Saturday, January 2, 2016

Six Word Story Winners

We received a lot of entries to the Six Word Story Challenge. They were serious, funny, lighthearted and heartbreaking. It was hard to choose five to spotlight on the blog, but here they are:

Matthew Mattingly: "Seventeenth summer. Broadening Outlook. Escape Strategy."

I like the story, which suggests both past and future and a sense of personality. The pen style looks like an old fashioned engraving and fits perfectly with the words.

Kirsten Sander: "After Christmas, our sweets vanished rapidly..."

The artwork has an attractive sense of texture and color, and the story gives a fun twist.

Dougall Irving: "She told him they were edible."

Nice watercolor study, with a story that suggests a variety of possible outcomes. At first I thought she knowingly gave him advice to eat poisonous mushrooms, but then I realized that maybe she gave him trustworthy advice. Thinking back, I have eaten mushrooms that might have been poisonous on the advice of strangers.

Carolyn Allison: "I found it in the fridge."

I've played the role of a parent who searches for a child's lost toy, only to find it in a really strange place. It also made me think of a book like Corduroy, where there might be a whole story of this stuffed dog's adventures.

Casey Graham: "All I can be is me."

Casey's picture gives me the feeling of a young person coming into the awareness of herself as an artist and a person. I love the fact that not only are there just six words, but they're all one syllable, and they add up to just 13 letters.

Thanks to everyone who entered. Check out all the entries at the Facebook page: Six Word Story Challenge

To the five winners above: Please let me know which art tutorial download you want, and please send me your mailing address so that I can mail you a "Department of Art" embroidered patch. (Thanks to Steve for donating the patches)


Lou said...

After looking at the post I thought it would have been fun to have read the text first and after a while looked at the images just to see what my imagination conjured compared to what the artist intended.
A couple stand on their own (without images) so to speak, and others (like "I found it in the fridge") rely on the image to really spur the imagination/imply a complicated story.
I am so impressed by the quality of the images. Well done everyone.

Curious Sam said...

Would you know what pen nib Matthew used?

James Gurney said...

Curious, Matthew Mattingly says: "It's actually pen and ink - I had just gotten a spiffy new Pilot Falcon and was dreamily sketching to try it out, then realized that the drawing could be a six word story."

mdmattin said...

Although I did use a Pilot Falcon for this drawing, I should add that you could do pretty much the same thing with a less expensive fountain or dip pen. The Falcon is an SEF, Soft Extra Fine, which means that it is very fine and moderately flexy. It's very nice for this kind small scale, detailed work. I use a Noodler's Konrad for everyday sketching, and it can also make very fine lines with more flexiness. It's about $40 compared to the Pilot at $150. The Konrad can be a bit temperamental but works great if you don't mind fussing with the nib setting from time to time.
For dip pens I used to use Hunt's Crow Quills, but these seem to have declined in quality lately, so I've been experimenting with Japanese nibs. The Tachikawa Maru mapping nib #99 is similar to the old Hunts #102, for instance.

Unknown said...

Wanted to enter, but forgot. Here was my idea for the story:

"What did he sa-"

(4.5 words)

Lou said...


I also have a Falcon Pilot but got it back in the day (?) before Pilot offered the SOFT Extra Fine, so I had it modified professionally to make it VERY flexible. Gotta give the Konrad a try. I've used dip pens since the 60's and must say the fountain pens that don't require the dipping are soooo much easier.
For those missing the Hunt's the G nibs are pretty nice to work with and there's some YouTube stuff out there that shows how to modify for addition to a fountain pen. Best of both worlds, right!

Yoel, that's pretty cool, although the illustration might have been a bit intense!

Unknown said...

Thank you for having this contest. It was fun to participate and see everyone else's artwork.