Inktober 2016 – How I got the most of it

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Hi there! Had a cup of coffee today yet?

Today I will tell you a bit of a long story that I hope will be helpful for you. This is about my experience with Inktober 2016. I took this challenge one step further, it was very important for me to evolve and learn more about my illustration style at the end of the 31 days. I hope my little experience helps you to do the same in the future. Also let me know your experience too, please.

Let’s do this!


Get ready

a. I chose a list of themes for every day before the challenge began. Something I liked and was also fun for me, without forgetting the main objective or getting bored halfway in. You can choose any list you like or want.  No pressure.

b. Set regularity. Inktober is about being constant but if you can’t draw every day it’s not the end of the world. I choose draw and publish every day but it can be weekly, a day in between, once a week, etc. The main thing is to do it.

c. Inktober is about ink… obviously. I decided go for traditional too, so I used inks, markers, brushes, etc. but mostly because I really like these technique. I also used watercolors and some colored pencils. You can choose you own art supplies, if you want digital drawings or watercolors, go for it.

My art supplies during the process:

  1. Canson Sketchbook
  2. Eraser
  3. Pencil sharpener
  4. Pigma Micron pen 01, 02 and 03
  5. Pentel Brush Pen
  6. Prismacolor Col-Erase Carmine Red
  7. Gelly Roll 08
  8. Kuretake Pen

Some others I used:


9. Winsor and Newton Promarkers (shades: V327, M428, R738, O948, CG1)
10. Copic Markers (shades: N1, V93, V06, R85, BG32, RV21)
11. Ecoline watercolors (shades: Pastel blue 580, Violet 548)
12. Winsor and Newton inks (to many colors)
13. Winsor & Newton watercolors
14. Post-it’s. I’ll tell you later what I used it for.

Now, start for real. 

a. When I started Inktober I did it days before. This allowed me to be organized with my work and have little spaces of time where I had the chance to get more freedom in my art experiments. It’s very helpful when your schedule is going crazy or if you get unexpected tasks. I even drew some weekends.

b. A million references. Because this was a process to develop my illustration style I saved pictures of everything: clothes, faces, poses, light, fabrics or even another illustration styles I love. I’m not a fan of Pinterest, but I take screenshots of everything in my phone.

c. I have a B list (‘cause I love lists). My B List had all the stuff I wanted to test in my illustrations, things out of my comfort zone. For example, I wanted to try complementary colors or to play more with my markers and, of course, to master the lines made with brushes. That’s the reason I used the Pentel brush for the whole challenge.

Examples of color and brush experiments:

Not pressure, just commitment.

a. To me, this was a fun challenge that made me grow and discover many things about my style. Even if you are not developing your style but just doing this for fun, you are going to learn something with the experience. You decide how far to take it. I took it as seriously as I could without leaving aside the fun part.

b. Remember, you can arrange this challenges in any way you like. Your list of themes and Schedule are not set in stone, you set your own rules.

c. The most important was the experimenting. I really don’t try many new things, I am pretty comfortable with what I do, but I have to experiment and try different stuff. So I have to make myself try, really try different ways to draw. If you are the same as me, please experiment. Experiment with shapes, materials, lettering, formats, etc. Do not be afraid to play!

d. I convinced myself to follow this thing through until the very end. I feel like it doesn’t matter if the results are not what you expected, you have to finish it. At the end of a long process you learn of every good thing but you learn more for every mistake. Inktober or any other challenge could be a great opportunity to evolve in many ways.

e. Let’s have fun! I don’t stop drawing even in the bad days. I invite you to do the same, in any challenge keep drawing and take it like a little break and not a chore. Don’t kill the fun. For me the challenge became a way for my brain to take a brake at the end of the day.

And the post-its?

You may have noticed, since you saw them in the drawing at the beginning. Well, this challenge was my experiment to develop my illustration style so I wanted to give more meaning to my results.

I take a post-it per illustration and wrote all the things I liked of each one every day. I wrote a minimum of 3 likes in each one. Also I wrote some don’ts, this ones are the ways I didn’t want to pursue or I didn’t like at all. But I tried to focus a lot more in the likes, so not to be so strict with myself.

Doing it in this way allowed me to discover pieces about my experiments. I call these pieces, parts of my illustration style and also I saw things that I should not continue to do to maintain that path.

At the end, 31 post-its serves me as clues to my process.

For example, I discovered color palettes I love now, shapes and experiments I want to keep doing, strokes with the brush I liked, etc.

In the end, I learned…

  • Yes, I can be disciplined.
  • Organizing myself for the challenge didn’t kill my creativity, it made it grow. The post-its helped me to see the results more clearly.
  • Posting every day in my social media accounts allowed me to saw what my followers like more about my art.
  • I really can finish something.
  • I drank a lot of coffee to finish the challenge. lol
  • Hope you enjoyed this post! And remember share and let me know your experience with any challenge. Have a nice day!

I hope you enjoyed this post! And remember share and let me know your experience with any challenge. Have a nice day!

Thanks to my sweet friend: Sofia Vermes, for help me with my sad english. 

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