (Maybe I need to look up some more pen sets.)
It’s also partly because I’m more likely to have reference pics when I’m working digitally. When I’m already at the computer, it’s easy to pop open the browser and look up a reference. . . but when I’m drawing traditionally, I draw mostly from imagination. (That’s another way of saying that I’m too lazy to get up and go to the computer, haha.) So maybe my poses are more realistic digitally.
Though, this isn’t limited to purely digital sketches. When I scan a paper sketch in and work on it digitally, the style tends to change then, too. So maybe we should just call it the inking effect.
It seems that every time I sketch something, I think, “Oh, this part or that part was hard!” Especially when I need to sketch hands. It’s a little discouraging to feel my shortcomings so often. TT_TT But in truth, the times that I think that are occurring gradually less frequently, and it feels like I’m getting a little better at sketching each day. While I’d love to have amazing art abilities overnight, this steady improvement is good too.
Do you have any interesting “musings” while you do challenges? Please share in the comments below!