A few years ago I tried to take on #Inktober (or was it #Drawlloween?) with sharpies and pens and managed to get partway through the month before other things interfered. Last year I decided to map my way through Inktober & Mapvember (61 maps in 61 days – that’s a hefty chunk of the 150-170 maps I draw every year!).
So I bought some new sharpie markers (because I really like the freedom that comes with a fat black free-flowing marker) and decided I’d try drawing something, ANYTHING, every day. It started simple, with elements from the various games I was playing in.
It didn’t take long (four days?) before I was adding detail work with my usual felt-tipped technical pens and exploring elements from a variety of games I am or have been involved in.
And from that it wasn’t much of a leap into drawing stuff meant to go INTO those games and books. To try to work on a style that could be used for illustrations for games. Hell, to establish a “style” at all instead of a continued series of doodles and drawings.
So now I look back and I’ve got 113 days of these daily drawings. I started posting them to the blog in batches, but never finished the set. So here’s a post that collects most of them – many of these appear in the Dyson Logos edition of Neoclassical Geek Revival.
Unfortunately, the streak of daily drawings was broken when my schedule took a beating last fall while working on the maps for Ghosts of Saltmarsh for Wizards of the Coast.
A number of these illustrations made it into the two waves of Tshirts and similar merchandise I have up on RedBubble. At some point I’ll add to that collection with some of the works on this page, but also a number of design ideas I’ve still got rolling around in my head…
It turns out that writing notes to go with 100 illustrations starts to be harder than drawing the illustrations in question. Around this point my rough version of this post starts just having the word “stuff” between the mini-galleries of illos.
As we roll into the later illustrations in the series, they become very RPG-book oriented as by this point I had agreed to illustrate an edition of Neoclassical Geek Revival, so the vast majority of my daily drawings are specifically to accomplish this task.
I also start moving away from heavy use of the Sharpie marker as we progress through the series – moving more and more to technical pens using the Sharpies only for large black fills like the witch’s breath in the series below.
Here we reach the last of the drawings that made it into the NGR book. I had to pick a point at which to say “all right, that’s it – here’s a pile of illustrations for the book, go wild!” instead of a constant “well, here’s one more… and one more…”
And then suddenly we are in Inktober again – the project that first inspired this whole attempt at a daily drawing back in 2014.
But Inktober, unsurprisingly, was my downfall. As we hit the series of prompt words I found myself more and more strained to draw something that fit (or to try and subvert the more obvious concept pieces), and then the contract workload cranked up and I found myself without the time to keep at it.
So here we are a full year after I started this project, and I’m cramming the time in to draw something new every few days. Maybe in time I’ll get it back to daily.
(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)