As you might or might not know: I prefer pencils…
There are many excellent ballpoint pen artists out there, but sadly I can’t share all of them with you in this blog post, so here is a selection of 12 – these are some of my favourites, and I’ve purposefully chosen contrasting styles to show a wide selection of artistic approaches. Below there are single-colour works, there are bright pieces, and there is art done on vintage documentation. There are people, animals and patterns. There really is a bit of everything. I hope you enjoy this selection of ballpoint creativity.
Juan Francisco Casas
Juan is a Spanish artist as well as a photographer and a poet. He creates his art by taking photographs and then drawing them in ballpoint pen at a later date. The result is fun, action scenes which often involve partying and he is rather popular for his prolific portrayal of naked females!
Jack is an American artist who started his career drawing in ballpoint pen on bed sheets! He has since experimented with many mediums, and written a novel, so it certainly can’t be said that he doesn’t embrace change or a challange! The example of his work below is a ‘digitised’ ballpoint piece.
Ler is a Taiwanese artist whose ballpoint drawings are often colourful and fashion-related, with headshots and full length portrayals of female models featuring strongly. Her more recent work involves some fun geometric experimentation, as you can see below.
Helena is a Paris-based artist who creates large pieces of art; always full of detail and always drawn in ballpoint pen. She uses a lot of blue and red ink together with splashes of black and yellow, which I feel gives her work a subtle comic book feeling when combined with the exciting subject matters she chooses.
Chris R. Wright
Chris is an actor and illustrator who creates a huge variety of artwork, which he refers to as his ‘brawls’. These vary from fun human caricatures to serious commissioned pet portraits, and everything in-between. Chris seems capable of drawing anything in ballpoint, and in any style!
Mark is a Yorkshire artist who specialises in producing ballpoint pen artwork on vintage documents and envelopes, to bring some history to his work. His subjects are often older people’s faces and birds, which seem to work perfectly with the paper they are drawn on.
Sarah is a French illustrator and photographer, who draws a broad range of subjects in ballpoint; mostly in blue, but also in other colours too. Her passion for photography shows through in her beautifully photo-realistic artwork.
French artist Carine is happiest working in ballpoint pens and pencils. She draws from life and photographs, and her favourite subject is people – although I’ve spotted quite a few cats in her work too! Her drawings are full of life and colour.
Johannes is a German artist. He enjoys working in ballpoint pen and also fineliner. There is minimal colour in his work and he likes to portray people. His angular approach is very unique.
Scott is a Scottish artist who works in ballpoint pen on antique documents, with a variety of subjects. His work is very detailed, and works well with the materials he finds to draw on.
Australian artist Rachel creates detailed ballpoint pen artwork, often with a singular colour. As you can see below, with the fairly uncomplicated subject matters she is able to focus entirely on the detail, such as the curls and shade in the hair.
James is a London-based artist who specialises in creating photo-realistic art through his use of ballpoint pens. He often draws people, but has also produced some beautiful nature work.