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 – – 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

  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!


  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.


    • 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!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.