The Art of Ballpoint

Review: You'll be amazed by what you can achieve with this humble yet versatile tool.

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Our Verdict

From inspiring examples to lessons in technique, this book contains everything you need to know about ballpoint pen art.

For

  • Profiles some of the best contemporary ballpoint artists
  • Includes exercises to help you develop your own technique
  • Explores multiple illustration styles

Ever tried making art with a ballpoint? If so, you'll know it takes a certain drawing techniques to master. The Art of Ballpoint showcases just what incredible work can be created with this humble yet versatile tool. 

Written by ballpoint artist Matt Rota, this book covers the history of the discipline, profiles some of the best contemporary ballpoint artists and analyses their work, which ranges from mutant animals to wall-sized abstractions. The contributing artists discuss their methods, the messages in their work and their personal connections to the pen.

Jim Rugg’s Abe Sapien comes from a “strong sense of déjà vu” for his school days

The exhaustive book covers classical drawing, modern abstraction, graphic illustration, contemporary realism and sketchbook styles, and is peppered with exercises to help you develop your own technique. These explore everything from line drawing and cross-hatching to photorealism, mixed media and contour drawing.

The large-format, 162-book is also available as a Ballpoint Art Pack, which combines a condensed version of the book with a companion sketchpad, featuring prompts and drawings to get you started. Yet whichever format you opt for, it’s a great resource on ballpoint art for both artists working in the medium and those who wish to.

This review originally appeared in ImagineFX magazine issue 137; buy it here

The Verdict

10

out of 10

The Art of

From inspiring examples to lessons in technique, this book contains everything you need to know about ballpoint pen art.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in design and technology. He was previously associate editor at Creative Bloq and deputy editor at net magazine, the world's best-selling magazine for web designers. Over two decades in journalism he's worked for a wide range of mainstream titles including The Sun, Radio Times, NME, Heat, Company and Bella.

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