Inktober is about to begin! Here’s a sneak peak of what I’ve been working on.

When the official Inktober 2020 prompts came out, as a bird artist I didn’t feel especially inspired. While I can see how some of the suggestions could be stretched to include birds, most of them seemed a bit too far out. The first prompt on the list, though, immediately made me think of kingfishers.

Pied Kingfisher ©2020

I started with a perched Pied Kingfisher for practice. The sharp black and white plumage lends itself nicely to ink work, doesn’t it? But the prompt was “fish,” and I decided to give it another try.

This time, I drew a stylized kingfisher holding a hapless fish, just about to be eaten. I drew inspiration from the linework of scientific illustrator and tattoo artist, Katy Wiedemann, and the linocuts of Matthew Clark.

Pied Kingfisher with Fish ©2020

I am finding working in ink both exciting and nerve wracking. I love exploring line, as that’s not an element I normally work with. On the other hand, not being able to erase made me feel very protective—I didn’t want to make a mark and mess the whole thing up! In the end, I just had to throw caution to the wind so I could get it done and move on to the next one.

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