Holidays in Ink 2021-22 Information and Prompt List

Holidays in Ink 2021-22 is almost here! Everything you need to know is in this post.

DATES: Monday, November 22 through Sunday, January 2 (Six weeks/42 Days)

GOAL: Complete your sketchbook within the specified 42 days, regardless of how many days you sketch. (Select your sketchbook accordingly!) Pages must be filled and must include ink. Those are the only rules. If you wish, you can use some or all of the prompts below, either individually (one per sketch) or by combining them in your sketches (two or more in a single sketch).

SOCIAL MEDIA: There is certainly no requirement to post or share your work, but if you wish to do so, you can use the #holidaysinink hashtag.

PROMPT LIST (optional):
Take several days to do one prompt, or do several prompts in one day, or even a few in a single sketch. Skip around; there is no official order to the list. (If the Prompt List does not appear below, click to see the rest.) 

  1. Calligraphy or Lettering (You can write out this list!)
  2. Animal portraits
  3. Night Sky
  4. Holiday Wreath, Menorah, or Christmas Tree (or other holiday theme).
  5. Create an abstract background with two or three light colors, and draw over it with black ink. (You can also use white if you wish.)
  6. Collect a number of fall leaves, arrange and sketch them.
  7. Page(s) of random objects (Great for days when you're on the run.) Try to create a unified page composition as you add sketches! Extra credit: Do some contour drawings.
  8. Tape or draw identical rectangles on your page. Explore the identical composition with different colors or techniques (Ex: ink and wash, cross hatching, pointillism, change colors, etc.)
  9. From the Masters: Value or Notan sketches from some Master paintings or drawings.
  10. Draw a portrait with abstract designs for the hair.
  11. Iridescence
  12. A page of different tree shapes, or drawn with different techniques.
  13. Overlapping portraits or figures.
  14. Label a sketch, designing the lettering to go with the sketch. (Examples: Stripe-filled lettering for a zebra sketch, or lettering that conforms to the shape of an object.)
  15. Practice a page of small figures from a distance (like you'd pop into scenes in city sketches).
  16. Paint/Gesso a page black or a dark color, or use dark paper glued into your book. Sketch with white/light ink.
  17. Birds and/or Blooms
  18. Black waterproof ink plus one color
  19. Manikin(s) in a scene, or overlapping on a page spread
  20. Old, twisted tree from reference or imagination
  21. Glue a page with text or graphical content into your sketchbook. Use it as a background, drawing over the top of it.
  22. Using only one warm color, and one cool color, do a page of sketches on a theme.
  23. Do a page or two or three of gesture sketches. Line of Action and Quickposes are good sites to work from if you don't have a live model or a pet!
  24. Poker Hand of objects, such as Three of a Kind, Four of a Kind, Flush, Full House, Two Pairs
  25. Hands or feet
  26. Using a single reference image, create a series of thumbnail sketches with different compositions. (Extra credit: Choose compositions from Edgar Payne's 15 composition types, and label them.)
  27. Something you are grateful for.
  28. Waterfall
  29. Cloud thumbnail sketches in horizontal and vertical formats
  30. Dancers/ballerinas, gymnasts, or musicians
  31. Birds with ink and wash
  32. Sketch the same subject from different angles. Get to know it!
  33. Curl pieces of ribbon or strips of paper and draw them.
  34. Draw a page of small animals, each with a single, simplified, graceful line. Pick your favorite, load a pen or brush with ink, and do it larger.
  35. Page of mushrooms/fungi
  36. Divide the page up. Draw textural close-ups, such as tree bark, pineapple, animal fir, wood grain, feathers, sea foam, hair, etc.
  37. Design a holiday greeting card
  38. Silhouettes -- can be figures, portraits, animals, objects
  39. Combine two Master paintings or drawings into one.
  40. Doodle with abstract forms or patterns.
  41. Do a self-critique of a page you've done. Redo it, and critique again.
  42. Whichever prompt you enjoyed the most, find a different way to do it again
For a printable version of the prompt list, click here. (Thank you, Melissa Fischer!)

There is no restriction on materials for the challenge, but each sketch should incorporate ink in some way. Be sure your sketchbook paper will accommodate whatever you plan to do! If you'd like to know what I plan to use, below are some of my personal favorites. I'll post more as I pick and choose from the studio supply cabinets! Due to current supply chain issues, I suggest you gather your materials as soon as possible. (This is why I'm posting the prompt list early -- so that you can all plan your challenge in time!)

Art supplies have gone up so much in price for the last few years. I'm shocked every time I have to buy something. Recently, Pilot has come out with two size additions in their Parallel Pen line. Maybe that is why the original sizes have gone down in price. It's the only thing I've seen that has gone in the other direction! If you don't have the Pilot Parallels in 1.5mm, 2.8mm, 3.4mm, and 6.0mm, this is definitely the time to get them at a great price. Here is an Amazon Affiliate Link to the set of four. I don't know how long that price will hold, but they used to be $7-10 each! I've never seen them as low as they are now. One of the things I love about these pens is that not only can you do any type of broad-edged pen calligraphy with them, but you can also get a very thin monoline by using the nib corner. You can also use them as dip pens (only with fountain pen inks), without inserting the cartridges, and easily flush out the color with the included pen flusher. If you like to switch between inks, you'll appreciate that feature.

I'm also currently loving these particular glass dip pens (Amazon Affiliate Link here) for their smoothness, ease of cleaning, protective packaging for travel, and price. You can read my post about them here. 

If you're looking for a very special holiday gift for yourself, which will work forever, and which I love so much that I bought it again after losing it, check out the Pilot Falcon (Amazon Affiliate Link). My fave is the Extra Fine/ XF. Perhaps like me, you always wanted a flexible nib fountain pen that actually worked, never leaked, never went dry after sitting capped for awhile, and wrote flawlessly every single time. This is it. After I lost it, I tried for a year and a half to live without it, but I couldn't, and ended up replacing it a couple of years ago.

If you're looking for inks, some of the ones I plan to use this year are in this post.  Always save the empty cartridges from your pens; you can refill them with bottled fountain pen inks using ink syringes (Amazon Affiliate Link). Often, I dump the ink that comes in the cartridge, and use my own favorite inks from the start.

Some of my favorite materials from last year's Holidays in Ink are in this post

A flip-through of my Holidays in Ink sketchbook from last year is here on YouTube.

You can see all of the past and future Holidays in Ink posts by clicking this link , or the Holidays in Ink Category listing on the right side of my website.

I hope many of you will take up the Holidays in Ink 2021-22 Challenge, and make this an inspiring season for your art as well as your holiday celebrations. If you want to be sure not to miss a post, you can subscribe with your email address on the upper right corner of my site. I don't post often, and that way, you'll be alerted in your email when there is something new here. I do not share your email address.

Disclaimer: The post above contains Amazon Affiliate links, which provide a small commission to me at no additional expense to you, should you decide to purchase these items. Thank you for helping my site to keep going!

Happy Holidays, everybody!

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