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.)

Days 66 and 67 – Steampunk on the Thames

I’ve been playing around with steampunk on an off for a couple of days in the last few weks.  This is the picture I was working up to making.  It’s still not perfect but it’s beginning to be more like I want it to be.

Here are the sketch and ink drawings…





Then I coloured it in Manga Studio 5…


I am pretty pleased with the final result although, for my taste it could be a bit more gnarly and less smooth.  I think if I’d shaded it in pencil and then done some digital colour on top that would have helped a lot.  (I think I was seduced by the purity of the black ink on the white paper and didn’t want to touch it.)


For anyone who’s interested, I took some process screen prints of my digital colouring…

I've put in some sky and water and a bit of the base colour for the embankment.
I’ve put in some sky and water and a bit of the base colour for the embankment.



I’ve added some colour for the Houses of Parliment across the river.



More work on the background. I am trying to keep the colours and tones a bit muted to make the foreground stand out.



Background complete.



Finished the hat.



Done the coat and mechanical bird.


And here’s the finished image again…


Days 55 and 56 – Steampunk Hammer Time!

This is another attempt to draw a figure with no reference to copy from.  I found it much easier to make up a machine in my head than to make up a human.  It was drawn in pencil and then inked.  I also shaded some pencil in to add some more mid-tone to the image and try to make my shiny things look a bit more shiny.

Here it is…


Days 49 and 50 – Some Steampunk Sketches

I drew some steampunk sketches today…


They were super fun to draw.  I really like the feeling I get when I think about carefully-made machinery.  I think, for me, just watching a clockwork watch mechanism function is a thing of beauty.

I had a go at colouring the images in Manga Studio…


I’m not sure I like this colour scheme very much.  It’s too saturated.  I think it would be better with more muted colours.



This one I like a bit better.