Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Falling in love with the humble ballpoint pen

8x10 inches
Coloured Ballpoint pen on Ampersand Claybord
I was doing some research the other day in preparation for a new artwork and stumbled across some ballpoint pen drawings which really inspired me to pick up the ballpoint pens and attempt another drawing using this medium. I attempted one a few years ago, but combined it with ink and inktense pencils so it couldn't really be called a ballpoint pen drawing. This time, after trying the pens on an assortment of papers, I tried them out on the Ampersand Claybord, which really helped with some of the problems you can come across when using pens. At least if you make a mistake or get one of those unsightly blobs of ink, you can very gently scratch off the surface and resume your drawing and this is a huge plus. There are some concerns about whether drawings done with ballpoint pens could fade over time. I have sprayed this one with 7 generous coats of varnish and am going to hang onto it for 6-12 months and then rescan it to see whether there actually is any fading. You can view a speed drawing of this artwork on YouTube. The reference photo for this gorgeous tiger was provided with kind permission of DigitalART2 on Flickr.  I found this piece really exciting to work on, and will be experimenting with a few more pieces - so watch this space :)


Jennifer Rose said...

o.0 done with pen?! i'm in awe

Unknown said...

Thank you Jennifer for your very kind words :)

Sue Clinker said...

ditto Jennifer's comment, Karen.

Are you using a special brand of pens or just standard biro types?

a UKCPS member has some pen/ink pointillism pics on his website and they fascinate me also - so much can be achieved with the humble pen it seems

Unknown said...

Sue, I'm not using any special brand at all - just the regular type and am going to set up a series of light fastness tests this weekend, trying out a piece with no varnish, one with varnish and one with a resin coating and see how they all fare over a few months - will keep you posted :)