Dragon Days & Knights…


My *print on demand” book of “Inktober 2018” drawings – the title is “Dragon Days & Knights” is available on my website at www.thenakedswami.com.

The book is aimed at general interest readers & anyone interested in the drawing process & who wants to draw besides being (hopefully) entertaining.

What started as an annual, previously rather casual dip into Jake Parker’s online initiative – “Inktober” – a gauntlet thrown down to artists anywhere and at any level of skill / experience – bloomed into a daily challenge for each day of October 2018.

I had no theme in mind and in fact, although a list of prompts is supplied by the Inktober website as a way of getting past artists initial mental block & panic when faced with a brief, I had intended to “freestyle” my way through it, dipping in and out (mostly out) when the mood took me, however, the first drawing, for Day 3, seemed to spark a torrent of ideas for up-coming prompts, all based initially around dragons, and when I got stuck, as I did many times, knights.

Now I’m not a massive fans of dragons, but am aware of the huge amount of fantasy fiction fan-art that is out there – you know, dragons, witches and Manga / Anime inspired stuff and “Game of Thrones” (which I have never really got into for that reason) has opened the floodgates to even more of this stuff, but there is an apocryphal story behind this.

Back in junior school, where the only subject I really excelled at was art, the teacher had momentarily left an art period with an instruction to draw or paint anything and that it must be finished, it might even have been the same teacher who insisted that when painting, every space on the paper had to be covered, with no bare paper showing, and so the level of anxiety had been ramped up for the less able / interested pupils.

As a result I foolishly agreed to “help” other students – mostly the female ones, I should add –  by drawing what I was drawing, yes, you guessed it, a dragon.

When the teacher returned to examine the students work he was taken aback by the carbon-copy drawings of dragons displayed by several of the students and immediately demanded to know who the culprit behind this was, and of course I meekly owned up.

It didn’t end there however and to cut a long story short, I narrowly avoided (very narrowly, I have a vivid memory of the cane hovering over the palm of my right drawing hand) the cane – a salutary moment made worse by the fact that the “cheaters” had got off lightly, being girls.

You would be forgiven for thinking that the Inktober exercise was a way of putting that lesson to rest after so long, and perhaps it was – doing a new drawing everyday for 31 days is actually quite tough and there were days when I was working late into the night to avoid a backlog before the next days’ prompt – my intention had been to “knock out” a drawing quickly and to enjoy the process, not worrying too much about finish and concentrating on a central idea rather than simply a drawing for its own sake.

Ravi Swami 2018