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Haunted House – ink illustration tutorial

Why a Haunted House?

When I was painting Inktober illustrations on dark, cold evenings, spooky themes just went to my hands. Even during past Inktobers, all kinds of ghostly figures were included to mine artworks: creatures from Slavic mythology: Midday Ladies, nymphs, vampires ghosts, little devils and so on…
I hope I will have an opportunity to create my own bestiary someday. It would be so awesome thing!

I have to fight with a lack of time so this is the only 9th of Inktober illustrations this year. All illustrations aren’t connected with each other this time. But I couldn’t resist facing creepy topic once again! Another advantage of painting haunted house illustration was the fact, I don’t paint architecture very often (you can see my trials on Coffee Shop -watercolor illustration tutorial). It was a great reason to challenge myself!

A few words about the superiority of traditional architecture over the modern one

I don’t have a great respect for modern architecture. Yes, it is sometimes outstanding, super – futuristic and definitely can make an impression. But in most cases it doesn’t leave so remarkable marks in my imagination as old manors, palaces, tenement houses from past centuries do.

All these stairs, columns, balconies, intriguing reliefs, creaking doors, facades winking with all these windows and roofs with a thousand tiles…Only one look is enough to make ideas popping out of my head.
I think of all these people who lived in such a houses. Was this life happy and peaceful? Or maybe passionate and full of adventures? In these stoic walls things, than are dreamt of in your philosophy could happen! Well, I could believe in it, at least 😉


Did you see the movement on one of these windows? A woman with a sad face, or still girl maybe? Before you decide, you only hear the distant steps and you don’t know if it was real.

Old manors are often surrounded by parks. The shapes of old trees are such a great frame for building. Their grasping branches remind me at once “Wuthering Heights” (btw it is a perfect lecture on windy Autumn evening if you haven’t read it yet!)

All these thoughts accompany me when I was painting this illustration as a tribute for all old, beautiful and very often forgotten buildings still patiently waiting to be rediscovered.

Art tools:

  • chalk paper
  • pencil
  • fine liners
  • ecolines: ultramarine violet, orange, sepia, deep gray
  • white gel pen

Haunted house ink process

I started from the pencil sketch. Then define building’ shapes and details with a fine liner. Hatched shading add diversion. The surface of chalk paper is so smooth that it is easy to make smudges on it. But it doesn’t matter because I will cover the sketch witch paint so the smudges won’t be visible.

As always when I use water paints I am starting with light colors. In case of liquid color inks which ecolines are I dilute color with a bit of water, to achieve a lighter shade. I use sepia and orange in trees’ parts, deep gray, and violet for shadows. Paint on chalk paper is drying slowly and gives a really interesting texture especially when we add some splashes.
After painting, I am adding more details with the fine liner and white gel pen.

inktober illustraiton Hounted House
If you still didn’t notice that this house isn’t ordinary home I am drawing three ghosts. Maybe they are last residents of this manor?
I suppose it could be aunt Pelagia who died of scarlet fever (I don’t have an idea what is this disease in the matter of fact, but it sounds interesting!). There is also her husband – Remigius who was married just after her funeral with really tempting and young maid. And the last one is Apolinary. He poisoned the father and escaped with his pretty stepmother in an unknown direction. After long years of adventurous life, his ghost came back to the family nest to unite with his parents. And they not live happily ever after…

Such a bedtime story 😉

If you aren’t bored yet check out my other Inktober illustrations : Flapper Girl tutorial and my Inktober entry illustration video process

haunted house ink illustration