Face drawn in black ink
No. 1
letter i graphic

nktober is an annual challenge an artist takes on every October to draw in ink at least once a day.  It has grown into a worldwide endeavor with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year,  in order to improve inking skills and develop positive drawing habits.  Typically it's easier said than done, but the last couple of years I've managed to create some cool work out of it.  This year I've incorporated some new tools with Le Pen in various colors and Gelly Roll gel pens.  I'll post some for you here, and hopefully you can become inspired to take on the challenge yourself!

just let the ink flow

Like I said before, keeping up with drawing everyday can be a challenge, hence the importance of participating!  Its nothing serious, and is just fun to see all the small and quick works artists come up with #inktober on Instagram and Twitter.  I've designated a small sketchbook for my ink exercises, which is great for keeping all of your work together, while not being overwhelmed with a huge page from your regular sketchbook (if that happens to be bigger.)  I find that switching up the colors and tools to various colors and ink types keeps things interesting for me and I'm more likely to stick with it!  Below are some of my tools for this year's inks!  Also if you clicked the Inktober link above it has some great suggestions.  

In order from top to bottom I have:

  • Pentel Pocket Brush
  • 4 Le Pens in Gray, Black, Pink, Blue
  • Gelly Roll, various colors including White and Red pictured
  • Pigma Micron Pen, various sizes, including 005 and 02 pictured
  • Pentel Color Brush in Black
Some of my inking tools
Some of my inking tools

I would say use whatever inspires you most, and of course you can help your drawings along by using a pencil underlayer. I often use a Non-Photo Blue pencil for this, but during this challenge, I will only draw in ink, its a challenge after all!

9 ink drawing photos collaged together
Collage of ink drawings

draw what you like

There are few rules to Inktober, but the subject of your drawings isn't one of them.  After choosing your favorite tools, you should feel free to experiment as much as possible!  Doodles, sketches, portraits, elaborate shadows, urban architecture, it doesn't matter.   I like to doodle, and do portraits of females as either human or alien, and sometimes with unusual make-up.  Not being restricted definitely helps me explore more unusual themes too.  I also like doodling to play with various mark making without worrying about making "wrong" marks.   I just go with it.  This method has made me so much more confident in my regular work.  I learn not only to use "mistakes" but to welcome them, and then I enjoy a more loose outcome. 


I have no doubt that participating in this challenge has made me a better artist.  I highly recommend everyone try it.  It takes a lot of discipline to draw everyday.  Inktober virtually opens the doors to your studio practice and makes you accountable to your audience and other participating artists.  The best thing about this is that so many great ideas sprout from doing it.  This very thing has convinced me that not only should I participate, but EVERDAY is an Inktober day!  365 days a year is dedicated to my sketchbook.  Its a tall order, and I always falter, but continuing is the most important thing in my opinion. 


You can follow my daily progress on my Instagram and Twitter feeds.  Let me know what you think in the comments!

 No. 10
No. 10
No. 11
No. 11
No. 12
No. 12

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About the Artist

 I would call myself a Jack of all Trades, but mostly because I'm interested in many areas of art if not all!  I graduated with a BFA in Fine Art from the University of North Texas with a focus on Watercolor.   I always had dreams of creative writing, and in 5th grade I wasn't too bad!  Art clearly won out for my attention, but writing will always have a place in my heart!

What better way to write, I say,  than to share a blog, and practice my second love while talking about my first! :D

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