October Ink – A Sith, a Storm Trooper and a Kraken

The next three ink drawings were of Darth Maul, a Kraken and a Lego Storm Trooper.

Here’s Darth Maul…

While drawing this I kept wishing for some red ink to give him his usual colours so when I’d got him scanned in I couldn’t resist seeing what some colour would do to his picture…

I like it! (The colour was done in Manga Studio 5, along with the background effect.)

Then we had the Kraken…

When I drew this I wanted to try to make an old fashioned styled image with simple lines. It didn’t work as well as I’d hoped but it does bring to mind the legendary John Wyndham and his story “The Kraken Awakes”. I have loved this author since I was about 12 years old and first read “The Day of the Triffids” and then straight after that, “The Chrysalids” which are my favourites.

What’s really marvelous about these stories is that, unlike some science fiction, which can become anachronistic very quickly, these stories still read really well today! In fact, I’m going to have to read them both again now. 🙂

My last ink drawing this week is of a lego StormTrooper. Here he is…

October Ink Days 16 and 18 The Scorpian, the Trilobite and Han Solo

With these two drawings I had fun using different types of ink shading – hatching with the scorpian and a mixture of hatching and dots for the trilobite.  Both were fun and gave an indication of different textures.  The dots took ages though!

With both of these drawings I used a pencil to add some greyscale shading as my brush pen is not working so well at the moment.  Unfortunately the scanner didn’t pick up the shading very well.

Here are the two pictures…

I really enjoy making these biological type illustrations.  I could do this for a living I think, although I would miss the children if I moved away from education.

Trilobites are really interesting animals which I could go on about for pages so I’m going to restrict myself to four facts…

  1. They were around for the Permian period in geological history which is from approximately 500 million years ago to approximately 250 million years ago.
  2. They could roll up into a little ball if they felt threatened, much like today’s woodlice.
  3. They died off during the huge Permian/Triassic extinction along with 96% of all marine species and 70% of all terrestrial species.  We’re not sure exactly what caused this extinction although meteor impacts, super volcanos, runaway greenhouse gases and ocean anoxia are some of the main suspects.
  4. There is a trilobite of the Genus “Han” with a specific species called “Solo”.

So there’s actually a real trilobite fossil with the formal scientific name Han solo!!!!!!! 

I love nerds!

October Ink Days 14 and 15 – The Cartoon Gadget and the Water Flea

My gadget was a little crab robot which I made up.  In my mind she’s like a little happy dog who likes to get things for people.  Here she is…


I think I’ll call her Lucy.  🙂


My next challenge was to draw something really close up.  I looked at some macro photography but nothing really grabbed me so I turned to microscopy and the strange world of plankton.  Plankton are a large number of different microscopic animals and plants (zooplankton and phytoplankton) which live in water (fresh and salty).  Here’s a photo of some…


(Picture from the Internet – unknown author.)


They form a big part of the abiding memories of my A’level Biology field trip to Pembrokeshire when I was 17.  One of the staff at the centre wore a dry suit and dived just off the coast near where you get the boat for Skomer Island to collect some plankton.  We later got to look at them and use biological keys to identify them and draw them.  It was my favourite day of the whole trip.

Other days included a visit to Skomer, which was beautiful but where I mostly remember playing a lunchtime game with my fellow students.  We each had cans of Coke and where we sat for lunch there was a large amount of rabbit droppings.  The game was to try throw a rabbit dropping into your partner’s drink and then take a sip of your own drink.  Then they did the same!  The dropping size was ideal because most of them would only just go in so it was quite hard to do.

Anyway, here’s my plankton picture.  It’s of a water flea, Daphnea pulex.


Here’s a photo of what Daphnia actually look like under a microscope…

(Picture from the Internet – unknown author.)

October Ink Days 12 and 13 – The Hero and the Beetle

For my hero I chose Mace Windu from Disney’s Star Wars.

In the prequal trilogy Mace always seemed solid, reliable and powerfully incorruptible as a character. He was wonderfully portrayed by the legendary Samuel L Jackson which is always a big bonus. Also I recently finished re-reading what is now a Star Wars Legends novel about Mace Windu which also influenced my choice. The book is by Matthew Stover and it’s called Shatterpoint. It is brilliant.

The most wonderful thing about the book is that it’s written from Mace’s point of view so we can hear his thoughts and follow his feelings and decisions. This is something I have always loved about books which will always put books above film as a form of media for me. The fact that you can hear people’s thoughts and internal struggles in a book is just beautiful. I really love being able to know this stuff.

On top of that, I’m hoping to get the trade paperback of the new Marvel Mace Windu – Jedi of the Republic comic soon. (A trade paperback is a softback collection of about 6 comics into a book.) It’s been out for a while but I haven’t been able to get hold of just yet. It looks amazing. Here is the beautiful cover for issue 003…

My next drawing was of an insect. I chose the amazing scarab beetle called the Hercules Beetle, (Dynastes hercules). It has this really long horn on the front of it’s head. It is so weird looking!

Here’s a photo of the beast…

October Ink Days 10 and 11 – The Wolfman, the Hand Drill and the Sketchbook

For day 10 I drew a hand drill.  I remember using one of these as a child.  They were beautiful tools…

I really enjoyed the contrast beween the dark black metal and the silver metal in this one.

My next prompt was “Predator”.  I had initially thought of drawing a hawk but I decided a wolfman slashing at a door would be more fun!  Here he is…

This was done with my Pigma Microns, my waterbrush and some black ink and a paintbrush for the larger areas of black.

What really surprised me with this picture was the way my sketchbook, which is not designed for stopping ink bleeding from one page to another, did really well at containing all the ink so I could still use the paper on the other side of this picture without any issues.  It’s a Moleskine Sketchbook (13cm x 21 cm) which is big enough for some detail but easy to put in a handbag.


I have tried other sketchbooks before, especially the RENDR books which have some kind of waterproofing between the paper sides of each page to stop any bleed through at all.  However, the spine is too tight to flatten the book on these and the paper feels horrible to draw on so I only ever bought and used one.  The Moleskines will bleed through badly with alcohol or solvent based inks like copics but they do brilliantly with all of the waterbased ink I’ve tried and they are lovely to draw in.  If you don’t mind the paper bending a little you can even use watercolours in them although Moleskine do a seperate watercolour sketchbook of the same size which is ideal for this kind of art.  I use these regularly as well.

I’m not one to buy branded items at all normally.  I’m not really interested in the name of the company who makes a thing, I just care what it is actually like and how well it does.  At the moment I’m sticking with Moleskine simply because I think they’re good at what they do.