How to: Get your drawing game on with Inktober

How to: Get your drawing game on with Inktober

Posted by Cass Art on 2nd Oct 2018

Love drawing games? Always looking for things to draw? Like to get handy with an ink pen? Then get on-board with Inktober, a month-long drawing challenge where you can show off and share your ink drawing.

Inktober was created by artist Jake Parker and is focused on improving skill and developing positive drawing habits. It’s brilliant for people that like playing drawing games. To take part in the Inktober drawing challenge you just have to create an ink drawing and post it online every day for the month of October with the #inktober hashtag.

Inktober drawing prompts

It can be a challenge to think up easy things to draw so Jake Parker and the Inktober team have supplied drawing prompts to help spark your creativity. The drawing prompts are open to interpretation, which is great as Inktober is designed to encourage you to think about your drawing. Don’t worry about being too literal, instead think laterally when approaching your Inktober drawing prompts. Also, you don’t have to follow the prompts. As the guys from Inktober say “If you have another great idea, go for it!”.

Inktober rules

The original concept of the Inktober art challenge was to simplify your options as an artist to see what you can create with a white sheet of paper and black ink. You can use markers and fineliner ink drawing pens as well as loose pen and ink to work up your drawings. You can also use watercolour and markers to colour your drawing. Remember though, because the Inktober challenge is about keeping things simple, if you are going to use colour try to limit yourself to just one. 

If you want to sketch in a pencil and apply ink over that's fine. If you want to sketch in crayon, scan it into the computer and do your finished inking digitally, do it. As long as you are creating a new ink drawing every day, it counts. 

Five things to draw

Artist Ella Johnston has looked at some of the prompts to help get you started with your ink drawing. She has used a combination of ink pen and pigment ink fineliner pens to create these Inktober drawings. Here she talks through some of the prompts and how she has created these five ink drawings ideas for Inktober. 

Inktober Drawing Prompt Day 2: Tranquil

“I feel at peace when surrounded by trees and I find branches and leaves very easy things to draw. Looking up at apple and cherry blossom gives me a particular sense of tranquility, so I’ve used a uni-PIN brush pen to sketch a simple cherry blossom branch. I choose a brush pen for its expressive, loose quality while still having a bit of control.”

Inktober Drawing Prompt Day 10: Flowing

“Here I’ve used Daler Rowney Kandahar Drawing Ink and a combination of improvised feather brushes and Winsor & Newton round brushes to create a very free-flowing outdoor study. I created this flowing river-reed drawing on a heavyweight A2 Cass Art Cartridge Pad, sitting outside and setting myself a limited time period so I couldn’t overwork the piece. Setting a time limit is a great art challenge as you are forced to create quick, simple, flowing ink strokes with your brush.”

Inktober Drawing Prompt Day 15: Weak

“I’ve used artistic licence for my Inktober idea here and read ‘weak’ as fragile. These quick mini feather studies were drawn with a calligraphy pen dipped in Indian drawing ink and overlaid with washes of water. “

Inktober Drawing Prompt Day 16: Angular

“Practising architectural drawing is a brilliant way to hone your drawing skills and is particularly helpful for studying angles and mastering perspective. You need to get out and about to do this so if you don’t want to use messy pots of ink, get a set of fineliner ink pens. I’ve used Uni-Pin pens here, with a range of nib sizes to get different effects.”

Inktober Drawing Prompt Day 23: Muddy

“The first thing that comes to mind when I think of mud is wading birds, hence this pointillist-style ink illustration of a redshank. These birds find their food in mud and I enjoy seeing them scurry around in the muddy estuary near my home. You can practise pointillist style artwork with a range of black ink pens and markers by varying the size of nibs as you work.”

Feeling Inspired?

Post your first Inktober drawing on October 1st and your last on October 31st.

See Ella Johnston’s work on her blog