Monthly Display - June 2012


Drawings Using 'Biro' Pens.

All of this month's drawings were produced using 'biro' pens on paper.

I've always enjoyed using biros for drawing. Once the ink is dry (usually very quick), it doesn't smudge like pencil marks do. I don't have to keep sharpening the point of a biro. The point doesn't get slowly blunt and produce thicker, softer lines. One can still achieve a range of marks and lines with a biro - light lines, heavy lines, deliberate lines, quick lines, dots, dashes, shading using hatching and squiggles, etc. Biro doesn't erase very well, so I have never bothered with any eraser. Therfore, my materials are fairly minimal - a piece of paper, a firm support and a biro pen.

I started using blue coloured biros for all of my biro drawings. I found the quality of the blue ink to feel better to work with, than black, red, green or purple.

While living at West Beach in South Australia between 1982 and 1986, I found that smooth grey A4 sized paper worked very well as a base for my drawings. I usually drew on-site, outside in bright light and the grey paper was far less blinding to use than white paper. I also found the combination of the blue ink on grey paper to be aesthetically pleasing.


One of Many

When I wanted to work on larger drawings, such as "Self Portrait", I had to revert to using white paper.

A few years later, while living at Glenelg, I found grey paper more difficult to get and so I got used to working on white paper for most of my biro drawings.

A few years after living at Glenelg, I was travelling to work regularly, wanting a convenient way to do some small drawings. I came across some convenient A5 sketchbooks, and even started experimenting with watercolour pencils over the biro drawings. I realised that black biro lines would work better with colour pencil work than blue biro lines. I made a reluctant switch to black biros but now continue to use black biro for almost all of my biro drawing. I am now used to drawing in black biro ink.

I have found more recently that grey or softly coloured canson paper can provide an excellent base for biro drawings that might be worked on with watercolour pencils or (usually) pastels.

The pieces in this month's display are presented in chronological order, so that the earliest drawings from this collection are presented first, and the most recent work is presented last. In this display, I haven't included any pieces already displayed in my web gallery.

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