Tag Archives: Ball point

Ballpoint and water colour pencil

An interesting one day workshop combining these two unlikely media. I’m still unconvinced by water colour pencils. They are OK as pencils, but when water is applied I think the result just looks insipid. But going over it in biro does help. I like the effect of building up layer upon layer of crosshatching. This abstract based on pots is dirt off OK. I need to do more experimenting.


Ballpoint pen, an underrated medium

I love sketching with ballpoint pens. To be precise, it has to be a Bic Biro, nothing else works as well in my experience. They aren’t perfect. They can blob and clog up, and the lines and densely shaded areas can have a rather nasty shine. But nothing matches the way it feels when you draw rapidly on good paper. The drag of the point is just about perfect. Textures can be built up through rapid scribbles and crosshatchings. I rediscovered it on my tall ship sailing week in the Canaries last week, where I used it for sketching on the boat, in cafes and on the beach. All I needed were a book and a biro.

Back ashore at a life class this week, I used a bigger sketchbook, but the same biro to do some textured studies .


I do like biro.

Ballpoint portrait

Another from the Atlas of Beauty. Different from previous as this is entirely drawn in black Bic biro. A very derided medium. It is superb for quick sketching. The drag on the paper feels perfect and you can build tones from pure black to the lightest grey. Downsides are that you quickly gets globs of ink on the ballpoint, which you must constantly wipe off on a tissue, and it fades. If left in the daylight it can fade almost to invisibility. But in a sketchbook it will outlast you…