Maria

Sometimes drawings just don’t turn out as well as you hope. This portrait of Maria actually looked fine at the halfway stage. I should have stopped there. I started drawing it on a train a week ago. And then it has been completed in bits and pieces over a very frustrating day when I started out with no broadband and had to wait for it be restored, I’ve been working on and off in online meetings and drawing in between. The end result is an overworked portrait where I really haven’t taken the time to stop and think properly about what I’ve been doing. I thought it was OK when I finished it (and it does look better in the sketchbook than in the photo) but now I can see the many things that are wrong with it. Maybe I’ll come back to it and work on it some more another day – or will that just be overworking it more?

I drew Maria’s portrait in my tiny Moleskine sketchbook with Bic and Paperchase multicolour ballpoint pens.

Jana

I’ve been practicing with ballpoint pens again. I drew this portrait of Jana D in my tiny pocket Moleskine using two Hema 6-colour ballpoint pens and a Paperchase 8-colour ballpoint pen. The pens aren’t great quality- they ‘re quite leaky and they also dry up frequently (hence all the scribbles on the opposite page to get them going again) but they have nice fine nibs which are great for such a tiny Moleskine.

Ylenia

I’ve been working on this slowly for a few days and it was going so well and then I messed up the nose. And with ballpoint there’s no way of undoing the mess. So I just have to live with it and learn from it, and hopefully not make that mistake again.

I drew Ylenia in my tiny Moleskine sketchbook with Hema and Paperchase multicolour ballpoint pens.

Jade

I’m still a complete novice at ballpoint pen drawing but I love doing it and I’m improving very slowly. I love the richness of colour in really good ballpoint pen portraits and I’m a huge fan of great ballpoint artists like Robin Hilthouse and Nicolas Sanchez. And I know the only way to develop those kind of skills is to practice, practice, practice. So right now I’ve learned the basics and now I’m trying to find a drawing and hatching style that works for me. I feel like I’m getting a little closer in this portrait of Jade (in cosplay as Coraline).

I drew this in my tiny Moleskine with a range of multicolour ballpoints from the British brand Paperchase and the Dutch brand Hema.