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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