7 Easy drawing with ballpoint pen techniques

Understanding the different drawing with Ballpoint pens techniques will help you stay loose in your drawings and embrace mistakes.

In this post, I'm going to share some simple ballpoint pen techniques you can use to fill your sketchbook today.

Here are some key drawing with ballpoint pen techniques

1. Don't hold the pen as if you're writing

When it comes to sketching with ballpoint pens, there's more to it than just picking up a pen and getting started.

The way you hold your pen can have a big impact on the look of your drawing.

The first thing to keep in mind is that you want to avoid holding the pen as if you're writing.

This grip is too tight and will result in drawings that are stiff and lack fluidity.

Instead, try holding the pen higher up on the barrel, closer to the middle.

This will help you create more confident marks and strokes. 

If you're working on a larger drawing, you may want to hold the pen more towards the back end of the barrel.

This will give you more control over your lines.

And finally, remember that you can always adjust your grip as needed depending on the effect you're going for.

2. Commit to every line when you draw with a ballpoint pen

Once you've found the right type of paper, don't be afraid to make lines and commit to them.

It's easy to get caught up in the sketching phase and try to be too perfect.

But remember, drawing isn't about being perfect—it's about having fun and experimenting.

Embrace your “Mistakes”.

As you're drawing with a ballpoint pen, you'll inevitably make some “mistakes.”

But instead of getting caught up in perfectionism, try to embrace these moments of discovery.

These “mistakes” can lead to some really interesting effects and textures in your drawing.

Personally, I enjoy looking at drawings that have a lot of thought lines. They show off a greater sense of motion and movement, which no other medium can convey as well as drawing.

3. Draw larger shapes first

When you're drawing with a ballpoint pen it takes longer to cover as much real estate on the paper.

However, this doesn't mean you can't still create beautiful, dynamic drawings.

This technique simply involves outlining an object or subject matter first. Let's get started!

Why draw the larger shapes first?

There are two main reasons why you would want to draw the larger shapes first when working with a ballpoint pen.

The first reason is that it helps you better map out the composition of your drawing.

By getting a feel for the overall shape of your subject matter, you can then start to break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces.

When working with a ballpoint pen, it's important to start with a light sketch.

This will help prevent any accidental smudging or bleeding that can occur when using darker pen pressure.

Once you have a general outline of your subject matter, you can then start to fill in the details with a darker pressure.

Once you have a general outline of your subject matter, you can then start to fill in the details with a darker pressure.

Finish up by adding the smallest details last.

This will help ensure that your ink doesn't run out before you're finished with your drawing.

To add some dimensionality to your drawing, try adding some shading.

Use different pen pressure to create light and dark areas within your drawing.

This will give your ballpoint pen drawing more depth and interest.

4. Use different types of ballpoint pens

When it comes to sketching, not all ballpoint pens are created equal.

There are a ton of different types of pens out there that can affect your drawing style.

So how do you know which ones to use?

Experiment with different types of pens to see which ones you like best.

You may want to try drawing with pens of different widths to see how they affect your drawing style.

Depending on the project you're working on, you might want a pen that has a thinner or thicker tip.

Feel the difference between different ballpoint pens.

Thinner tips are good for detailed work, while Thicker tips are good for sketching and filling in large areas.

Either way, be bold and experiment with different width tips until you find the one that's right for you!

What are some good ballpoint drawing pens?

Some good ballpoint drawing pens include the classic Bic Ballpoint Pen (I have a shoebox full of these), Pentel Arts Sign Pen, the Zebra Sarasa Clip, and the Uni-Ball Jetstream.

What type of paper should I use for drawing with ballpoint pens?

When drawing with ballpoint pens, it's important to use the right type of paper so that the constant sketching and sharper tip of the ballpoint pen don't create a hole in the paper. Generally, I use drawing paper and sketchbooks meant for mixed media.

How do I make my ballpoint pen drawings look less technical?

To make your ballpoint pen drawings appear less technical, try using various pen widths for more organic lines. Experiment with different ways of holding the pen to achieve varying line thicknesses. Explore drawing with both hands or practicing blind contour drawings to break free from your usual style. For more detailed drawings, apply greater pressure to make bolder ink lines. To create a sketch-like effect, use lighter pressure.

What is the best way to store ballpoint pen drawings?

The best way to store ballpoint pen drawings is to scan them and save them digitally, or to frame them behind glass. This will help preserve the drawing and prevent the ink from smudging.

Should I press hard or light when drawing with a ballpoint pen?

When drawing with a ballpoint pen, you can press hard or light depending on the effect you're going for. This is what makes drawing with ballpoint pens fun for me. It's like the pen has an accelerator for intensity. Unlike more inky pens such as fountain pens.