Inktober 2017 – Recap and Guide

Inktober was really tuff this year, guys.

My goal was to draw one portrait a day. My goal was not to use a very realistic style, I wanted it to be stylized. I also wanted to force myself to draw more men, because let’s face it: men are way out of my comfort zone.

In order to get a result that even remotely looks like the person you are trying to draw, you need to study that person, draw them from many angles, get to know their face… it takes TIME! And I didn’t have TIME! But I think I got better at it as the month went on.

✑ My Workflow

Thank god for the iPad pro! It helped me save so much time.

inktober process behind the scenes

☞ Draw the sketch

The first step was to draw the sketches on my iPad pro, on Procreate. It’s quicker than drawing the sketches on paper because you can fix proportion mistakes easily without having to erase constantly and most of all, you don’t have to worry about the size of the drawing.

Like I said earlier, I wanted to draw in a more stylized way, but I think I ended up not being able to stylize the drawings as much as I would have liked because I didn’t have time to study the faces long enough. Some of the images that were closest to what I was intending were Arya, Sansa, and Cersei, characters I had made multiple sketches of before even starting inktober (my obsession with GOT started way before October).

☞ Trace it

After finishing a sketch, I would use the iPad like a lightbox with an app that came in very handy. It’s called Lightbox Trace and the concept is very simple: You can paste a picture into the app, resize it and lock the screen, that way it won’t budge while you are tracing and you won’t risk moving everything around with your hand while you trace.

☞ Ink it

Bet you could see that one coming. I tried several techniques this year: Brush and ink, fountain pens, brush pen… sometimes I had issues with some paper/ink combinations, mostly because I used relatively inexpensive paper (because I’m really cheap). I will go more into detail of the art supplies I used further down. The inking process was very frustrating to me because usually I really liked my initial sketch, but I wasn’t able to translate it in ink. But I guess that’s the whole point of inktober, right?


✑ Art Supplies

Here’s a list of my favorites of the month!

☞ Pens and brushes

Ink and brush

Inktober supplies - inks

The tool I used when I had time during weekends and when I wanted to ink using other colors than black. Like I said, it takes patience to draw with these tools, but also, you need to sit down at a desk and draw… and most of the time I just like to sit on the couch and glare at my husband when he dares to move and mess up my line.

With a brush, you can really control the line thickness and it gives the most beautiful results. I use the thinnest brush I can find, seeing as my drawings were quite small and I like thinner lines.

Pentel Brush Pen

Inktober supplies - pentel brush pen

This is what I used when I wanted to get the ink and brush effect without busting out the ink, the brush and the glass of water. Many artists out there use this pen and swear by it. I don’t use it as often as I would like because it is quite thick and you have to concentrate really hard to not push on the brush down too much in order to create thin lines. It makes my brain hurt. But I am decided to use it more often. (also, if you’re interested, I was happy to see that the pen is available in many colors on Amazon, not just the usual black. I got the gold version)

I should also note that I had issues with this pen bleeding on some papers (like in the Moleskine sketchbook), but it works beautifully on watercolor paper.

Fountain pens

Inktober supplies - foutain pens - Noodler's ahab and pilot 78G

My absolute favorites this month! especially the Noodler’s Ahab on the right.

A few months ago, I purchased several fountain pens on the website of this amazing Toronto based store called Wonderpens. They have an awesome selection and I wish we had a store like that in Montreal.

Noodler’s Ahab has a flex nib, which means that you can adjust the flow of the ink and it has a nice amount of line variation. It’s not as flexible as a brush, but I like its range.

I also used the Pilot 78G Fountain Pen with a Fine nib. it’s the perfect addition to the Noodler and I use it to add fine details to finish off a piece. I also used it for full drawings. the lines are so thin, but it also has a little flexibility in the nib… I like it way more than Micron pens.

The only downside of fountain pens is that they are hard on the paper, they scratch it away, especially when you fill out some spots.

Metallic Gelly Roll pens

Inktober supplies - Metallic Gelly Roll

Before starting Inktober I rushed to a local art supply store to pick up some white Gelly roll pens (always good to have those) and I stumbled on the gold, silver and copper versions of the pens. I knew that I would draw some Lannisters and that gold pens could come in handy, so I picked them up… and I am so glad I did! They are so much easier to use than my gold watercolors and the result is far nicer than what I expected. I Don’t know how they would look on darker paper, but for white paper, I can only recommend them if you are looking to add some nice shiny little accents.


☞ Paper

Inktober supplies - paper

This is going to be quick since I didn’t choose any fancy paper for this challenge.

Moleskine Sketchbook

That’s what I used most of the time. The quality of the paper is great, especially for ink, but beware of the Pentel brush: the paper is just going to drink the ink straight up.

Fabriano Bristol paper

It’s not bad for copic markers and I used it a lot this month by taking an A4 page and cutting it in 2. It worked very well with most inks, but do NOT use it with Ecoline Watersoluble Ink. It was a disaster for me.

Guardi artistico aquarello

I bought this paper at Boesner in Germany where my parents live. It’s nice inexpensive watercolor paper and I used it only a few times this month, but it is clear that watercolor paper is the best option if you choose to ink with a brush.


✑ the Inktober recap

Here are are all my artworks for this month. Some are alright, some are a disgrace! Here we go:

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New Website and Inktober 2017 Week 1

It’s time to show you my new website: is now with a new design!

Some posts from the old website have been lost during the process since the web host OVH deletes all your files  after only 15 days of expiration… So beware if you are on vacation and forgot about your blog hosting expiry date!

Fortunately, my awesome husband managed to recover some of them thanks to a year old backup!

Just in time for #Inktober 2017! I’m doing one ink drawing a day for the entire month of October and I chose a popular TV show for the theme: Game of Thrones.

Each day of this month, I publish the drawing on facebook, tumblr and Instagram. Here is the summary for Week 1. Which one is your favorite ?

Game of Thrones - Inktober - Arya Stark
Arya Stark
Game of Thrones - Inktober - Bronn
Game of Thrones - Inktober - Jorah Mormont
Jorah Mormont
Game of Thrones - Inktober - Margaery Tyrell
Margaery Tyrell
Game of Thrones - Inktober - Samwell Tarly - Sam
Samwell Tarly
Game of Thrones - Inktober - Joffrey Baratheon
Joffrey Baratheon
Game of Thrones - Inktober - Tyrion Lannister
Tyrion Lannister


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52 Week Illustration Challenge – Week 4: Swimming

52 Week Illustration Challenge mermaid swimming goldfish water

I had a really hard time drawing a mermaid… who would have thought?

When I was a child, my favorite movie was Disney’s Little Mermaid. I watched over and over again, admiring her hair floating around.  I didn’t want to draw something resembling disney mermaids, so I went for a goldfish look.

I found it hard to create an interesting shape for her hair, I wish I could animate it… and I need the bubbles… THE BUBBLES! (can’t you hear them in your head?)

ariel disney hair animated gif little mermaid

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52 Week Illustration Challenge – Week 3: Themepark

I was really clueless as to what I could draw for the Themepark theme. I didn’t want to do a huge and complicated drawing with rollercoasters and colors and insanity and spend hours and hours working on it.

So I thought about the stuff I like about themeparks and my mind went to DisneySea in Japan when I first went there last year. I was amazed by the amount of girls who were wearing costumes and were running around with park merchandise and popcorn buckets. They were so cute!

52 Week Illustration Challenge disney sea disneysea japan color pencils illustration snow white duffy bear

I decided to use my Faber-Castell Polychromos color pencils for the illustration. I think they can give drawings a nice « children’s book » feel.

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52 Week Illustration Challenge – Week 2: Outdoors

Still following the 52-Week Illustration Challenge! The theme of the second week was « Outdoors ». Now that I’m living in the land of bears, I imagined that an encounter with a bear in the wild would be an awesome thing to draw.

Here is the final piece:

I spent a lot of time on this one. I am really a slow worker when it comes to creating a finished piece. I noticed it for the first time when I was working on inktober. I start over and over again and do 1000 sketches searching for a style. Do I want something more realistic or more cartoony? Make up your mind, woman!

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First post of 2016 : projects for this year!

Happy new year guys! Haven’t posted in a while, but as always I have EXCUSES!

This year is a great new start for me, I’m in a new country on a new continent, starting a new life!

Since I moved in October, my Inktober challenge was a huge fail. I did a few more drawings I haven’t posted here yet, maybe I will one day though. Even if Inktober did not work out for me, I liked the challenge of having to create drawings regularly. Once a day can be really difficult though, so I went on the search for a new challenge that would be less demanding but still interesting and I found the 52-week Illustration Challenge.

What is the 52-week Illustration Challenge? It is a Facebook group with illustrators and people who just like to draw, where a new theme is imposed each week.

The theme for the first week was Fancy dress. So I drew a Versailles style dress… what’s more fancy than that?

I want to work on more traditional media this year. I have always worked with my old Wacom Intuos tablet, but lately I get really impatient with it. Maybe because I get more and more interested in linework, which is really annoying to do with a tablet. I guess a Cintiq would make this job easier, but I don’t have that kind of money right now and I’m no professional, so I guess I need to stop obsessing about it.

gif colbert give it to me now

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Inktober: Day 6

I was planning on doing an other movie today, but nothing turned out the way I wanted. I panicked and turned to Leeloo, figuring it would be fun to try out my Muji 6-in-1 Colour Pen!

Inktober is a real chalenge because I have to whip out a « finished piece » without having the time to work on it for more than a few hours. I feel like in a month I will look back on the drawings I posted and cry a little, but right now I’m only proud to be able to hang on for almost a week. Only 25 days left to go!

leelo fifth element fan art inktober

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