Thursday, November 2, 2023

Inktober Finale: Instructive as Always


10/27 - 31/23 Uni Pin technical pens and Posca marker in Uglybook sketchbook

As has happened almost every year I’ve participated in InkTober, I started out with a relatively unambitious plan but ended up learning from the challenge anyway. Compared to sketching from life as I’ve often done in previous years, using photo references and a single theme was easy. On the other hand, I again explored hatching, still a challenging technique for me (that always benefits from regular practice). I also tried to plan and design attractive compositions on the page spreads.

White Uni Posca paint marker and black Uni Pin
technical pens, sizes 0.2 and 0.8.

I considered the first week a warm-up by using beloved Bic ballpoints. After that, I chose a different pen for each page spread. It was an opportunity to become reacquainted with pens I hadn’t used in a long time or that were completely new to me to draw with.

The biggest surprise was using Uni Pin technical pens during the final five days (shown here). Like a lot of urban sketchers, I started out using technical pens by various brands for initial sketch outlines that I would then paint over with watercolors. Technical pens and fineliners are valued for their consistent lines, but for sketching, I found them to be too consistent. After discovering the line variations in fountain pens, I never looked back. I didn’t think I would enjoy sketching noses with the Uni Pins, but other than one or two exercises during France Van Stone’s crosshatching courses last year, I had not done any hatched drawings with technical pens. It was worth a shot. I was especially delighted by the 0.2 size, which is way too fine for me to write with, yet it somehow made my sloppy hatching look better.

To soften the reflected light on the left,
I hatched through the white lines with the black Uni Pin.

Along with the Uni Pins, I used a white Posca paint marker for highlights. Poscas have no ability to subtly modulate tones (one of many characteristics I love so much about pencils). On one nose, I didn’t want the soft, reflected light to be as bright as the highlight, so after making the white line, I hatched over it lightly with the 0.2 Uni Pin. The two work well together.

As I did last year, after abusing the noses of strangers for 30 days, I thought it was only fair to end InkTober with a selfie (below). (All reference photos by Earthsworld, except the selfie, of course, which was done in the bathroom mirror.)

Ahhh... the satisfying scent of another InkTober completed! (selfie)


  1. This group especially really shows the form of the nose. Nice to see these this month.

    1. Thanks! I enjoyed using these pens more than I expected!


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