Finally! A new sketchbook tour!
This sketchbook was for the October daily drawing challenge generally known as “Inktober.” Normally I come up with my own theme for the month, but this year I decided to try the prompt list provided by Mossery for their version of the challenge called “Mosstober.”
I thought emojis would be fun as inspiration, and I wanted to work on drawing cute, simple drawings, since that was what I had been focused on so much recently. It’s not intuitive for me to draw that way, but I really like it, and I thought it would be an interesting way to approach the challenge. I also wanted to use a larger sketchbook than I normally gravitate towards — this was a 9″ x 12″ Koh-I-Noor sketchbook with smooth Bristol paper. I sketched in mechanical pencil, for each drawing. Inking was done mostly with the Sakura Graphic 1 ink pen, but I also used the Pentel Arts brush pen in black, and later started using a gray version as well. White was sometimes added in with the Sakura Gelly Roll white pen.
If I had to do this challenge again, especially focusing on simple, cute, almost kawaii-style drawings, I would definitely not stick with blank and white. Color is such a big part of what makes kawaii art so cute, and it felt like an extra challenge to keep it monochromatic. I had to use the white and gray inks, just to keep things readable. In one way, I liked the challenge to approach value very very carefully. But on the other hand, some drawings just look sooo weird, because they don’t have any color.
I also got so tired of drawing what felt at the time like a lot of food themed pieces. I struggled with getting so literal with the prompts, and coming up with new ideas. I think that shows, especially in the later pieces, or on drawings where I missed a weekend prompt and had to catch up two or three in one day. I probably could have planned ahead a little more, but I’m used to just “winging” it for Inktober, and not following actual prompts. I think if I do it next year I might brainstorm general ideas for each day in advance and so on the day of the drawing I can just focus more on the drawing itself.
I also struggled to stick with the kawaii element of the challenge. Eventually I started getting a bit tired, and I know one day I just drew absentmindedly (probably while watching a soccer game), and was like “shoot this isn’t cute at all.” I still like it, but it’s not kawaii! Oops. Not a big deal, and if there was ever an experiment in how do I draw when I’m not thinking about it, I think it’s safe to say I know the results…
All in all, I learned A TON from Mosstober. I’m so glad I did it, even if it was super challenging, pushed my art and creative skills, and didn’t quite turn out the way I hoped. I still had so much solid practice, learned a ton about my current strengths and weaknesses (I learned I still struggle with figures (poses, expressions, etc.) so I’m working on that a bunch now!). I loved getting back to working in ink too! I definitely want to do more of that in the future! And now I have a super awesome dedicated sketchbook to all things Mosstober… let’s take a look!
I realized very quickly that without color I was going to need to do something to make it more detailed and not end up with just super simple line art. Shading and textures were a way to add interest while keeping it cute.
I like this one. After day one, I started thinking about how I could to use ink to create interest in my composition.
Isn’t he fun! I’m so impressed! Haha. I just had fun with this one, and started incorporating the white gel pen to help keep the composition readable.
One of my favorites! I love all the little detail in this one! And I have very little practice drawing cute characters, so I’m very proud of her watermelon dress.
I don’t love this one. Drawing four legged animals isn’t my strength. But I tried! I like the flowers though, so that’s something.
I love this one! He’s so neat! (Although I was so mad when magnifying glass came up later as an actual prompt, I was like, “nooo, I already did that! And it’s awesome!”)
This is when I remembered it was October too, and wanted to draw something with a Halloween focus. Making this detailed composition clear in black and white was a challenge, but I think it turned out well!
Another black and white challenge but I like it a lot! And I’m super excited about their backyard movie night. Robot vs Dinosaur!
I liked working on this one. I just liked the idea of it being a very slow day at the popcorn stand.
Yikes. I don’t love this one. I focused more on the scooter, and abstracted the kimono to represent Japan (Mt. Fuji in the background). It just seems very messy and I just don’t really like it. I dunno.
Friggin’ magnifying glass. So here we have to detectives in love. Because why not?
I like this one! I wasn’t sure which would be better – solid black boat, or solid black water. I obviously went boat, and I think it worked out okay! Whew!
This one makes me laugh every time.
Oooh, I hate this one. I just got my ink brush pen at this point and it was much darker than I expected. Also I tried to draw a rabbit differently than I did on day one. Still not great.
This would be so fun in color! I really liked drawing all the candy elements for this old witch with her gingerbread mailbox.
I love this one. I feel this one.
Again, I remembered Halloween. Spooky scary petit fours. Yum!
A chicken sandwich felt morbid, but it was all I could think of… until I thought of this guy.
More food. This time food I didn’t know anything about. So I just used the three circles as inspiration, and…yeah, I don’t love it. It’s fine.
I LOVE THIS ONE. It isn’t very kawaii or cute, but it’s super cool. If I do say so myself.
Yeah this isn’t kawaii at all. It’s very much how I draw when I’m not thinking about it. It’s…okay. I like the pastry. (Also, I guess that emoji is used for the Eiffel tower since it doesn’t have it’s own emoji yet?)
I’m clearly starting to give up. I don’t know how to draw dragons. This was the best I could do from imagination…
I’m definitely running out of ideas. I mean it’s cute…I’ll give it that…
A koala eating the moon, like a cookie. It looks less cute and more tragic. Like he knows he shouldn’t be eating THE MOON.
Egg dog. Yup, I’m losing it…
Okay, I tried a little more detail and having fun with the prompt. I kinda like it!
Penguin bowling! This one was actually fun, and I enjoyed adding a bit of detail to it. Plus, I like penguins!
I really like this one too! I think I used black and white really well here. Yay!
The finale! I LOVE THIS ONE. Like, I’m still proud of it. It’s detailed, cute and very kawaii-style. Like, about time! I did it! Yay! (Why couldn’t they all look like this?! Oops!)
So there it is! My Mosstober 2021 Sketchbook Tour! Which one is your favorite? And do you like the kawaii-style (like the ghost or the steampunk man), my original style (like the Eiffel tower), or the pumpkin (which was something else completely!). Personally I really liked working on kawaii drawings, and developing that as an option for illustrations in the future, but the style of the pumpkin might be my personal favorite for exploring in more detail. That inky comic-book look is just soo satisfying! …Let me know what in the comments below!