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Colin Smith
September 29, 2017

Germany may have a lock on branding with Oktoberfest, but one Autumnal month-long celebration that’s been growing every year is Inktober. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a very simple but very satisfying art challenge: Draw a new sketch every day for 31 days using just one color — as you would with a plain old ink pen. Most people choose black, but you can use any color you like. This is a challenge that is lean on rules and high on creativity.

The goal isn’t to wow the world with your work but to wow yourself with your perseverance.”

Download Inktober Brush Set + Template

This year, we’ve updated and expanded our Inktober 2017 Brush Set, which you can find in the Extras menu inside SketchBook or download from here. Earlier this year we added lots of texture-based brush options to SketchBook so we created some new brushes for Inktober that have texture in them, including four new options that work like dry brushes using ink (Dry Brush Basic, Dry Brush Streaky, Dry Brush Tipped, Dry Brush Grunge). We also added some additional paint splatters because those always look cool, and we added a very neat Watery Ink brush to get a little watercolor style action into your drawing or your backgrounds. We also created a layered Inktober Background TIFF Template. (Download this ZIP file if you prefer.). It has six different background textures/colors: White, Homemade Paper, Greige, Kozo, Vellum, and Wrecked. Pro tip: Create your own logo/signature and keep it on the template so you can “sign” all of your images on social media. You’ll find our logo and the Inktober logo on there, so add those if you want to.

Download the Inktober Background Template if you want a quick way to get going. White is the default, but you just never know how you’re going to feel, right?

What to Draw?

With exercises like this, the hardest part may not be drawing but thinking of what to draw. Lucky for you, the creator of Inktober, Jake Parker, creates a list of prompts for the entire month ahead of time. Use these if you want, or just doodle something that takes you in an entirely original direction.

The official list of Inktober prompts created by @jakeparker.

Your drawings don’t have to be mind blowing. They don’t have to be complicated. They don’t have to take hours to produce. On the contrary, what you make should be simple and straightforward. The goal isn’t to wow the world with your work but to wow yourself with your perseverance. If it helps, rewind your mind to your childhood or adolescence and get yourself back to a time when you would spend hours simply creating art.

Post Like You Mean It

As we’ve done for past Inktobers, we’ll be watching to see what SketchBook users post. Tag your images you share on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr with two tags:  #autodesksketchbookand #inktober. We might just feature you on our social feeds or right here on our blog. Follow the prompts or make up something entirely your own — it’s up to you — but please keep us in mind when posting because everyone on our team loves this challenge. To us, Inktober is the best month of the year.

Beginner’s Guide to Inktober

If you need anything to convince you to get going, Jake has a great video that explains how to get started:


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Colin Smith

Colin is a Sr. Product Manager on the Automotive and Conceptual Design Team at Autodesk. During his 25-year career in the CAD industry he has worked in customer support, training, consulting and as a product manager for Alias and Fusion 360. Currently, he works on SketchBook and Create VR and is based in Toronto, Canada.