Inktober 2019

I did a few days of Inktober last year but didn’t complete it because a) I have a small human and b) I have a job which sucks the soul out of me. But this year I thought I’d approach it differently and instead of trying to think up new cartoon ideas, I’d just use these fellas;

I’m still trying to figure these guys out. I mean who the fuck are they? I like the idea of using them in a kids book but I really started out as a cartoonist, not an illustrator and I’m not entirely sure what direction they are going in. I’ll use Inktober 2019 to try and develop them and hopefully have a nice little portfolio of ideas at the end.

My usual way of working is to try and complete a picture in an hour. Any more than that and I start to drift. It’s lazy but it does mean that everything I do by default has a particular style.


My entire art output at the moment is still these guys. I keep trying different things with them to see what looks good. The first strip is done with a Gillot 303, my dip pen of choice for many years, but I don’t like the look of it. Also using a dip pen on hot press paper tends to leave a ridge of ink although the G nibs from Kuretake that I’ve been using don’t seem to have this issue as much. The second one is done with a Pentel brush pen, a tool that I initially bought to chuck in the sketch bag for on the move, but it gets used in the studio more often than not. The last image is a phrase from a guy called Bill Alexander, the dude before Bob Ross. Bill was a sweet dude but he was pretty much on the other end of the scale compared to Bob in terms of excitement. While Bob always talks about “happy accidents”, Bill used to drive home that “without the darkness there is no light” meaning if you want something to pop then the areas around it need to be darker. Similarly, if you want to draw the eye to a dark spot then the surrounding area needs to be light. These days however, it’s a phrase that’s been somewhat hijacked by the mental health/positive thought movement. If you’re feeling like shit, go and watch Bill on the Youtube.