13 Days of Halloween – Monsters & Dragons

13 days of halloween

With this blog series planned, I didn’t want to attempt Inktober this year.  But I did want to include it somehow.  So I decided I’d see if I could do one piece with as many prompts as possible.

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I also decided that I’d do something that’s been on my to do list for months, and sort out my box of writing inks.  Then I could do the Inktober piece in actual ink.  My box of inks has been a bit neglected…

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But I took everything out, dealt with the small spill at the bottom, and sorted the inks.  I have a few actual bottles in there, but mostly it’s samples.  Lots and lots of samples. Most of them have already been tested – but a couple haven’t.   We’re just going to ignore the fact that I have a long list of samples I want to get as well.

Okay, for this project we’re going to need to use proper tools.  I used my Rhodia pad of paper, and a pretty glass nib pen.

Step one – swatch all my samples.  I only swatched the ones I haven’t tested yet.

The little asterisks denote inks that are supposed to have a shiny or shimmer effect that doesn’t really show up.  For instance, Diamine Majestic Blue (third down on the second page) is supposed to look like this..

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To really show off the beauty of these inks I pulled out another notebook.  This is a little book I made of Tomoe River paper.  It is a very very smooth paper and it is excellent for pen ink, but it is super expensive.  I bought some sample sheets years ago and made a little notebook to do this in:

So I did that with all the other samples that had specialness to them.

There is another notation on my swatch sheets.  Some of the Diamine inks have an X across the start of the name.  This is because there is none of that sample left.  Here’s why.

Now, this particular style of sample bottle really really sucks.

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None of the places online that I’ve bought samples from use them.  They’re wiser than I and use water-tight tubes.  These are a type that I bought a batch of when Cayden and I first started getting into fountain pens and inks, and I used them for samples he’d give me when he’d buy something new.   I have 7 samples in those containers.  So I figured I’d use them for my Inktober piece, and not have to deal with the containers and their mess.

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(There are only 6 Diamine inks crossed off my swatch list because I now own a bottle of Purple Pizzazz, so it’s not a sample anymore.)

I emptied the little not-water-tight samples into a palette – which for some reason I didn’t photograph – and then I swatched what I’d be using for Inktober.

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I’ve just noticed that on the sample swatch sheet I wrote Shimmering Seas and on that swatch sheet I wrote Shimmering Sky.  (There’s a lot of S in that sentence.)  The ink is actually called Shimmering Seas.

I did some doodles, to test drawing with pen, and used up a couple of prompts while I did it.

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And then I started sketching.  I even sketched in ink.  I knew I definitely wanted to do a dragon, so I started with that.  I liked my initial sketch, but the face was too round and didn’t really look right.

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I decided that I was going to use the following prompts though: dragon, freeze, enchanted, pattern, snow, legend, treasure, ring (in the treasure), and injured (I was going to put a bandage on his leg.)

I started the proper piece – but I messed up the face again.

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On my third try I got it right.  Ish.  I think if I used pencil to sketch, and then markers, I could do a much better job.  But considering I didn’t have a sketch, and that it’s using a medium and an implement I’m not used to, it’s pretty good.

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However, there was a lot of ink left over.  I would have transferred them into more leak-proof bottles, but I didn’t have any.  So I did this…

When everything was dry, I got out a lining pen, a white gel pen and a metallic marker, and I turned them into monsters.

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I also did this.

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I’m not sure what it is, but I don’t think it’s finished.  At some point I’m going to swatch my bottles of ink, and I’ll probably add more shapes to this random piece then.


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Author: Colette Horsburgh

A 30-something creator/baker/writer/artist/crafter living with several (but not enough) scatty animals.

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