Ballpoint pen and Neocolor 1 in tandem

Posted: August 13, 2015 in art style, learning
Tags: , , , , ,

Still in search of what feels best for me in terms of style (and I agree we might need flexibility and a few variations), I really love doing biro sketches. Instead of taking them into Photoshop or Manga Studio5, I’ve been experimenting with just adding a touch of colour with Neocolor 1, which are non-soluble wax crayons. I could have used Crayola either, because I get on with them quite well too and have 100 colours instead of the Neocolor’s 40!

I sketched a man on the telephone (a singularly old-fashioned one – a smartphone would have presented fewer problems) and then saw a picture of the author/illustrator Lynne Chapman – http://www.lynnechapman.co.uk – apparently taken as she was leaving a SCBWI retreat (no idea who shot it but thanks – it was a super photo). She has given permission for me to put it online, so here are the two:

Adapted from a magazine picture I once saw

Adapted from a magazine picture I once saw

Author/illustrator Lynne Chapman, with permission

Author/illustrator Lynne Chapman, with permission

I’d really value your opinion as to whether this would be a valid way of colouring in a proper illustration. Casual but effective.

Someone asked which biro/ballpoint I use. The answer is not a Bic or similar from a stationers because they blob if used on their sides for drawing. I find that the Contour Argent pen – that is, they say, the most used charity pen in the country – is brilliant. I have saved a stack of them in case they disappear off the face of the earth just as I decide it’s my pen of the future.

Contour Argent ball point pen aka my 'biro' in generic terms

Contour Argent ballpoint pen aka my ‘biro’ in generic terms

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Comments
  1. These look great! I love your use of line and I do think that dash of colour works well. I love drawing with biro too and sometimes a fine liner pen. I think keeping the line looking fluid as you have here is a key thing in any drawing. Then it speaks for itself and a touch of colour is all it needs – if anything! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. And yes, I love my Pitt pens but I have to change angle to go lighter with those, so the ballpoint seems more natural. I might try how a similar effect can be achieved on my iPad with one of my many styluses. Mostly I use my finger like you, because the stylus is always somewhere else in the house!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ompong says:

    Janette said it all… 🙂
    Did you know that “biro” in Tagalog (Philippine Natl language) stands for “joke”? Cheers!

    Like

  3. Sharon Mann says:

    Enjoyed seeing your sketching today. I also like trying out art tools and exploring the different effects each brings to the page. Thanks for your post today.

    Like

    • Thanks, Sharon – maybe I’m an explorer who will never arrive!! But at least I will have had fun. I’ve changed from taking pencil into Photoshop, to taking biro in and colouring digitally, to doing this. Maybe a mix in the end!

      Like

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