Drawlloween 2018 Daily Sketch Practice Wrap Up

Did you notice the surge of illustrations on social media in October? Have you heard about Inktober? What about Mab’s Drawlloween Club? Both provide a drawing prompt for everyday of October. Anyone can participate by sharing their illustration and tagging it with the challenge name. Inktober, created by Jake Parker, has topics which are perhaps broader in scope. Mab Graves, creator of Drawlloween, makes prompts oriented to Halloween or horror genres.

I’ve wanted to do Inktober for a couple years but was a little shy to do it on my own. This year, an artist friend started a small group on Facebook to support each other through the Drawlloween challenges. Sharing the art more widely on social media was optional. Perfect!

The idea of some kind of daily practice without a lot of pressure was really appealing. But I didn’t want to get too caught up in this challenge while I had other obligations. I set a few personal rules:
1. Try to spend no more than 20 minutes on a sketch
2. Try to use a medium I’m not good at or comfortable with.
3. You have permission to make bad drawings

Week 1:

LIKES: The Cat, the mushrooms, the haunted object
DISLIKES: The witch, the lab. Mainly time issues. My idea for the lab was an old alchemist lab but… ideas bigger than my skill.
DISCOVERIES: I’m not as good at pencil drawing as I thought. Drawing on Post-Its is awesome. White ink on black paper isn’t what I thought it would be. WORK SMALLER!

Week 2:


LIKES: The yokai, the lagoon creature, the vampire.
DISLIKE: The skeleton. It was freaking hard, couldn’t put in the time and it shows. ūüė¶
DISCOVERIES: I love the idea for spider babies. I’ve m finding that some of my ideas are not going to happen in a single, quick, sketch. I’m spending time on pen and ink and I think I’m getting a bit better.

Week 3:

LIKES: Werewolf, Rat
DISLIKES: Seance
DISCOVERIES: The wax crayon (Caran d’Ache) was fun but I have to relax on detail control with them. My determination to make the white on black paper is… I just need to let that go.

Week 4:

LIKES: I like the pun for pumpkin. The Lint Monster (which was¬†surprisingly popular) but I’m not a fan of anything in particular.
DISLIKES: Pretty much this whole week, especially the forest.
DISCOVERIES: Super swamped with deadlines and visiting family in the hospital. I wasn’t doing these daily. At first I was excited by the prompts and then I found them excruciating. The watercolour pens for the forest annoy the heck out of me. I’m frustrated and annoyed with the stuff I’m making but since I’m 21 days in, I’m not going to quit. I liberally applied the DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT rule.

Final Days:

LIKES: Mary Shelley was the one I was least keen on at first. It’s my favourite. Victor Frankenstein is a single line drawing. The Bride… I find it funny.
DISLIKES: Not this week!
DISCOVERIES: By this time I’m caught up and doing one a day. ¬†I think these are the best ones of the series. I took way longer than my allowed 20 minutes. My image of Dr. Frankenstein’s lab was similar to the day 5 challenge. I barely avoided that rabbit hole.

THE FAVORITES GALLERY:

SUMMING UP
Daily Practice: Momentum in a project is really a thing.
At the beginning, the idea of daily practice really appealed to me. By the third week, I’d fallen behind and started to get stressed. But having done 21 drawings gave me that extra push to make sure that I completed the challenge even though I was doing multiple drawings on some days.

Time Management: Reflect, compromise and know yourself?
No surprise that investing time gives better results. My favourite images took way more time than I planned. The biggest struggle here was letting go of certain visions in order to meet deadlines. A couple things were good: working smaller, use whatever is on hand (result was drawing on Post-its). I was really inspired by the artists I did the challenge with. They inspired me to make my work as good as possible. The drawback was  frustration. I know I could do better with more time. It was also easy to start comparing myself to them and that was totally not the point of the challenge. More importantly, we are all on different points of our artist journey and I think comparing yourself to another artist is a waste of time and harmful.

Different Media/ Technique Challenge: good to try new things but great to be in the comfort zone
I felt like pen and ink work improved a lot. Using black paper didn’t work out how I expected. The guache was better than white ink pen and the coloured pencil on black paper… no. I feel like I needed to try a wider variety of techniques. I realized my pencil drawing technique is not as good as I thought. That’s fine. It’s good to know what to work on.

Permission to make bad drawings: taken at full face value
This permission also freed me up to try different techniques. Even when I didn’t like the direction of the sketch I kept going. For me and this kind of practice, it’s important to say done is better than perfect. It also helped me with time management.

Anyway, a very long wrap-up of my daily art practice with Drawlloween. If you’re curious about any of the drawings, feel free to comment.

Also, if you have any art medium or techniques you recommend let me know. I do love to experiment.

The Book of Eringi: A Mushroom Story

There’s a pile of polymer clay that I’ve wanted to incorporate into art-book making for a while. My previous experiments with polymer clay pages and coptic bindings will not see the light of day. Making new work for the September exhibition, Reading Between the Lines, provided inspiration to try polymer clay again.

The Book of Eringi

I liked the idea of having a realistic front and concertina pages. I tried first with a shiitake shape but the sculpture was too top heavy. Eringi proved an idea shape for the concertina  format I had in mind.

Pop Up Mushrooms
popout-mushroom-handmadebook-polymerclay-watercolor-lori-ono-2I have a bunch of small tins I planned to make into mini-sewing kits, but they ended up being made into a type of book, instead. I covered the lid with a thin layer of polymer clay and then sculpted mushrooms to go on top. My favourite challenge with polymer clay is mixing the clay until I get the right color. The pop-out mushrooms are hand-painted using watercolour

Glow in the Dark
It’s the same method as Pop-Out Mushrooms. The glow in the dark polymer clay actually glows in the dark! That was really exciting. I have some glow in the dark paint but haven’t decided what kind of content and how I want to design the pages yet.

Other Projects and Ideas
I started another book in the shape of a shiitake to do in the same format as the eringi. It didn’t work as the stem wasn’t thick enough and it kept falling over. I found an old hymnal book with pages falling out so I took the cover and attached the shiitake. I still haven’t figured out the content of The Shiitake Hymnal. I have another couple of ideas of layered images and cut outs that I want to try. ¬†I’ll post those when I get more done on them.

QUESTION:
What kind of mushroom book would you like to see?

Dreaming of Imaginary Dragon Fish

illustration by Lori Ono
Dream Fish

I did this illustration a while ago, and then decided to scan it and try coloring and airbrushing with Photoshop. Mostly, I’m happy with how it turned out. I think I might want to change the color scheme. Not sure. The colors are inspired by a trip to Thailand. I love the purples, pinks and blues I see there. I’m trying to get an underwater look but vary between thinking it looks washed out or just floating in space. Maybe some more bubbles in the foreground.

What I really love is this character. I want to write stories about her. I think of her like some kind of imaginary dragon fish. I can imagine here day, but haven’t come up with a name yet. She started as a doodle for a “who me?” facial expression and went from there.

What comes first for you? Color palette? Facial expression? Character?

Happy Creating!

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