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Inktober illustration tutorial – how to paint with ecoline and ink

How is your Inktober going?
My flies so quickly! I have only 7 works done!
But I don’t care so much. I knew, I won’t be able to create all 31 illustrations due to a busy time at work. That’s id why I have decided, I do as many as possible.
I don’t follow any rules (except using ink!), or themes list. I gave myself free hand this year.

Today I prepared for you ink illustration tutorial showing my inking process tron finding inspiratations to the last touches. I hope you will enjoy it!

Instagram inspirations

I definitely prefer Instagram over others social media and I spend a lot of time there. I found such a precious accounts of girls who are sewing historical clothes and take a part in a reenactment, living history events. I admire their skills and beautiful outfits.
My reference photo for Inktober nr 7 comes from @Makenta profile.

Makenta as Flapper Girlinstagram profile of Makenta 
Take a look at those great creations and I don’t mean only clothes. She is a girl of many talents 🙂

So let’s go back to crazy twenties of the last century!

Art tools

  • chalk paper
  • ecoline (color inks) deep gray(706) and ultramarine violet (507)
  • flat brush from Ikea’s Mala set
  • nib pen
  • black fineliner

You probably heard before that the best paper for watercolor is textured and absorptive watercolor paper (200 -300 g). I don’t argue with that common opinion. Nonetheless almost all of my Inktober illustrations are painted on chalk paper (on the mat side). It is true, that ink doesn’t dry so quickly on it. Thanks to that, you can make interesting textures, mix pigments and even wipe the paint if something goes wrong. I found a lot of advantages in using chalk paper with watercolor and inks! If you don’t believe my words – try it yourself!

Ink painting process of ‘Flapper Girl’

I did the illustration without pencil sketch. Most of the time I have used a flat brush. I like using flat brushes because of a variety of lines, which can be achieved, while we are painting with the brush at different angles.

The process looks similar to watercolors (take a look for ‘Coffee Shop’ tutorial to know more about watercolor painting process). The inks are already liquid, so you don’t have to activate pigment with water. You can use water to dilute the color, make it more soft and lighter.

First of all I am starting with very thin lines and diluted gray pigment to draw girl’s profile contour. Then I add more pigment on the hair area with stronger, thicker brush strokes.  By adding a bit of violet ink I make the hair more shiny.
I am painting gradually the most important parts of the face such as eyes, mouth, nose. Little details as a single hair, lashes or nose whole are painted with thin fineliner. With red and blue pencil I’m adding a bit color to her cheeks, lips and shadow parts. And now it is time for a background!

I am painting flowers by using mixed grey and violet inks and a lot of water and applying it on paper with fast strokes. I am pressing the brush a bit to achieve shapes similar to petals. After that I’m defining roses’ shapes with thin lines by using nib and violet ink.
For a bit of red on girl’s lip and cheeks and a bit of blue on shadow parts and flowers I used color pencils.
All painting process took about 2 hours.

Inktober illustration flapper girl
I hope my description is understandable, but if you have any questions, please leave them in comments!
I want to believe I encouraged you a bit for painting with ink with this ink illustration tutorial! If so, leave a link to your illustrations – I will gladly see them!

If you have any ideas or requests for the next tutorials, let me know!

Inktober illustration flapper girl



  • I still didn’t many of Inktober pieces, I hope I will beat my score form last year (which was 9)
  • If I only could sew I would wear historic costumes myself. But all my free time is fill with drawing and painting, so my sewing machine is cloised in my closed for about year now… So I have no illusions 😀
  • I have never liked rules. You should/ you shouldn’t isn’t good attitude in art. 
    Experiment is always the best way to learn new things unless it is dangerous to your health 
    So I tried chalk paper + ink and watercolor in my Inktober pieces and, despite it isn’t recommended to use with watercolors, I think it is very interesting match 🙂

And here are my Inktober illustrations so far. The only one is missing – the first one which opened this year challange – you can see painting process in previous postinktober ink illustrations