Who knew?

Who knew the lowly ballpoint could be such a versatile drawing instrument? Obviously, Gabi Campanario did.  This was Urban Sketcher Seattle’s last 10×10 Workshop for the year, “Urban Sketching wtih a Ballpoint Pen”.

Gabi started with some history and observations about ballpoints.

While the ballpoint is not archival nor lightfast, it can still be a useful tool for daily sketches in a pocket sketchbook. To that end, Gabi gave us all Stillman and Birn Episilon books (heavyweight 150 gm, white, smooth paper suitable for pen & ink, dry media and light wash).

Using a ballpoint slows down the drawing process but increases accuracy. He demonstrated how pressure creates a variety of line widths and values. Also, how its held changes the line quality.

We did two exercises. First we created a value scale and shaded objects. Next we created textures with slow, fast, light and dark lines.

He followed this with a demonstration of his technique with a long drawing session. While he was drawing, I drew him.

As his drawing progress, we started our own sketches. I used the Stillman and Birn pocket Beta. I also chose a more simplified section of the gas works. I hadn’t shaded the tank(s) and Gabi suggested I do as their value was darker than the sky. I also went back in to add additional shading to the grass in lower left, which I later thought was too much. So we learn!

No matter how slow I try to go, I seem to finish before others. So I did a second sketch.

This was an excellent workshop. I recommend any of Gabi’s offerings as he’s an excellent teacher.

I intend to continue to use a ball point pen. I’m thinking of doing “Inktober” with just the ball point.

More Photos

BTW, I finished a record three notebooks today:
1. The Stillman and Birn pocket Beta I used for the workshop, started March 2019. I didn’t open the one we were given for the workshop but now I will start that one.
2. The Field Notes Signature Sketchbook. It took a year to fill (I have other sketchbooks).
3. The Field Notes Mercury edition, my every day carry (EDC) for writing and notes. Started in Oct 2018.

About redharparts

Born in Michigan. Attended undergrad and graduate universities there. I've lived in England, Germany, Southern California and now Washington (state). I'm a retired Medical Social Worker with a past specialty in Oncology. I've enjoyed exploring historical re-creation through the SCA. I costume in several fandoms. Lately I've returned to Art and have taken up Urban Sketching, a version of en plein air painting.
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1 Response to Who knew?

  1. miatagrrl says:

    Excellent sketch of Gabi! And I’m glad to hear you have come over to the ballpoint side. 😉 I wasn’t a believer before either, but after two Inktobers, I have learned its ways, and I love it. You guys had such great weather for a workshop!

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