Sunday, October 29, 2017

Inktober 2017

Most of you will never have heard of #intober.  It’s a simple idea started by Jake Parker, a Utah artist,  nearly ten years ago – a challenge to make an ink drawing every day during the month of October.  Then you are supposed to post it on the internet and label it #inktober and #intober 2017.

Usually inktober is well along before I realize the challenge has started again. This year I happened to notice at the correct time.  I decided to give it a try.  I knew right away I wouldn’t take the time to scan and post all 31 drawings, but I’d at least try to ink a drawing every day. 

Now I’m nearly at the end of the month.  I think I missed two days, but there were other days when I did more than one.  

Trying to keep up with inktober was easy for me, but not totally satisfying.  I hardly did any painting all month because there was always another drawing that needed inking.  It is acceptable to include color with the ink.  I did a couple of those, but mostly I just inked.    

I did make a point of different types of ink drawings … and will give a brief comment about a few of them.  The little deer mouse at the top of the blog was my first sketch.  The day inktober started was an especially busy one for me, but late in the day I flipped open my laptop and drew him. 

Day 2 I had lots of time.  Dale and I parked next to these egrets and cormorants and I had time to sketch all but the last inch of crosshatching right on location.  I quit at that point and finished later because by the time I reached that the end of the sketch I really needed a table to work on. I had been balancing my sketchbook on my lap, scrunched in the front seat of the car.
This is another field sketch, but I did peek at the back of my camera, and I sketched it lightly in pencil before inking.  I wanted it to look spontaneous, but still be fairly well proportioned.    

I photographed this great horned owl peering out from some willow branches early in the month.  This one I tried to draw carefully from the computer after I got home.
 Great  Blue Heron -- another really quick field sketch.  My goal was to emphasize the beautiful light

Washington lily -- drawn from a photo I took several years ago.  I wanted to work with a wide range of values so I used the water soluble ink again. 

Today’s drawing is the pair of double crested cormorants.  Sketched in the field nearly three weeks ago, but today I inked it.  Again I used water soluble ink.  I love how I can wet this ink with a ‘water brush’ – (a plastic brush that holds water in its handle). 

In case you are interested, these are all done with one of my two fountain pens.  One is filled with Platinum Carbon black ink and is permanent.  I can paint right over it without the ink smearing.  In my second pen I keep water soluble ink. 


  1. Beautiful work. I noticed many just did quick sketches but you did masterpieces as usual. Love them all.

  2. Wonderful techniques wielded by your talented hand. Love them all.

  3. They are all wonderful ,love the different techniques that you showed . I just tried ink a couple of years ago and I love it.

  4. Elva, these are so wonderful! I especially am drawn to the lily, love the “inky” dark background.

  5. Congrats on participating in Inktober! I did it too, and I gave myself the personal challenge of working on hatching, which I need practice on. That part was satisfying. However, I am also taking a graphite drawing class this quarter, so between that and Inktober, I have been in serious color withdrawal! I have been making a special effort to get out and sketch a few fall trees to scratch the color itch.

    - Tina

    1. Hi Tina ... I think if I do inktober again I'll pick something to work on like you did (hatching in your case). I want to feel I'm pushing myself a little.

  6. As always, these are wonderful, Elva. Thanks for taking the time to share them with us.