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Bēhance

Chicago Ball Point

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  • Chicago
    Ball Point Pen
  • Another M.C. Escher inspired drawing. This was my first ever attempt at a large scale drawing done only in ball point pen. I learned that cheap pens aren't good at laying down ink when held at an angle. This allowed me to create nice gradients with the ink. I also used a smudge stick to tint the skies by drawing a deep black with the ball point pen on a separate piece of paper then rubbing the smudge stick in it and applying to the drawing quickly before the ink had chance to fully dry.

    The challenges in this drawing are pretty obvious. For starters, ball point pen is instantly permanent so you have to be very careful and really mean every pen stroke. The repetition of shapes would drive me crazy (see photo below) and sometimes I could only work for about an hour before having to take a break. Detail was key to this drawing as I wanted to create a miniature world that the viewer would have to look at for long periods of time to see everything within the drawing. I estimate that each little window had at least 30 pen strokes in it so that probably puts this drawing near 1 million lines. This drawing took about 80hrs to complete and strangely I was only using three different ball point pens for this drawing but none of them ran out of ink.

    I'm now looking into getting professional reproductions of this made since the cheap posters I've made of this sell well. If you like this type of style and media I offer my services as an hourly commission.

    Best Part?

    Material cost:
    Free pens from Hilton Hotel lobby : $0
    Matte board (50% off of course)    : $4