Inktober 2015 – Achievement Unlocked!

Blog Post, Creative Challenges

This year, on top of my side project (airbrush tattoos & face painting) and making my niece & nephew’s Halloween costumes, I made the commitment to participate in INKTOBER!!

I heard about this last year through some friends, I saw they were posting numbered ink illustrations almost everyday, I thought “WOW! they have been doing a lot of ink in a short amount of time, whats motivating them? and what is up with the numbers?!” so I asked them and they told me about Inktober.


Inktober was started from an illustrator named Jake Parker, who’s work is amazing! Mr. Jake Parker wanted to work on his inking skills and build good drawing habits, thus creating a challenge for himself to stay motivated while practicing. What started out as a  personal challenge is now practiced by many illustrators and artists around the world.

The challenge is to create 31 ink based illustrations, sketches or drawings in 31 days; now one can draw 1 drawing each day or as many as you like in a day as long as the end result is 31 inked pieces (pencil underdrawings are okay too) and having a fun time challenging yourself while practicing your inking skills.

Use any style of ink: Felt, Pen or Brush & Ink, Ballpoint, Ink Wash; you can also take go further by combining your ink illustrations with other mediums: Pencil Crayon, Water Colours, Paint, Digital and more!

The point it to challenge yourself and practice, but having fun doing it!

Find out more about Inktober at the creators site here: INKTOBER


Last year it was a bit too late for me to participate, so I made sure I made a note to give this challenge a try for the coming year!

I have completed the challenge and can honestly say I loved it! It has challenged me to make time to sit down and draw; something I was planning on trying to do myself, but to no avail started even though I purchased a small moleskin sketchbook in attempts to create an initiative to start, but it was not really until this challenge have I really made the time to do so; i also made a good dent in the number of pages filled in this book.

Inktober inspired me to practice creative thinking and inking skills, challenging to adopt the discipline of making time to sketch at least 1 thing (big or small) each day to improve my skills.

It is a fun challenge your can share with your friends and family or other creatives on any social platform your can post images to; search and tag your work #inktober to see who else is participating and what they were inspired to create.

You can follow me on Instagram @noelle_fontaine or any of my other social media platforms to see what other illustrations or designs come up next.

Let me know your thoughts, favourites and critiques.

Check out my 2015-2019 Inktober collection!

Thank you for reading and have fun inking!  🙂

Hayden's 7th Birthday Cake

Take Typography Out Of The Box & Play A While

baking, Blog Post

There are many different ways you can exercise those mad typography skills away from the computer, one that is enjoyable and delicious is baking. Make your tasty creations more personal and unique with hand crafted messages on cake, brownies, muffins/cupcakes, cookies, pies crusts and more!

For this blog I decided to feature how I broke out my typography skills with baking. I was inspired by the ingredients of this particular cake and thought to myself:

“why write on a cake with icing when you can try something new?!”

The Influence:

This month my nephew, Hayden, turned 7 years old and wanted me to make him an ice cream cake for his birthday; for the past year his motto has been “Cake Is MY LIFE!” with his amount of enthusiasm towards cake I was more than happy to oblige and made him a lactose free Oreo ice cream/pudding cake.

It was the main ingredient of the crust that inspired me to be a little more creative and try a stencil instead of icing, that ingredient was Oreo Cookie Crumbs.

The Process:

1. Take a piece of card stock, it is thick enough to hold the stencil’s shape, and cut it to fit the surface of cake.

2. Sketch or trace your message into the card stock. I used a slab serif “H” for Hayden to make the letter a bit heavier without adding too much weight to the stem or crossbar, allowing me to have some wiggle room for a stylized “7” for his age.

3. Cut out your letters; I used an x-acto knife, self-healing cutting mat and ruler. Scissors will not do as you DO NOT want to BEND your stencil or it may not be flat enough on the surface to work effectively.

4. Place your stencil onto the surface and press down on the lifted edges so the cookie crumbles, cocoa power, confectioner sugar or whatever you are using to heavily sprinkle over the stencil does not leak or roll under the edges, keeping your typographic play crisp and clean.

5. Remove the stencil, be sure to keep it as straight as possible while lifting all the edges up as evenly as possible to prevent any spillage of the excess ingredients on to the cake’s surface.

The great thing with stencil work is that you can choose if you want to use the negative or positive version; for instance, I chose to use the positive space as the letters but could easily of used the negative. This can be achieved by taking the cut out letters form the stencil, placing them on the cake and heavily sprinkling the powder or crumbs over top and carefully removing the paper cut outs; though I felt in this case there was more contrast by using the positive space.

This is a fun, fresh approach to utilizing those typographic skills away from the computer. Give it a try and share your creation with me on Instagram or twitter @noelle_fontaine

Thanks for reading 🙂

Professional Borders, Keeping It Clean

Blog Post, illustrations

Whenever you are working on a project for a client, it is very important to keep it as professional as possible. One way to achieve this is to have clean borders, depending on what you are working on of course, not everything is going be boxed in; some elements may break the border, while others might reach the end of the page or canvas.

Some helpful tips on keeping your border sharp & clean:

1. Masking Fluid: Great for small or awkward shapes. Though I do not recommend this for airbrushing as it can peel the surrounding paint. It is a white, goop like consistency during application that hardens to yellow-ish rubber. There is an eye dropper attached to the lid, you can use this but I would recommend using an old paintbrush for more detailed areas.

I use Dr. Ph. Martin’s Masking Fluid, don’t let the aroma fool you, it is a great masking tool!

2. Transfer Tape by EM Plastic (4″ roll): This tape is ‘semi-transparent’ so it is easier to see what shapes you need to cut out once applied. Take an x-acto knife & lightly (emphasis on the lightly! as if you are scoring the tape, you do NOT want to slice your illustration underneath) slice the tape, masking the areas you do not want contaminated.

It is excellent for protecting certain areas of a project while airbrushing.

3. Good Ole Fashion Tape! Masking or Painter’s Tape To Be Precise: This is excellent for taping off borders, but be sure to stick the tape to your pants or shirt before applying to some surfaces – it can tear the top surface texture (i.e. illustration board) if it is too sticky.

Masking & painter’s tape is the easiest material to find anywhere!

4. Removing Techniques: Once your illustration is complete (and dry!) slowly peel off the tape; it is best to not rip off or lift the tape vertically when peeling but to slowly peel horizontally or at an angle, protecting your surface from tearing. As for the masking fluid, just rub it off with your fingers or an eraser.

Clean lines make for a beautiful presentation while keeping the illustration professional. Keep you client in mind, would you want to invest in a piece that is sloppily put together? Craftsmanship is key, show that you take pride in your work!

For further information about the materials used for the featured illustration check out my last post Water Colour Pencils you can follow me on Instagram and Twitter for instant illustration updates.

Thank you for reading 🙂