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It's time for the Inktober Pen and Ink Challenge!

Updated: Jan 19

And we're here to help you get ready!

Every year starting on October 1st artists from beginners on up.\ take out their pens and join the challenge to create a different pen and ink drawing every day according to the daily inspirational prompt, the first being DREAM!

The Official Inktober 2023 list

Here you can see the prompts for the daily drawings. Once you do your drawing and are happy with it you are encouraged to share it on your social media platforms using #Inktober or #inktober2023 and share it with the community of artists around the globe.

By following you will be able to see the different posts and artwork in your social media feed. It's a lot of fun to take part even if you do not want to share your work.

We thought you would appreciate some help in learning some basic pen and ink drawing skills, along with which pens are used for what and which brands we recommend, along with the best type of paper to use.

On Sunday October 1st we will be holding our monthly Joy of Drawing Online Workshop and we are dedicating the whole two hours to the subject of earning to draw with pen and ink, including types of pens and so forth, and ended up with a fun exercise where the prompt will be "DREAM".

Because we want to see as many people as possible join the challenge, we are making this workshop free to all participants COME AND JOIN US FOR FREE, and bring your friends!

If you cannot make the live Zoom workshop, we will be recording the entire thing and will send to everyone who has registered.

At the checkout page use INKTOBER23 coupon code to register for FREE!

We will chat more about the materials we use during the workshop but wanted to give you some information in advance - we took this information directly from an excellent British blog posted on

Art Pens: The Best Drawing Pens for Artists

Artists have a wide variety of pens to choose from when it comes to drawing and sketching. From fine-tip pens to brush pens, there is a pen out there that is perfect for every type of artist. In this review, we will be exploring the different types of art pens available on the market, as well as the best drawing pens for artists of all

Fineliner pens

Liner pens, also known as technical pens, are perfect for artists who need precision in their drawings. These pens have a fine tip that allows for thin lines and small details. Liner pens are available in a variety of widths, from very thin to medium thin. They can also be found in different colors, although black is the most common color used by artists.

The best brands of liner pens are Pigma Micron pens which come in a variety of different nib widths. Copic just created their own line of Fineliners.which are in different sizes also.

Pigma Micron pens are made from high quality pigment ink and are archival quality. The other advantage of Pigma Micron pens is that they don’t bleed through papers. Both of these brands make highly pigmented and professional quality pens, the main differences are that Micron pens are cheaper and Copic Fineliner pens are refillable.

Brush pens

Brush pens are a popular choice among artists because they offer a lot of versatility. These pens have a soft, brush-like tip that can be used to create both thick and thin lines. Brush pens come in both water-based and alcohol-based ink. Most water-based inks are water soluble. Alcohol-based ink is more vibrant and has a longer lasting finish.

Two affordable brush pens are the Tombow pens as well as Koi pens, but we also like the Micr4on Brush pen.


Markers are ideal for artists who want to add some color to their drawings. They come in both water-based and alcohol-based ink and in various different nib shapes and colors.

Alcohol markers

Alcohol-based markers are the preferred choice for artists who want to achieve bold and vibrant colors, for comic book artists, cartoonists and manga artists. Most markers are made from dyes and alcohol solvent, which gives them their signature smooth, even coverage on the paper.

The best alcohol markers on the market are Copic Markers, which come in three different varieties. Copic Sketch markers are double sided with a brush and chisel tip and come in 358 colors, whilst the Copic Classic markers come in 214 colours and have a chisel and fine nib. Both these markers are expensive and aimed at professional artists. However, the Copic Ciao markers come at a more accessible price point, for beginners who enjoy using quality art supplies. The Copic Ciao markers also come in chisel and brush nibs, with 180 colors. The Classic and Sketch markers and refillable and have larger barrels and inkwells compared to the Copic Ciao.

Make sure to use smooth thick paper with markers that is less absorbent than regular paper. Smooth Bristol board is a great option, check out our review to find the best marker paper for artists.

Watercolor markers

Watercolour markers are made from water soluble pigment ink. This means that you can activate the markers with water, to make the ink disperse across the paper in washes. One way to use watercolor markers is to swatch colours on a porcelain or plastic palette, then wet a brush and pick up the colour from the palette to paint on paper.

The best brand of watercolor markers is the Winsor & Newton Watercolour ProMarkers. These markers are vibrant, pigmented and fade-resistant. The pens are also acid-free, lightfast and non-toxic, which makes the pen suitable for professional artwork, like commissions and saleable paintings. There are 36 colors to choose from and they work in conjunction with both watercolors and regular alcohol based markers.

When painting with watercolor markers, make sure to work on a watercolour paper, this could be a cold pressed, hot pressed or rough paper, depending on how you want details to appear and how much colour layering you want to do. Cold pressed papers are more absorbent and will take more washes of colour, whereas hot pressed paper will showcase details and colours will appear more vibrant on the surface.

Fountain pens

Fountain pens make for an excellent drawing tool. With the right fountain pen, you will be able to achieve consistent fine lines and precision, perfect for line drawing, contour drawing and hatching techniques. Fountain pens have a nib, which is the part that touches the paper and a reservoir, which holds the ink. The ink flows from the reservoir to the nib via a feed.

In this section we also include nib pens you dip into the ink which you can obtain from art stores and which are a lovely alternative.

Ballpoint pens

Ballpoint pens have a ball point that distributes ink onto the paper as you write or draw. The ink is usually oil based and more viscous than the ink used in rollerball pens.

To some extent, you can vary the line thickness and darkness with the amount of pressure applied to a ballpoint pen, however this isn’t possible with a rollerball pen. People often get confused between ballpoint and rollerball pens, ballpoint pens are the pens often used in schools and workplaces for writing, they’re cheap and most pens are disposable. Bic is an example of a popular ballpoint brand.

Rollerball pens

Rollerball pens also have a ball point that distributes ink onto the paper as you write or draw. The ink is usually water based and less viscous than the ink used in ballpoint, making them ideal for artists who want to quickly lay down even lines. Rollerball pens come in both disposable and refillable varieties.

With a rollerball pen, expect to achieve a more consistent, darker line of ink, compared to with ballpoint pens. Rollerball pens are more likely to bleed and feather than ballpoint pens, however the lines you can achieve will appear more like fineliner and fountain pen lines. For this reason, make sure to draw on a thick paper, like marker paper or Bristol board.

Rollerball pens come with a fine point and you don’t need to apply much pressure whilst drawing. The Faber-Castell Hexo Rollerball pen in matte black is a great option for artists who want to experiment with drawing with rollerballs. The ink is water resistant and the pen is refillable.

The Caran D’Ache Rollerball pens are also a great choice for artists. The pens have a hexagonal barrel and come in 10 different colors. The cartridges contain enough ink to write 600 A4 pages, so this will give you enough ink to get some drawing miles in without having to change the cartridge.

Gel pens

Gel pens have a water based gel ink that is contained in a plastic tube. The ink is thicker than ballpoint and rollerball inks, giving you the ability to produce bold lines. Gel pens are available in a wide variety of colours, including metallic, glitter and pastel shades.

The Uni-Ball Signo Gel pen is a great choice for artists, as it produces smooth, consistent lines. The pen has a stainless steel tip and is available in 15 different colours.

The Sakura Gelly Roll pens are also a popular choice with artists. These gel pens come in sets of 8 or 10 and are available in a range of colours, including metallic, glitter and pastel shades.

Which Paper to Use

Generally speaking you need a nice smooth surface for the pen to work best so we do recommend you invest in some Bristol paper, This is strong thick paper and will not bleed through. If you plan to add watercolor before or after the ink, we recommend a smooth finish watercolor paper or a mixed media paper, but you can also use Bristol paper if it is thick enough to withstand the wash.

We look forward to seeing you on the Sunday 1st October at 10.30amPST

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