How to do Inktober in School

By The Arty Teacher - September 1, 2020

This blog post contains

  1. Two ways to do Inktober in School.
  2. This years prompts.
  3. A free 2023 calendar page for Inktober.
  4. Some great examples by artists to inspire your students.

Is it too difficult to do Inktober in school?  After all, can we really ask our students to draw every day for 31 days?  I find Inktober so appealing, that I wanted to find a way to do it with my students.  Asking for a drawing every day in October is too much. 

1. How to do Inktober in School as an Art Club

Don’t wait for October. Explain to your art clubbers what Inktober is and tell students that over the month of October you’ll be sharing their best drawings on social media with the hashtag #Inktober.  That will be a reward for good work.  Of course, be as inclusive as you can.

Give each student 31 pieces of small square drawing paper in a plastic sleeve.  Also, as it’s a club, I’m going to give them a fine liner pen.  Yes, that’s extravagant but I always feel a club should be something special.  You could alternatively ask them to use their own pen.  Basically, it’s a simple drawing club that allows students to be really creative.

I shall share the prompts below with them and explain that they will complete a drawing for each one but they don’t have to do them in order.  (I print 6 on a page and put one in each plastic sleeve with the drawing paper) I’m going to insist on black and white, insist they are ink drawings, but that’s up to you.  I will then show them the artist work at the bottom of this blog post for inspiration.

The advantage of this approach is that it is a great club that allows them to think laterally about what they draw AND it creates the most amazing display. Students can pin up their work as they create it in an ever-growing, creative, black-and-white display. They can complete drawings at home if they want to do more and as the display is collaborative, you don’t really need to monitor who completes what, just celebrate great ideas and great drawing.

Updated for Inktober 2023

2. How to do Inktober in School on a Calendar Page

Art teacher Susie Kim gives her students a calendar page, like the one below which has been completed by her senior student Danrielle Cruda.  The advantage of this is that it seems less demanding and each student only has to manage one piece of paper. If you did want to assess it, you only have to assess one piece of paper.

Danrielle Cruda aspired to become a graphic designer.
Artist Danrielle Cruda

Click on the image below to access a free Inktober blank calendar for 2022.

Calendar Page for Inktober

Inktober Examples

This section of the post is designed to use with students. It reveals prompts from previous Inktobers and then has a space so you can scroll down and reveal what the artist did. It saves you having to make a Powerpoint!

Scroll down to see great examples!

What would you draw for the prompts ‘Overgrown’ or ‘Pattern’?

Artist Martinez Rupple responded to the prompts ‘Overgrown’ and ‘Pattern’ in these two ink artworks.  What great use of cross-hatching.

inktober hatching
Click here to see more art by Martinez Rupple on Twitter

What would you draw for ‘Wildlife’?

The prompt for the image below, by illustrator Nicole, was ‘wildlife’.

Click here to see more work by illustrator Nicole on Twitter.

What would you draw for the prompt ‘Wave’?

The prompt for the artist ‘Doodlebee’ below was ‘Wave’.

inktober in school
Click here to see more of Doodleebee’s work on Instagram.

What would you draw for ‘Flight’?

The prompt for the drawing below was ‘Flight’. It’s interesting to see how different artists have interpreted different words.

inktober in school
Click here to see more work by Northeast_Waali on Twitter.

What would you draw for ‘Bloom’

These beautiful ink flowers have been drawn by artist Viola Hilton.  They are a wonderful example of how intricate an ink line drawing can be.

inktober in school
See more of Viola’s work on Instagram.

Other Inktober ideas:

You can choose to incorporate the prompt word into your ink artwork as artist Erika Lancaster has done below.

To see more examples by Erika Lancaster, click here.

The drawings below only took 10 minutes each and the artist, Hari Conner, drew around his phone to get the shape to draw within. Fab idea!

Click here to see more work by Hari Conner on Twitter.

Thank you to the artists in this post for permission to use their images. They were happy to inspire future generations of art students.

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The Arty Teacher

Sarah Crowther is The Arty Teacher. She is a high school art teacher in the North West of England. She strives to share her enthusiasm for art by providing art teachers around the globe with high-quality resources and by sharing her expertise through this blog.

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9 responses to “How to do Inktober in School”

  1. Emily Thomas says:

    Great idea!

  2. Nicole Gard says:

    For Inktober 2022, I am having my students make a small “sketchbook”, but with double the pages (which ends up totalling 31!) We’ll also put more of a (1/4 inch) “spine” on the cover to accommodate for the extra pages.
    I think my students will love the tiny book with the tiny pages to draw on (kind of like the tiny squares on the calendar example).

    • The Arty Teacher says:

      Hi Nicole, I think making a book is an excellent idea and will help students manage all the drawings. Something is appealing about tiny books with tiny pages!

  3. Karen says:

    So helpful. Thank you. 🤗💚🤗

  4. patty steponovich says:

    I love this idea!!!! I’m going to have my Art 2 classes begin on October 1. Thanks for the idea and information!

  5. Katy Taylor says:

    Hi Sarah , I love your work and ideas. You have been a true inspiration through lock down . Thank you. I teach elementary school art in Italy, I love your idea of Inktober activities but wondered if you could point me to some simple examples to show my students. Your high school ones are amazing but they will be too overwhelming for my younger students .
    Any ideas much appreciated, Thanks, Katy

    • The Arty Teacher says:

      Hi Katy, Thanks for your kind feedback. Elementary isn’t my area of expertise. The inktober prompts are so broad, I’m wondering if some of the children’s picture books that I’m sure you already own would have some inspiring illustrations in them? Sarah

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