Working with ballpoint pens


I threw myself in the deep end.  A couple of weeks ago I decided to draw using a ballpoint instead of pencil. And I loved the experience.  I picked a photograph of my husband to draw mainly because I liked the texture of his leather jacket and thought the ballpoint would bring this to life.

Well, it was a steep learning curve and made lots of mistakes but so glad that I tried it.  I learned a few valuable lesson/tips for anyone sampling ballpoint drawing for the first time:

  • Gather a selection of ballpoints as the nibs can be different sizes.
  • Use paper that doesn’t absorb ink easily for example, Bristol Board or card.  I found cartridge paper absorbed the ink and left the ballpoint marks dull and lifeless.
  • Work with a tissue under your hand.  Ballpoint ink takes a while to dry and smudges really easily – and is virtually impossible to erase.
  • Use a correction fluid pen (Tippex) to add highlights.

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