Since their creation and consequent proliferation in the mid-20th century, ballpoint pens have proven to be a versatile tool for professional artists as well as amateur doodlers. Ballpoint pen artwork created over the years has been positively compared to art created using traditional art mediums such as charcoal, pencil, paint, etc.
We can barely write legibly so it’s amazing that artists are able to use such a ubiquitous writing implement like a magic wand to create some truly breathtaking works of art. Some artists choose to work with just one color ink, while others use multiple colors for even more variety. There’s no perfect pen, but most artists prefer a classic Bic ballpoint to get the job done. It’s been a while since we gawked at some pen sketches, but we decided to see what’s coming out these days. Here are 25 jaw-dropping works of art created using ballpoint pens.
This lovely portrait comes from Sonia Davel. Although the artist works with a number of different mediums, her ballpoint pen portraits are mouthwatering.
What’s on Your Mind?
This work comes from Louis Gibiard, a young artist with impeccable attention to detail. He shared this work in progress (we’ll see a finished piece by Gibiard later on the list) with the caption: “That’s a ballpoint pen illustration, black pen this time. I use classic cristal BIC ballpoint pens as they are cheap and versatile.”
Just a Doodle
This hyper-realistic portrait was shared by Brazilian artist, Lénine Carvalho. The way he captures light is remarkable. If you’re noticing a trend, blue pens are a favorite for many artists.
Feel the Way I Feel
Artist Ilo Künst definitely has their own way of doing things. The artist has a devoted following on social media because the art they create is so expressive and emotional. Have you ever had a day that had you feeling like this?
Surrealist, Salvador Dalí is lovingly sketched here by an artist who goes simply by “Cris” on social media. The artist has perfectly captured Dalí’s intense expression.
Ballpoint pen artist Izundu De’Best Uchechi has created a dramatic and narrative piece using just a pen. We absolutely love this meaningful artwork.
This sketch comes from India. Artist Narinder Mour has included so much detail here. Your eyes can easily get lost staring into the expertly drawn hair or fabric of the dress.
Animal portrait time! Two glorious tigers are sketched here enjoying some together time. This ballpoint pen sketch was published in San Diego’s ZooNoos. Just purrfect.
Patrick Onyekwere‘s portraits prove that ballpoint pens are an incredible medium if you know what you’re doing. This artist is so insanely talented and this portrait speaks for itself.
According to the artist, this sketch was done using A5 ballpoint pens and took about eight hours to complete. The artist goes by “Caryonwala” on social media.
Hungarian artist Tamas Turi brings the drama with this black ink sketch. We love all the movement of the lines in the fur.
“It’s funny, I used to hate drawing hands but now I actually enjoy it,” Sara, the artist writes. “It still can be a bit of a struggle sometimes to get them right, but if I shut off my brain and focus on the shapes it helps.”
Addicted to Bic
This portrait was somewhat cryptically shared to Instagram and is attributed to the account @haru4_39. Artists will be artists! We love the dramatic shadowing found around the eyes and beneath the jaw.
Does this turtle speak to you the way it does to us? This animal portrait comes from artist Michael Andrew Agolor. It’s such an inspiring piece!
Wow! Hyper-realism is on full display in this sketch. Artist and teacher, Shubham Kairi has done magnificent work here.
Why, hello there, Billie Eilish. This portrait of the pop star comes from an artist who goes by ΛDƎL. It’s a showstopper.
As promised, here’s another work by Louis Gibiard. While many artists focus on portraits, here, we find Gibiard turning their attention to architectural influences. What a thrill! The artist shared that this extremely detailed piece took 148 hours to complete.
Oscar Ukonu is an artist who explores Afrorealism. Ukono’s absolutely mesmerizing portraits are not only beautiful, but they are also thought-provoking works of art that bring to light lived experiences. This piece is entitled “The Disinformation of a Republic II.”
Washington-based Ryan B has learned to master the Bic pen and manages to make it look like pencil work in her latest pieces. We love the way this sketch pulls focus to the subject’s face and fades at the periphery.
Give ’em a Hand
Concept artist who goes by Derwin is located in Zimbabwe. This gorgeous portrait with a closeup detail of a hand showcases how in-your-face a pen line can be while still being able to articulate form.
There you go! 25 stunning ballpoint pen sketches that utilize a tool we use daily to manifest fabulous works of art! We hope you enjoyed these pieces and feel inspired to start your own work today!
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 The Hairs
- 2 What’s on Your Mind?
- 3 Just a Doodle
- 4 Feel the Way I Feel
- 5 Dalí
- 6 Identity
- 7 Cute Kid
- 8 Meow!
- 9 Remarkable
- 10 Glasses
- 11 Portrait
- 12 Howl
- 13 Hands
- 14 Addicted to Bic
- 15 She’s Blue
- 16 Beauty
- 17 Oh, Hi!
- 18 Eye Spy
- 19 Billie
- 20 148 Hours
- 21 Hyper-Real
- 22 Princess D
- 23 The Eyes
- 24 Breathtaking
- 25 Give ’em a Hand
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