By Sumeet Kaur:
Do you remember the day when you as a child used to pick up any pen, pencil, crayon that you could find and would start scribbling on the paper and on the walls? I believe that this was an engaging activity for us that we thoroughly enjoyed and had a sense of pride and accomplishment on completing our creative masterpieces. The benefits of creative expression do not end at any particular age, but many people do not get the opportunity to be artistic as they move into adulthood. Visual Art is the best medium for creative expression. People no wonder have utilized this to express thoughts and feelings that are too big or too difficult to put into words. Creative expression may it be in any form can help us connect with people, at all stages of life. Ballpoint pen artwork is one gem that is relatively unexplored.
The drawings created by simple ballpoint pens left me awestruck. As you might be aware that a lot of designing software, a powerful tool for designers to create line art, sketches, shading and cartoons have altogether replaced the traditional artwork. But there is a section of people who have taken ballpoint as just another art tool. A tool is only as powerful as the artist who uses it. “It’s not about what you use, it’s about how you use it”, says Samuel Silva, a ballpoint artist. It is quite a handy tool for sketch work and easily available and at the same time is low in cost. Ballpoint pens are underestimated despite the fact that they are a powerful medium. Ballpoint pen artwork has gained increasing interest in the 21st century and Wikipedia recognized this and created a ballpoint pen artwork page recently. Often people think of ballpoint artwork as cartoon artwork probably in black and white. But that is not true. Multiple point-sizes ranging from 0.5 to 1.6mm ball points are available for artists who need absolutely no preparation to begin with a drawing thus enabling sharp lines which may not be as effectively executed using a brush. But what is required is intense concentration.
London artist James R Mylne, has been using ballpoints for photo-realist drawings since 1994, and continues to use it as his primary medium today. Samuel Silva, a 29-year-old Portugal-based attorney, who started drawing when he was two, describes his artwork merely as a hobby, and Bic ballpoint pens — as only one of the mediums in his creative work. It takes time to believe that his drawings are not actually photographs, and then to absorb the information that they were created using only eight different-coloured pens. Lot of techniques like stippling, cross-hatching, smudging, watercolour washing are used by the ballpoint artists to create wonderful effects. Professional tattoo artists are known to also use ballpoints to create their artwork.
Ballpoint artist Lennie Mace learnt the basics of anatomy and perspective in his youth by tracing over newspaper photos in ballpoint pen, which later evolved into his Media Graffiti embellishments of print-ads. Juan Francisco Casas, a Spanish painter, in the mid-2000s generated internet attention for a series of large-scale, photo-realistic ballpoint duplications of his own snapshots of friends, utilizing only blue pens.
Nowadays a lot of new amateur and professional artists have turned to ballpoint art as their medium of choice and are experimenting with it. The internet now provides a broad forum for artists to promote their own ballpoint creations, and since its inception, ballpoint pen art websites have flourished, showcasing the artwork and offering information of the usage of ballpoint pens as an art medium. This rare art form deserves more respect and acknowledgement across the world from art lovers in order to promote it.