The Top 5 Free Art Instruction Resources

This is a top five list of free art instruction resources according to well me. While I am no art expert I am a novice and as such, I have spent a great deal of time searching for free art instruction.  You like me may lack the time and money for formal instruction. But, there is plenty in the wide world that will only cost you your time.

Continue reading The Top 5 Free Art Instruction Resources


Inktober Week Three: Almost there!

Inktober is an art challenge started by artist Jake Parker in 2006. Participants challenge themselves each year to create an ink drawing for the 31days of October and share their creations on social media. I write more about Inktober and why I think it is a good idea here. While I do have to complete simpler drawings on weekdays. I am surprised how I have been able to produce a drawing each day while keeping to the official prompts. We are now in the home stretch with a week and some change left. How has your Inktober been going?

Day Fifteen Mysterious

This creature is called a Vampire Squid. Vampyroteuthis infernalis is its official name meaning “Vampire squid from hell”. What an awesome name! It is technically not a squid at but a descendant of the animals that existed before Squid and Octopus separated into different orders. Having its own order  Vampyromorphida. This concept is a blend of mysterious locals space and the deep ocean. We actually know more about the Moon shown in the background of this piece than we currently know about the deep ocean. It is truly the last great frontier on Earth.

Inktober Mysterious Vampire Squid in Space Ink and QoR Watercolor
For day 15 I choose to blend two mysterious locations space and the deep sea. India Ink, white ink, and watercolor.

Here is a pretty cool video on these animals.

Day Sixteen Fat Squirrel

Just a simple drawing of a fat squirrel. This is based on an article I read a while back about the uptick in squirrel weight gain.


Fat Squirrel for Inktober Day Sixteen.
Fat Squirrel for Inktober Day Sixteen.

Day Seventeen Graceful

Again I was short on time so I just drew a simple graceful gazel.

Inktober Graceful Gazel
Inktober Day Sixteen: Graceful Gazel. Spectrum Noir, White Uni-Ball gel pen, and Pigma Micron pen.

Day Eighteen Filthy

If you are a parent of a toddler you probably know already that they can be quite filthy but they also have a habit of being creepy from time to time.

Inktober Filthy Split Paint Creepy Toddler
Creepy Toddler and Red Paint. Technical pen and marker.

Day Nineteen Cloud

I had a bit more time so I drew a witch out on a night ride in the clouds then added watercolor.

QoR Watercolor and Ink: Witch out for a Night Ride
QoR Watercolor and Ink: Witch Out for a Night Ride

Day Twenty Deep

Three small illustrations I completed on my lunch break in my itty bitty Stillman and Birn 5.5 x 3.5 sketchbook.


Day Twentyone Furious

More squirrel illustrations. A squirrel arrives home to find an interloper squirrel raiding her nuts.

inktober day 21 squirrels india and white ink nib and brush
“Those are my nuts!” An angry squirrel finds a thief in her home.

That is all I have for now I will post again at the end of week four.

Happy art journey,


Inktober Week One

Greetings, here is what I have done so far during the Inktober challenge.

What is Inktober?

The Inktober initiative was started by Artist Jake Parker in 2009 to help him develop “positive drawing habits”. The idea is to pledge to do a daily ink drawing for the 31 days of October. Inktober participates share their work via social media like DeviantArt, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with the tags #inktober and #inktober2017. This is a great way to renew or generate a daily art practice. To work toward improving and challenging ourselves. We can push ourselves by participating in the daily prompt which may force us to draw topics we don’t normally explore.

Day One: Swift

This is an illustration representing a quote from Watershipdown by Richard Adams. The rabbits of the book have their own mythology. The passage contains what the rabbits of the novel believe was said by the Creator to the rabbit hero El-ahrairah the Prince with a Thousand Enemies. The rabbit uses his speed and cunning to avoid the wolf but the Black Rabbit of Inlé (death) still waits for him as it does for all of us. “All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed.” India ink, white ink, and marker on cold press watercolor paper


Day Two: Divided

Ink and marker on cold press watercolor paper.


Day Three: Poison

Achlys, the personification of misery and goddess of poison. Based on Champagne advertisement design by Mucha in 1896. The Greek author Hesiod describes her as quite repulsive but I am on a Mucha obsession currently. Painted with this month’s Artsnacks box. Ink and marker on drawing paper.


Day Four: Underwater

A little octopus.

Technical pen, deep turquoise ink, and watercolor on cold press paper.

octopus 124

Day Five: Long

Marshmallows and a Friend.

India Ink, metallic ink, watercolor, and markers on cold press paper.


Day Six: Sword

Bury Me with My Sword: The Grave of Lagertha

Based on… and the Ragnar Saga. Lagertha was Ragnar’s first wife whom he divorced. She still showed up in his hour of need and routed the enemy army. She later murdered her second husband (possibly because she disapproved of his loss in battle) and took control of his estates. She disappears from the sagas at this point. I imagine she died an old woman after years of peaceful rule. If she had died in battle it would probably have been saga worthy. If you have seen the TV show Vikings Lagertha’s death is one of the liberties the show’s producers took with the original stories Aslsug and Ivar the Boneless never had a conflict with Lagertha. Lagertha and Ragnar’s divorce was amicable.


Day Seven: Shy

Blupee forest spirit from Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild game.


Happy Art Journey,


Inktober is Coming Part I

I am planning to participate in Inktober this fall as I am hoping to improve my drawing and inking skills. I just wanted to share a bit about Inktober and why it is a good idea to participate.

What is Inktober?

The Inktober initiative was started by Artist Jake Parker in 2009 to help him develop “positive drawing habits”. The idea is to pledge to do a daily ink drawing for the 31 days of October. Inktober participates share their work via social media like DeviantArt, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with the tags #inktober and #inktober2017. The best part of Inktober is viewing other participants work by searching with the above tags. One can gather a lot of inspiration and exposure to new techniques by viewing the art of other artists.

Not everyone chooses the daily challenge some people will participate via every other day or weekly. How much you choose to participate is up to you. If you need ideas you can find a prompt list on the website or the Facebook page.


Why Inktober?

As I mentioned in a previous post art is persistence. We improve with practice. Inktober Is a great way to challenge yourself and develop a regular art practice. I consider my technical drawing and inking skills to be fairly weak. But, I know if I put in the time I can improve. Learning, a new skill has multiple benefits as it is a workout for our brains. Learning new skills can improve our cognitive abilities and keep our minds sharp as we age

Inking Tools for Travel

I have started to keep an Inking and Sketching pack that I can easily take with me. The pack is a small wet bag so if I should break an inky tool it won’t leak all over the contents of the larger bag I put it in.  This pack is handy because I can take advantage of my Lunch break, waiting time at the doctor,  or a trip to the playground to practice. It contains some of my favorite inking tools.  

In my kit, I have a 3.5x5in Crescent sketchbook   which is great for sketching in ink as the pages are bleed through resistant so you can use both sides of the paper.  I also have a Pentel pocket refillable brush ink pen. This is a pen that ends in a brush so it gives you a lot of variability in line width. But, it does take time to master it. I recommend practicing varying line widths with it a bit before taking on a project. A little sketchbook practice is a get way to get competent with this tool.  I keep a Micropen for details or days I can not hold my hand steady enough for the brush pen. I have a Uni-ball white gel pen for highlights and correcting.  Lastly, I pack a Tom-Bow dual sided brush pen for details and lettering.

I have some non-ink tools in my “Inky” kit as it contains an HB pencil, sharpener, and eraser for sketching out compositions before inking. I also have a tiny Art Snacks sketchbook that I will put pencil thumbnail sketches in.

I consider this to be a fairly complete kit that is lightweight and very small.  I hope to follow up with a post about the inking tools I keep in my home art supplies.

Happy Art Journey,