Learn how a simple ballpoint pen can be used to create artistic masterpieces!

This book takes you through a journey that the author took over 13 years, to discover and explore the ballpoint pen as a serious medium of art. With the example of 40 beautifully rendered drawings, the artist describes his process of creation.

What's in the book?

The foreword is written by Orlando Lebron - the man behind theballpointer.com, describing the history and progress of the use of ballpoint-pens in a painterly fashion.

Section 1

01 The ballpoint pen
02 The ballpoint, the pencil and the ink/fountain pen
03 The ballpoint: merits and demerits
04 Testing methods for the ballpoint ink

This section introduces the ballpoint pen as a medium of artistic expression by comparing it with the pencil and the ink/fountain pen and stating its merits and demerits.

This section also describes in detail a testing method for the ballpoint ink.

Section 2

05 Color
06 Available ballpoint ink colors
07 Drawing and shading
08 Line and mark making
09 Tonal value
10 Color layering and blending

This section elaborates on the importance of understanding color, especially when it comes to using the ballpoint pen.

Noteworthy are the chapters that explain the way to hold the pen for shading, hatching, brushing, interweaving, color layering, blending, creating additional colors, and the application of the CMYK method in practice.

Section 3

11 The drawing surface - Paper
12 Portrait - getting the right skin tone
13 About practice
14 Making art

This section discusses the most suitable drawing surface for ballpoint pens. and further gives comprehensive guidance about achieving the perfect skin tone. Ballpoint art has proven to be particularly demandind on the manual skill of the artist, so a complete chapter is dedicated
to the importance of practice in which we understand the various levels of work required to achieve mastery and make progress with confidence.

Further the author describes the required setup to begin work, understanding the work in progress and finally finishing the drawing, with detailed exposition of the concepts and techniques.

Section 4

15 Demonstration 1 - Geometric composition
16 Demonstration 2 - Landscape
17 Demonstration 3 - Portrait

This section has three demonstrations:

Demonstration 1 is of a geometric composition in which we are introduced to the brushing method, tonal gradient, and working strictly within the boundaries which help to gain confidence in using the ballpoint for a completely new purpose other than just writing.

Demonstration 2 is a landscape in which we learn how to draw freehand with confidence, the use of interweaving patterns, the variation of pressure on the pen, the importance of imperfections in rendering, and color layering.

Demonstration 3 is that of a portrait in which we learn how brushing and cross-hatching techniques work together. Learn how to draw and add tonal values strictly as needed. There is also detailed information about the author's process of making a portrait from a reference photograph.

All the above three demonstrations are illustrated with step-by-step images at various stages of development along with a description of work and process.


The book has a gallery of ballpoint pen art featuring some of the best artworks - portraits, cityscapes, landscapes, still life, and abstract art.


Available worldwide as "Exploring the ballpoint" on Amazon here.


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