Dual-purpose dollar store drawing pen

Isn’t it great when you feel you can accomplish a lot with just a little? My day started off with voting in the municipal election. The voter card said we should bring our own blue or black pen, to save on single-use pencils, so grabbed a dollar store black ballpoint pen. After voting, I decided to draw my favourite tree, with the same pen. I haven’t drawn much with a ballpoint pen, but it is SO great for building up dark areas and values very slowly. I loved using it. Smooth paper is ideal for pen work, so I drew on a block of Fabriano Hot Press paper, instead of my usual rougher textured sketchbooks.

This is the ninth year I draw this tree. If you know this maple from previous drawings of it, you may notice that this is the first time I try it in monochrome. That’s because my drawing inspiration today is France Van Stone, who you may know on Instagram as @wagonized. I’ve been following (and loving!) France’s work for a long time, and I had the chance to meet her for coffee yesterday in Montreal. We didn’t draw together because we ended up talking the whole time, but I decided to give my ballpoint pen a try today. If you don’t know France’s work, be sure to check it out, and have a look at her courses too!


20 Comments on “Dual-purpose dollar store drawing pen”

  1. Northern Traveller says:

    This is really lovely Shari. So much beautiful fall light in the tree – I imagine the foliage to be yellow :). Don’t you love a “bargain” art supply? xx

    Like

  2. Jeff Gold says:

    I love the hatching and built up tonal textures, particularly the shadowed areas around the cars and the foreground shadows. It has a wonderfully “graphic” feeling. I really enjoy using ballpoint pen for the same reason.

    Like

  3. Michel Gagnon says:

    Well done, for me, you captured the essence of the tree as truly living organism. As always appreciate the sharing of your creativity. Take care.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  4. Chris Rusk says:

    Such energy! (tree’s branches ‘reaching out’) and drama (cars in the background, far enough away and dark – but ‘there’).

    This drawing is really nice – I think ball point as a medium is highly underrated. Thanks for bringing it back to mind 🙂

    Like

  5. jeanne1937 says:

    Doesn’t matter what you draw with, it’s always beautiful!!

    Like

  6. Denise says:

    Fabulous, almost more expressive than in color!

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  7. Jérôme Guenette says:

    Puissant!
    Merci!

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  8. De says:

    I’m almost speechless at this beautiful sketch seemed to be done with such ease with minimal tools. I’m grateful for you sharing your daily artistic endeavors.

    Like

  9. mcammeehan says:

    Shari, you are the only person I know who can turn a trip to a voting station into a work of art! Fabulous

    Like

  10. Laura Kate says:

    This drawing is a great example of hatching/cross hatching. I plan to share it with my grandson, who is a beginning sketcher.

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  11. Iona says:

    Wow, I was hoping to see your favourite tree again this fall – great to see it in monochrome. Any art medium is valid and it’s good to see unexpected versions of repeated yearly sketches. I love looking back at your versions of that tree. This one is fabulous. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. Very good drawing with the ballpoint pen, you really captured the impression of the tree and the cars!!

    Like


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