2023 Inktober, Day 20
sputtering along...

This is another of those doodles made started while watching youtube videos[1] —I think I mentioned in the (next to) last intro link dump's penultimate entry how making a drawing of a traditional African doctor helping poor white children (a reversal of the usual trope) would be cool.

inktober drawing, graphite and microns on scrap paper; 2-7/8" square (not including date info), completed and photographed 20oct23; sony A7c, 90mm macro; 1/160s, f/2.8; ev +0.7 ISO 800; cropped and lightened in gimp.

Well, in my current low energy state[2] doing the whole concept was too hard, but yanno, there's this ongoing problem of cameras doing a poor job of properly exposing portraits of dark-skinned people, because the algorithms are optimized for whites. That's slowly getting better, but it is—or at least was—a truism that drawing illustrations of people, it's easier to depict youth and beauty with as few lines as possible.[3]

That is, it's hard to draw dark anything, but dark people especially, without the piece looking overworked and laboured. Certainly I love the look of a sketch, with a lot left to the imagination, far more often than the finished piece, which has yanked the wavering hope of a beautiful drawing into documented, and imperfect decisions.

At any rate, I decided to try drawing a flower-haired fairy with dark skin, on the theory that I needed the practise, and I actually feel I did a reasonable job here, at least on the doodle level. Bonus, I also practised my “parallel” curliQs, the sort of thing Mucha excelled at (see the way he rendered the ends of hair) and which I still struggle to make well.

Thus, though this inktober exercise was a minor one, it did satisfy the overall goal of exploration.

[1]Specifically a Beau of the 5th column video the wizard sent me, no doubt because it generally referred to accuracy in science fiction, which we both enjoy, and specifically to that ‘arrrrggghhh’ feeling an expert gets when sf writers—and, let's be honest here, especially sf film—get something wrong. In his case, just about anything regarding computers, particularly UI (user interface) and especially security/hardware issues have elicited some howls of dismay and/or laughter from him. Of course, I have made my own snarky comments about inaccuracies in fiction. The video also aligns with my belief that fear, especially ignorance-driven fear, drives people harder than just about any other emotion, and betrays them into bad behavior, with particular references to trans rights, which is one of my bugaboos right now.

[2]I'm not certain it's just low energy, or that what resources I have are going elsewhere—I'm trying to learn Japanese and kayaking, and—for me at least—that's surprisingly hard!

[3]Think about traditional manga, in which the eyes (and brows) are carefully rendered, but the nose and mouth are bare hints, the outline of a the face is a simple shape, and anything else is blank, white space, framed by beautifully drawn hair—most of the face is left to the imagination.