How to Ink

A guide for beginners who want to to INKTOBER.

Ink in itself is the fundamental material in the participation of Inktober. My favorite technique is using a brush and india ink. Then, I’ll add in details afterwards. I’ve created a small but helpful guide for you all to follow!

Step 1

Gather materials


Brushes – Small ones or ones specific to inking are good (as I said I am giving you all simply a beginners tutorial on how I like to ink.)

Ink – Now I like to use india ink. It’s the darkest and honestly works a lot like watercolor (Protip: India ink stains EVERYTHING PERMANENTLY. So handle with care.)

Ink markers – I do have a couple fabercastel markers that are black and discharge india ink. These are my markers to give details.

OPTIONAL: Gelly Roll Pen in white. (Good for mistakes or light details!)

Step 2

Work the ink


As a general rule I like to draw a simple outline of what I’m inking in pencil and then go over the main places with ink. This is the first layer and is okay to be rough.

Step 3Β 

Add water


If you want to make shadows, add details or add a splash effect. Water will be your best friend.

Techniques: I like to use water to spread the ink and then add some ink onto puddles of water to give it a cool effect. It’s all up to you but experimenting is always awesome!

The whole goal of Inktober is to be more familiar and learn how to use inks. No one is expecting you to be a pro.

Step 4

(Wait for it to dry) and then add details with the markers


If you were waiting to draw eyes, hair strands or rocks, this is your time to add definition.

The particularity with ink is to draw the shadows of the drawings before everything else. When usually with pencil you’d add the shadows last. It helps us to understand light.

The first steps added depth, now this one adds reality to the equation.

Step 5

*Optional* Gelly Roll time (Or white out depending on how broke you are)Β 

This of course is up to you but I tend to enjoy this step the most. It makes the details I want to emphasize come out stronger. Basically a gelly roll pen is a lot like white out but is more precise.

It can add flecks of white on your drawings or cover mistakes of ink rather solidly. So if you’re starting out. It’s recommended.


22219327_827441957416738_1500501288_oThese are all up to you, everyone has their own ways but this is the one I’ve found was easiest. Be sure to tag me here or on instagram (@plaidbowtiesart) if you’ve used any of these methods.

Reminder: Inktober isn’t a race. If you start late. It’s okay. If you can’t post everyday, it’s okay. If you just post once, it’s also okay. The goal is to help people learn about ink, it’s not a competition. I encourage you all to try!

Other Inktober posts

My inktober drawings

Be sure to follow if you wish to be kept up with inktober posts!Β 

4 thoughts on “How to Ink

  1. Wow – fabulous! So nice of you to share how you do your art. Do you mainly use dark in as the outline and then color in with other ink colors? Remember, I am a newbie at this. πŸ™‚


    1. I usually stick to black for the colors! The key is to go little by little. So if you’re unsure, make the first layer quite pale, add some more ink once it’s done drying (india ink dries quickly) and go from there! I’m sure you’ll be fantastic!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ok, need to go to the art store. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

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