Week 4 of Inktober 2017

It doesn’t feel like I’ve done a month of drawing, but here we are. My third year of Inktober completed. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, and also the social side of it too. I’m already looking forward to Inktober 2018!

Path in Black Park - Inktober day 22
A pathway through the beautiful Black Park.

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Week 3 of Inktober 2017

Drawing of a howling wolf in pen and ink

Here are my pictures for the third week of Inktober. I’m still having a lot of fun and satisfied to see my sketchbooks filling up nicely too.

Tree stump - Inktober day 15
The official Inktober theme was mysterious and I really couldn’t think what to draw until I spotted this tree stump photo I took at Black Park. At the front there is what looks like a tiny face, so I thought it was something different for the theme.

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Week 2 of Inktober 2017

Pen and ink drawing of a zebra

Week two has been great fun – especially seeing all the amazing art others are doing. It really inspires me to keep drawing and developing my own skills.

Ewe and lamb - Inktober day 8
Two of my parents’ sheep with attitude. The spotty lamb was a fun texturing challenge too.

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Week 1 of Inktober 2017

2017 is my third Inktober, though having recently moved house it’s probably the most chaotic! I’m between houses so I can’t really unpack anything for a while yet, but I have opened the art supply boxes. Because priorities.

I’m posting quick photos of my work each day to my Twitter account, so if you want to get an earlier look at my new drawings and illustrations, that’s where to look. Proper scanned pictures get posted to Flickr the following day.

If you’re doing Inktober I’d love to hear how you’re getting on. If you’re not, don’t be shy joining in or looking on social media at what others are doing. I think most are using #inktober and #inktober2017 hashtags.


Pen and ink drawing of a deer
Day 1 – Deer sketch – Turned out paler than I was intending, but still fun and a good warm-up drawing.

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Eagle Owl Drawing

This is my drawing for the January Scrawlrbox challenge “nature’s eye”. You can see the materials I got and my review of them here.

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Scrawlrbox #16 Review

January’s box is my third and completes my 3 month subscription. I loved every box so I’ll definitely get more in future. This month the featured artist is Gemma Stylz and the challenge theme was “Nature’s Eye”. The art print is beautiful up on the shelf above my desk.

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The Friday Squirrel

Sketch of a squirrel reading while sitting on an old log
Sketch of a squirrel reading while sitting on an old log
Squirrel has been busy collecting for winter and stops on a nearby log to read during a break.

A little squirrel doodle to start the weekend.


Squirrel practice in pencil and watercolour

Painting of a squirrel's head in watercolour.

A page from my watercolour sketchbook featuring assorted red and grey squirrels. Below that are some of the pencil sketches I did first. These pages have led to a running joke about my “squirrels per day” count.

Paintings of squirrels in watercolour paint.
Red and grey squirrels in watercolour on A5 paper.
Pencil sketches of squirrels
Some practice pencil sketches that later turned into watercolour practice.

Scrawlrbox #14 Review

Contents of the November 2016 Scrawlrbox.

Scrawlrbox is a monthly subscription of art materials. November’s box is my first. I’ve included links so you can buy any of the pens you’re interested in. Note: this post contains some affiliate links to help pay for more pens my web hosting.

November’s featured artist is Emma from Black Chalk Collective. The theme is brush and the box is themed around hand lettering. I love calligraphy and hand lettering, but I’ve never fancied brush pen script for some reason. I haven’t fallen in love with it since getting this box, but these pens are all versatile enough for other lettering styles and different art projects, so I’m delighted with them.

Inside the box were:

  • 3 Artline Stix brush pens (black, purple and blue)
  • 1 Artline Stix colouring marker (grey)
  • 2 Ecoline brush pens (turquoise and blue violet)
  • 1 Edding 1200 Metallic Colourpen (74 green)
  • 1 Crayola broad tip marker (blue)
  • 2 sheets of lined practice paper
  • 1 sweetie – a whistle 🙂
  • a PDF file sent by email with guides and lower case letters to practice


Artline Stix brush pens – http://amzn.to/2i1JErM
Artline Stix colouring marker – http://amzn.to/2hgfQpZ

The Artline Stix pens are triangular shaped brush pens with a lego-style texture that allows you to stick them together.

I found the Stix tips firmer than the Ecolines, but as a brush lettering newbie this felt easier to control.

The Stix colours were quite saturated and consistent, though the black wasn’t a truly jet black on the page. This may or may not bother you as these pens can create a gradient/ombre effect, giving your black letters some shading too. These pens can bleed through thin paper but they’re fine on sturdier papers. There are 20 colours available.

The colouring marker pen has a bullet-shaped tip. It doesn’t respond to pressure like the brush pens and delivers uniform width strokes. The grey is quite dark but useful for shading in sketches with black ink or adding a drop shadow to some lettering.


Ecoline Brush Pens – http://amzn.to/2hg90kx

The Ecoline brush pens are a wider round pen with a brush pen tip. I believe they use the same Ecoline ink that Talens sell separately. The pens come in 29 colours and the ink is transparent. Their ink isn’t waterproof so you can continue work on a piece later.

The tips on the Ecoline pens are nice and flexible and the colour seems to flow really well. I find them a bit harder to control because they are so responsive, but they’ll give you really expressive strokes with some practice.

I doodled on watercolour paper and used one of my water brushes to introduce water to the ink and vice versa. I made a teeny puddle of water and touched it with a pen a few times and the ink just danced around.  A drop of water on the pen diluted the colour long enough to attempt a graduated wash of sorts. I can use a water brush to soften edges and lift the ink out a bit too. With practice these pens are really versatile.


Edding 1200 Metallic Colourpen – http://amzn.to/2hgdmIa

The Edding 1200 has a bullet tip so it won’t respond to pressure, however the stroke does vary from 0.5 – 1mm and a bit wider if you tilt the pen. You don’t need to shake or pump the tip to get the ink flowing. These pens seem ideal for adding accents to artwork or writing cards and gift tags/labels. The line width is really easy to control and write letters with. It doesn’t soak through thinner paper either.

The colour varies depending on the paper you use it on. On my creamy cheap watercolour paper it came out almost like a metallic mossy green. On pure white paper it’s brighter, but I preferred it on black paper. The ink dries quickly even on shiny paper.  There are 6 metallic colours and the 1200 also comes in 24 normal colours for use on light coloured paper.


Crayola Broad Tip Marker – http://amzn.to/2iaT01v

The line width of these pens varies depending on what bit of the tip you use. The point delivers finer lines, tilted you get a really chunky stroke with a lot of character. I love how it can sometimes break up and give you that rough wild texture. These are also cheap and readily available.

To create hand lettering script you’ll need to practice tilting the pen to control your thick and thin strokes. They don’t respond to pressure like a brush pen. The Crayola markers make a fun alternative to more expensive art pens, especially if you want to digitise strokes for graphics software or customise your pens by cutting into the tip for some extra texture effects.