Hey it’s Inktober – and that means time to get out the pen and ink! My Eco pen by TWSBI and a sheet of green paper (poor choice, it’s so hard to photograph!) and a few days worth of work….and I’ve got a kitten going for a walk!

This was inspired by my raccoon (below) for day one of Inktober; the drawing paper did some things I wasn’t fully expecting, and I decided to try it on some Mi Teintes paper and see if the same things happened.

Tutorial: Creating soft textures in pen and ink?!?!

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Main image

Whatever you want for your focal point, make sure the blacks are black – I used slower strokes and made sure there was plenty of contrast – blackest blacks next to whitest whites (or greens!). That’ll ensure the rest of the drawing doesn’t take away from your main image.


Elements in the foreground of this scene were leaves – and had to be crisply drawn and of a good size, then get smaller in the midground until they ‘fuzzed out’ in the distance. I drew them with stippling to make the leaves different than the focal image.


This was the biggest surprise – could crosshatching or tiling work? The first half had me skeptical, but when I came back into the studio the next morning with fresh eyes, I could see it working! It took far more time for the background than the rest of the drawing; while that could seem crazy, it also shows what can happen for the main image if we spend time creating a background that really highlights the foreground!


The background needed a little something….not anything that’ll detract from the kitten, but something so that it’s not just the same across the whole scene. That’s when the little weeds came in – and I kept knocking them back with light layers of cross hatching so they weren’t as bright as the kitten’s highlights, except for one or two little pieces catching some light.

That paper!

While it’s an interesting paper to draw on, it’s horrendous to photograph! But I do love how this came out, minus a little more blending work I need to do on the background trees. 

Have you ever tried pen and ink on colored paper?

What did you find was different? Did you mix it with another medium? I considered some white pen or pencil but didn’t want to ruin what I had going on here.

I think this will be a nice piece to take to a couple art fairs I’ll be selling at in the next couple months. Who doesn’t love cats, right? Then I don’t have to worry about selling it on my site and the buyer being bummed at the green not matching their living room. 🙂 


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  1. Helen F

    It looks amazing Sandy!! I Just love watching you create this adorable scene. So clever. Thanks so much for sharing. Have a good week. 🙂

  2. Karen Zemko

    This is sooo amazing! It’s been a long time since I had the patience to work on one project for that long. Don’t know if I could do that any more. I’m sure this will get snapped up really quick.

  3. Gab

    You are amazing Sandy – this is incredible

  4. June from Minnesota

    OMG! AMAZING! and it “only” took 4 days??? Your hand must have cramped up for days!
    That kitten is sooooo adorable! The leaves are so realistic, I can hear the crunch and smell the forest floor.
    This is a masterpiece!

    • Sandy Allnock

      Aw thanks so much! It was more of my brain that was cramped – thinking about all the other stuff I wasn’t getting done, LOL!


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