Sunday, August 03, 2008

i'm not out to convince you or draw upon your mind

I've had so many enquiries, over the last few weeks, about the type of ballpoint pens I use. The answer is quite simple; any. Any I can get my hands on. I have no loyalty to a specific brand. I buy the cheap and nasty ones. I'll buy them in packs of six or ten. Usually I don't even buy them, I find them. I pick up any lost or discarded pen I come across. I use the ones that come free in charity envelopes. Any.

I don't really get hung up on the materials I use. I don't care. I'll use anything in order to draw. And, to me, there is something quite magical about creating a piece of work out of something so cheap. I like that.

This drawing is now available as a print HERE.

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Blogger Mark Hill said...

WOW WOW WOW I am impressed with all the obsessive little details in this drawing. And to think that some might look down their noses at the fact that you use a (sniff) ballpoint pen.

Heh heh, this is quite beautiful Andrea. Keep up the awesome work

5:34 PM  
Blogger caseytoussaint said...

What you do create is always so magical - it's hard for ordinary mortals to believe that it isn't done with some incredible material. This is an exceptionally good one, too.

8:02 PM  
Blogger E-J said...

You're incredible, Andrea. How do you keep such a sense of balance between text and images on a page like this? You are the queen of composition. And by the way, I for one couldn't tell the tissue was an afterthought ...

8:30 PM  
Blogger kazumiwannabe said...

You even drew the book and lines! I hadn't noticed at first... What a fantastic page, funny and wonderfully done! Love your pen philosophy!

9:59 PM  
Anonymous Lexy said...

I found the tiny stick man!!
This is awesome. I love all the tangents!

10:06 PM  
Blogger free[k]hand said...

Brilliant again, Andrea. I presumed you used more than one ballpoint but... four!!! You're unique.

10:07 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

well Bugger!!! why won't my pens do this for me? Your work is absolutely amazing - I could spend hours looking but I need to go tame my pens -- I hope to train some of them to do just a little of what yours do - thanks for the eye candy -

10:50 PM  
Blogger Margaret Ann said...

The transparent ruler ROCKS! So do you! :)

10:53 PM  
Blogger Betty said...

I think this is a total masterpiece!! I love the detail work!!!!!

11:35 PM  
OpenID moreidlethoughts said...

"Any old crap." In your hands magic is worked. In my hands - old crap!
I don't know who makes it, but I like the Pilot ballpoint which is waterproof cos I often slosh watercolour on my doodles. (And one day, when I grow up, I'm going to be a famous artist, like Andrea Joseph.)

12:10 AM  
Blogger andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Wow! What a surprise. I wasn't expecting this response. Thank you, all. Gosh, I feel all funny...

Cheers, guys.

12:48 AM  
Blogger Sherry said...

LOL, I often think that the secret behind fabulous drawings is the superior materials other artists use. So much for that fairy tale!

2:30 AM  
Blogger no way said...

Amazing. Aside from the incredible drawing, I love all the "fonts," especially the cursive.

3:13 AM  
Blogger UnterBruecken said...

Es ist eine super Idee.
Es grüßt freundlich,


8:13 AM  
Anonymous Ann said...

I had an aunt who received the newspaper that we had to look for the little man in the cartoons, it must have been 30 years since I have given that another thought. Thank You. I have been following your blog since I ordered some of your cards from Moo. Amazing Talent.

11:46 AM  
Blogger V said...

I absolutely LOVE your style.
It's truly amazing how you bring magic to everyday "things". Look forward to following you on a regular basis. I'm also sending my son a link to your blog. He's recently asked me for a sketch book (I have several) for his own illustrations & I think he would find your blog interesting.

11:49 AM  
Blogger Teri C said...

My kind of friend...I have a pen fetish also!

Love this drawing!! Love it!

3:18 PM  
Blogger Tommy Kane said...


9:01 PM  
Blogger NJR said...

DANG that's one of your really good ones.

In answer to the question at the top: it probably means you wish you were eating cereal.

2:06 AM  
Blogger James said...

is it difficult to draw faces? i mean realistic faces - like the rennaissance type of drawings. i see less and less of those types of art.
most artist try to hide the faces of people in their drawings.

4:08 AM  
Blogger ale balanzario said...

wow wow!!, wonderful as everyone of your sketch, love each one!!

4:14 AM  
Anonymous petescully said...

Absolutely incredible.
I go through so many microns and copics and all that, for those types of sketches i like doing, but in truth I actually draw most comfortably with a regular bic biro, ten for a quid. I scribble (messy cartoons mostly) all day and all night while at the computer desk in various biros, it feels like there's subtlety you can get with a regular old ball-point you just can't get elsewhere. And you are the absolute magician with the ball-point.
Maradona used to show just as many amazing football skills with a ping-pong ball as with a football; I guess this means you're the maradona of drawing!

5:00 AM  
Blogger Felicity said...

Wonderful, Andrea! It took ages to look at all the details so I can't imagine how long it must have taken, but I bet it was fun to do! (Pens from Tesco Direct, that's great!) Ha, I noticed that cheesy advert too! What are his daughters trying to say?!! And bingo, he got the girl straight away!! That Lynx ad with the swivelling eyeballs is my current 'heave-ho'!
Oh, and I totally agree, it's not the materials but what you do with them that matters - and they don't behave like that for me! ;)

5:59 AM  
Anonymous Karla Akins said...

You are unbelievably talented and gifted. What a treasure your art is! Thanks for sharing so freely with us!

6:38 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Thanks for the info. I had wondered. Just this week I looked at a ballpoint pen sitting on my desk and I thought, "I'll give it a try." I didn't get very far - the ink was getting smugged very easily. Then I thought, "I wonder what kind of pen Andrea uses." Now I wonder what you do to keep your work so clean and neat?

7:38 AM  
Anonymous mymymy1 said...

U are Talent.

12:36 PM  
Blogger El Secretario said...

Hi Andrea!

Excellent work and pretty blog.

I was drawing for a while with ballpens too, I couldn't use another "tool"...

Greetings from Spain.

2:53 PM  
Blogger peachtreeart said...

Well said, it isn't about the tools, it is about how well you use the tools.

5:30 PM  
Blogger andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Wow, everybody. I feel totally overwhelmed today. not only by the fantastic response to this drawing but also I have had 5000 visitors to my humble ole blog in the last 24 hours! Unreal.

Thanks so much to everyone that has visited left comments, emailed me. Everything. Everyone.

Ann, I'm glad i wasn't making it up. Do you remember which paper it was?

James, drawing faces is difficult for me. If you want to see an expert at work check out Wagonized. And Felicity.

Pete, I absolutely agree. There is a subtlety you get with ballpoint that I've never achieved with other pens.
Rick, I don't know why my work is so neat. I often wish it was much more messy, but alas...

Hope I've answered all the questions. Again, THANK YOU ALL. You've made my day week year.....

12:30 AM  
Blogger edgar cabrera said...

this drawing took me back in time. when i was growing up, converse were the sneakers to have. however, my friends and i had an agreement: if any of us get a pair of converse, we were supposed to roll them on the dirt. we simply did not like to see brand-new and clean converse. it was not 'cool'. anyway...thank you for taking me back in time with your fenomenal drawing

5:40 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Andrea, your work is absolutely fabulous! It is inspirational to me beyond words. How remarkable you are.

6:05 PM  
Blogger Jerry said...

I just had to drop you a note to let you know how awesome I think your artwork is, and how inspiring. I love the fact that you draw any mundane thing lying around and turn it into an object of beauty and interest. It is very inspiring.

6:59 PM  
Anonymous Larry said...

Love the trope l'oeil style, and I particularly like this one. Good job!

2:09 AM  
Blogger javnoneim said...

you are fucking awesome! i admired any kind of drawers, any style, but you are great :) your concept really really nice

2:19 AM  
Blogger j.caro said...

hoy he conocido tu trabajo, y la verdad estoy alucinado con el manejo de los bolis.

7:29 AM  
Anonymous James Bort said...

It's simply amazing Andrea ! Wow !
Kisses from Paris.


3:24 PM  
Blogger andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Thank you all folks. Again, I am totally overwhelmed by all the lovely comments. Really, I am.

Edgar, of course, you just couldn't be seen in them when they were bright white. They look better a bit battered, don't they? Hey, I'll be thinking of you ans Suzanne all day tomorrow.

To everyone who's visited and commented THANK YOU SO MUCH.


5:36 PM  
Blogger Ken said...

A late comment. This is great. you can write really small!

7:48 PM  
Blogger sheeri said...

You are amazing...!

12:35 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Lawson said...

Oh wow, Andrea, this is definitely a fav. I am just back from a week at sea and was checking out what was going on while I was unplugged and I find this simply amazing drawing!

12:57 AM  
Blogger Gillian said...

Utterly brilliant. I'm going to have to try drawing with ballpoints. x

6:06 PM  
Blogger purplepaint said...

Awesome! This is wonderful! It's amazing what you can do with a ballpoint pen! Love your work!

1:15 PM  
Blogger andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Thanks y'all.

10:55 PM  
Blogger dave terry said...

Andrea, I have to say that I need to adopt your view of drawing with discarded pens. I spend way too much time shopping for pens instead of drawing with them. I made a comment regarding this at my blog and sent my readers over here to a real artist.

3:12 PM  
Blogger pedalpower said...

Every time I click on your blog, my mouth drops open in awe. Really. Such wonderful drawings!

4:44 AM  
Blogger nicedaydesigns said...

Fantastic.I love that the runners(trainers) are the focus of this picture, I used my favorite pair in a few pieces, there is just something lovely about how the canvas sits at the ankle that's great to draw. My converse pretty much fell apart but i don't have the heart to throw them out cos I know sometime down the line I'll want to draw them again.

12:43 AM  
Blogger andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Thanks for the kind words, folks.

Nicedaydesigns, I know exactly what you mean. These Converse have just about fallen apart. It's only the cobwebs and cat hairs that are holding them together. I have been meaning to chuck(!) them away for so long. In fact, there's a post that I made a couple of years back called 'goodbye old cons'. I just cannot bring myself to do it. They are just too damn drawable.

Cheers all.

11:48 PM  
Anonymous Personalized Pens said...

Oh my god!
i am so impressed, the details are incredible, especially with a pen. Wow. Incredible.


11:30 PM  
Blogger  said...


8:14 AM  
Blogger 日月神教-向左使 said...


9:45 PM  

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