The beginning of October signals not only more cozy nights in, but the start of a 31-day drawing challenge called Inktober.

Arizona-based illustrator Jake Parker created the online art challenge in 2009 as a way to improve his inking skills and develop positive drawing habits.

We can’t think of a better way to spend the longer evenings than with a notebook, a pen and the chance to boost our creativity along the way.

Here are three tips to help you get started.

1. Draw with Pencil First

If the commitment of putting ink to paper seems too daunting, try drawing with pencil first (be careful with the type of pencil you’re using so as not to leave marks you can’t erase).

This way you can leave room for experimentation or inevitable errors and be sure that you are happy with your image before creating the final inking.

2. Strip Drawings Down to Shapes

When inspiration strikes but you’re not quite sure where to begin, try getting back to basics and break down objects or characters into standard geometric shapes, lines and proportions.

These can be multiple circles, triangles or squares that form together to complete your drawing. This will give you the basic foundation of your piece and sets you up to create whatever outlines, colour or shading you’d like.

3. Use Reference Materials

From photographs to paintings or still-life study, drawing from a piece of reference material can be a great way to improve your drawing skills. Having something to reference throughout your drawing process will help you stay focused as you look to understand how to create the shapes and lines you see in front of you.

For daily inspiration be sure to take a look at the official Inktober drawing prompts to inspire your creativity each day of October. Don’t forget to use their hashtags so you can join the community. And while you’re at it, tag us at #PeopleOfPaperblanks also. We’d love to see what you come up with! 

Good luck!


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