Brushes, Ink and Inktober 2019

October always comes with ink, brushes, and Inktober.

Inktober, this so successful artist challenge by great Mr. Jake Parker about creating 31 drawings in 31 days with ink tools and share them with the artist community.

More artists join the challenge each year and it has become incredibly popular nowadays.

And every single one of us is looking for excuses just to join it, of course! So, if you are interested in my personal excuses, welcome to this post!

First of all I would like to tell you a little about my personal story.

I discovered Inktober several years ago, maybe in 2011 or so. And I´m sure an artist friend of mine told me about it, here in Spain.

I had tried with ink before, for sure.

Ink brush and pen explorations

Ink brush and pen explorations

When I was a young girl, I decided to learn how to draw manga and animation characters. I loved to copy a lot with markers.

I also begun with designs on my own.

Few drawings I did when I was so influenced by manga and anime

A few drawings I did when I was so influenced by manga and anime

I didn’t dare to try the challenge. And I say try because one single complete drawing for me was too much for each day. So stressful.

Just think about it: Every day I follow more and more incredible and so talented artists with amazing Inktober projects. Resulting in so much pressure and stress for me. But… something happened that changed everything.

I really loved ink tools. I can remember entire days in art class drawing and experimenting with ink brushes and pens because my teacher gave them to me when I was stressed (so many times, I must confess) and suddenly with ink came calm and just enjoy.

Tree explorations with pen

Tree explorations with pen

Later came the first time I tried to join the challenge, just for four or five drawings. And it was fine but I can remember me thinking like: “I cannot do this anymore. I am not capable of finishing it.”

But, the next year came and then I forgot the sensation and I was so excited that I tried it again one more time. And I began to understand that some of the artists I follow had very strong skills also consistency and a personal project behind the challenge and I had nothing, even a simple goal.

So in 2017, I did a very special Inktober. My personal challenge was just doing it, with bad and not-so-bad drawings, with a lot of experimentation about the technique.

Inktober 2017

Inktober 2017

Later the same year, I began Nathan Fowkes´s Schoolism online art class and this changed my process. Because Nathan uses a very useful and convenient approach to put focus on a daily basis artist routine, with limited time for each sketch and with very strong goals: composition and value.

Inktober 2018

A perfect balance for me. And then with this approach, I did several Inktober drawings in 2018. You can see them in this older post: Art Challenge Inktober 2018

So this Inktober 2019, I was so happy about feeling so comfortable and free of fear and anxiety that I did a very satisfying challenge, with a collection of ancient trees. You can see in my Instagram that I even recorded myself doing a few of them: Ale Díaz Bouza´s Instagram

Inktober 2019 Ancient trees Series 2

Inktober 2019 Ancient trees Series

Inktober 2019 Ancient trees Series 3

Inktober 2019 Ancient trees Series 3

And I didn’t finish with the 31 drawings, but I´m so proud of being so near to this goal that now I´m so happy with it. Get my hands dirty, like a child playing, is also a very nice sensation too.


I think I´m learning about the technique, process, consistency, that I can do better drawings and scenes using this approach. I am decided to implement it in my artist daily routine. Hope I can tell you more about this in future posts.