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Figure Drawing Master Class
By Dan Gheno
ISBN: 9781440339943
Learn to train your hand and mind to represent the human figure 
in Figure Drawing Master Class. This take-home course covers 
everything you need to know to put you on the fast-track to
successful figure drawings. Author Dan Gheno guides you through 
the basics with gesture drawing lessons, how to draw heads and 
hands, and how to accurately compose your figures. With the
historical references and the drawing instruction in this book, you 
will learn the critical skills needed to successfully draw figures.
$29.99 • T4489
Reclining Nude by Dan Gheno, from Figure Drawing Master Class
Find Great Drawing 
Instruction
Available at your favorite bookseller. To learn more about the full range of 
ArtistsNetwork products, including North Light books, visit ArtistsNetwork.com.
These and many other North Light products are available at your favorite art & craft 
retailer or bookstore. You can also order online at NorthLightShop.com or by phone 
at 1-800-258-0929. Online prices may differ on listed titles; prices are as marked on 
store pages in the North Light Shop.
an imprint of F+W Media, Inc.
The Best in Drawing Instruction 
Drawing Atelier: The Figure 
By Jon deMartin 
ISBN: 9781440342851 
$32.99 • T8751 
The Urban Sketcher 
By Marc Taro Holmes 
ISBN: 9781440334719 
$26.99 • T0004 
Big Book of Drawing Animals 
By T. Beaudenon and P. Rodriguez 
ISBN: 9781440350719 
$22.99 • R4439 
Figure Drawing in Proportion 
By Michael Massen 
ISBN: 9781440337567 
$24.99 • T2894 
D R A W I N G M A G A Z I N E . C O M
TABLE OF 
CONTENTS
SUMMER 2017
FEATURES
24 Chamber Pieces
Peri Schwartz's subtle explorations of shape, light and color.
32 Cases in Ballpoint
The stunning ballpoint artwork of Guno Park, Nicolas V. Sanchez 
and Joo Lee Kang.
44 Poussin, Claude and Beyond: French Drawing 
in the Grande Siècle
Tracing the evolution of art in 17th-century France.
54 Magic Wand: The Power of the Ballpoint Pen
The pen's do-or-die nature can help liberate your powers of expression.
60 Drawing Fundamentals: Expressions of the Face
We learn the essentials of six widely recognizable facial expressions.
70 Curator's Choice: The Los Angeles County 
 Museum of Art
A tour of inspiring drawings ranging from Mannerist Italy to 1960s America.
24
32
DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM Drawing / Summer 2017 3
ON THE COVER
14 Finding the Right Pen for You
20 Make a Pen From Scratch
24 Drawing Interiors
32 Full-Color Portraits
44 Masterpieces of Classical
France
60 Capturing Facial Expressions
70 Cézanne, Van Gogh and More
80 Imaginary Cities in
Pen-and-Ink
4 Editor’s Note
5 Contributors
6 Frontispiece
8 Sketchbook
DEPARTMENTS
COVER IMAGE
Ape (detail)
by Guno Park, 2014, ballpoint pen, 65 x 45.
Private collection.
COLUMNS
14 Material World
Ballpoint Basics
20 First Marks
How to Make a Pen From Scratch
80 New & Notable
Ben Sack
Copyright © 2017 by F+W Media, Inc., all rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced in whole 
or in part without the consent of the copyright owner, F+W Media, Inc. Drawing (ISSN 2161-5373 (print), ISSN 2330-0949 
(online) USPS 001-780 Issue #54) is published quarterly by F+W Media, Inc. $9.99 a copy U.S.A. and $11.99 a copy Canada.
Yearly subscriptions in U.S.A and Possessions: $23.95; in Canada: $27.95; and in all other countries: $30.95. Payment in 
US funds only. Periodicals postage paid at Fort Collins, CO, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address 
changes to: Drawing, P.O. Box 433289, Palm Coast, FL 32143. Subscriber Services: U.S. and Canada (866) 917-3888, Interna-
tional (386) 246-0105, E-mail drawing@emailcustomerservice.com.
60
20
4 Drawing / Summer 2017 DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM
EDITOR’S 
NOTE
O ne of the many joys drawing offers is the chance to work with materials that have been around for a long, long time. Graphite, for instance, has been used by artists for centuries, and it pales 
in comparison to charcoal, which has been used for millennia. In this 
issue, however, we celebrate a medium that is much younger—and that 
is associated less with art than with writing.
It wasn’t until after World War II that the ballpoint pen began to 
be produced in a form similar to what we use today. Artists have 
adopted it somewhat gradually, but ballpoint art is now flourishing, 
and we explore the work of three artists who use ballpoint to produce 
very different but equally stunning work: Joo Lee Kang, Guno Park 
and Nicolas V. Sanchez (page 32). Sherry Camhy introduces us to the 
most common varieties of ballpoint pens (page 14), and Jason Franz 
discusses how his use of ballpoint evolved to become the bedrock 
of his figure drawing (page 54). Margaret Davidson looks at another 
form of ink drawing, explaining how to make your own stick pens 
(page 20).
Elsewhere, we talk with Peri Schwartz, who finds endless inspiration 
in her own studio (page 24). John A. Parks takes us on a grand tour 
of drawings from the French classical age, featuring such masters as 
Poussin, Claude and Le Brun (page 44). In our “Drawing Fundamentals” 
series, Jon deMartin offers advice for drawing common facial 
expressions (page 60). To close things out, we’re treated to highlights 
from the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (page 70).
And that’s all she drew. I wish you the best of luck with your art 
in these remaining summer months and beyond. Keep drawing, 
keep learning and follow that pen (or pencil, or charcoal, or chalk, or 
silverpoint) line wherever it takes you.
AUSTIN R. WILLIAMS
Senior Editor
Drawing@fwmedia.com
Belle of the Ballpoint
Drawing
VOLUME 14 • ISSUE 54
P
H
O
T
O
 B
Y
 B
E
N
 B
E
R
L
IN
SENIOR EDITOR
Austin R. Williams
EDITORS
Holly Davis
McKenzie Graham
Anne Hevener
Jennifer Smith
Beth Williams
Michael Woodson
CONTENT STRATEGIST
Michael Gormley
CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Dean Abatemarco
ONLINE EDITOR
Courtney Jordan
ADVERTISING SALES TEAM LEADER
FINE ART DIVISION 
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mary.mclane@fwmedia.com
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carol.lake@fwmedia.com 
MEDIA SALES COORDINATOR 
Barb Prill (800) 726-9966 ext. 13435
barb.prill@fwmedia.com
Send editorial mail to Drawing magazine, 
1140 Broadway, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10001. 
VISIT US ON THE WEB
DrawingMagazine.com fwcommunity.com
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Thomas F.X. Beusse 
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F+W, A Content + eCommerce Company
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contact us at sales@fwmedia.com.
S H E R R Y C A M H Y (“Material World”) is a faculty member of 
the Art Students League of New York, the School of Visual 
Arts and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. 
She is the author of Art of the Pencil: A Revolutionary Look at 
Drawing, Painting and the Pencil. For more information, visit 
sherrycamhy.com.
M A R G A R E T D A V I D S O N (“First Marks”) is an artist, illustrator 
and former teacher at the Gage Academy of Art, in Seattle. 
She is the author of Contemporary Drawing: Key Concepts and 
Techniques. For more information, visit margaretdavidson.com.
J A S O N F R A N Z (“Magic Wand: The Power of the Ballpoint Pen”) 
is a Cincinnati-based artist, educator, curator and founding 
director of the nonprofit arts organization Manifest Creative 
Research Gallery and Drawing Center. He has taught at the Art 
Academy of Cincinnati, Xavier University and the University 
of Cincinnati in the fields of both art and design. For moreinformation, visit jasonfranz.com.
J O N D E M A R T I N (“Drawing Fundamentals”) is the author of 
Drawing Atelier: The Figure. He teaches at schools including 
Studio Incamminati and Grand Central Atelier, and he also 
teaches workshops at locations across the country. To view his 
work and to learn about upcoming workshops and classes, visit 
jondemartin.net.
J O H N A . P A R K S (“Poussin, Claude and Beyond”) is an artist 
represented by 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel. He is also a 
teacher at the School of Visual Arts, in New York City, and 
a frequent contributor to Drawing, as well as the author of 
Universal Principles of Art. View his work at johnaparks.com.
A U S T I N R . W I L L I A M S (“Sketchbook,” “Chamber Pieces,” 
“Cases in Ballpoint,” “Curator’s Choice” and “New and 
Notable”) is the senior editor of Drawing.
CONTRIBUTORS
6 Drawing / Summer 2017 DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM
FRONTISPIECE
Cottage Near 
the Entrance 
to a Wood
by Rembrandt 
van Rijn
1644, pen-and-ink and brown 
wash, corrected in white 
with touches of red chalk, 
113/4 x 17 5/16. Collection The 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
New York, New York. 
Much of this issue explores 
drawings created in ink, 
so let’s start with a great 
example of this tradition. 
Here we see the largest 
surviving landscape drawing 
by Rembrandt, created near 
the height of his career.
As in many of the artist’s 
landscapes, a rustic cottage 
features prominently. At its 
door we fi nd a lone, stooping 
fi gure. Rembrandt indicates 
the architecture and the 
surrounding earth and 
foliage through his signature 
fl uid pen line, applying it 
very lightly in places. He 
supplements his line with 
abundant washes, ranging 
in tone from light to deep
brown. 
DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM Drawing / Summer 2017 7
B A L L P O I N T A R T
by Trent Morse
Laurence King Publishing
176 pages
$24.95
Artists have experimented with ball-
point pens since almost the moment
they hit the market, but as Trent
Morse’s book Ballpoint Art reveals, in
recent years the practice of ballpoint
drawing has flourished around the
world. Call it what you will—a surge,
an awakening, a renaissance—ballpoint
pens are coming into their own as a
tool for making art.
“The lowly ballpoint has become
an important tool for a range of artists
The Book on Ballpoint
ABOVE
Two pages from Ballpoint Art, showing
the 2014 drawing Untitled by Thomas
Müller.
who appreciate both its formal quali-
ties and its conceptual implications,” 
writes Morse, who has contributed 
articles to ARTnews and Art+Auction, 
among other publications. “Such cre-
ators mention the layering capability 
of ballpoint ink, its thick consistency, 
its sheen, its everydayness and its 
reluctance to be erased as reasons to 
love the medium.” 
Morse begins the book by present-
ing a “condensed history” of ballpoint 
artwork, including early ballpoint 
drawings by such major 20th-century 
artists as Lucio Fontana, Alberto 
Giacometti, Cy Twombly and Andy 
Warhol. The bulk of Ballpoint Art is 
then given to short chapters devoted 
to some 30 contemporary artists, a 
8 Drawing / Summer 2017 DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM
ABOVE
Snafu
by C. J. Pyle, 2011, black 
and red ballpoint pen, 
graphite and colored 
pencil on verso of LP 
cover, 13¼ x 12.
RIGHT
Untitled 
by Renato Orara, 2011, 
ballpoint pen, 11 x 10½. 
From the series Ten 
Thousand Things That 
Breathe.
mixture of established and emerging talents.
A signifi cant number of the artists included can be 
considered “outsider artists” in one sense or another. 
“The ballpoint’s wide availability has made it a go-to tool 
for outsider artists—from the intense layering of Kentuck-
ian Beverly Baker to the masklike faces of Iranian-born 
Mehrdad Rashidi,” Morse writes. “There are so many 
talented outsider ballpointists, in fact, that this book could 
have been devoted entirely to them.”
Among the American artists included are Dawn 
Clements and Butt Johnson—whose names will be 
familiar to loyal readers of Drawing—as well as Bill Adams, 
Rebecca Chamberlain, Lori Ellison and C. J. Pyle. The 
international portion of the roster includes the South 
Korean artist Il Lee, referred to as the “godfather of 
ballpoint art”; Nigeria’s Toyin Odutola; the Philippines’ 
Renato Orara; and Germany’s Thomas Müller, one of 
whose wavy, untitled drawings graces the book’s cover. 
FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT LAURENCEKING.COM.
DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM Drawing / Summer 2017 9
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QUALITY • TRADITION • VALUE
#20 Kit - Now Featuring General’s® Sketch & Wash® Pencil
MADE IN
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General Pencil Company, Inc.
Jersey City, NJ • Redwood City, CA GenneerraallPPeenncciill.ccoom
T H R O U G H S E P T E M B E R 1 0
Greenville County Museum of Art
Greenville, South Carolina
(864) 271-7570
gcma.org
A native of the South Carolina Lowcountry, Carew Rice 
(1899–1971) discovered the art of cutting silhouettes 
when he was a student in Tennessee and pursued the 
practice from the Depression era until 1970. His work 
can currently be seen in the exhibition “Carew Rice” at 
the Greenville County Museum of Art, in Greenville, 
South Carolina, through September 10.
“Rice subtly challenged viewers with reductive 
renditions of Old South nostalgia,” the museum writes 
in a statement. “His cautionary tales were grounded in 
conservative values, but he liberally embraced the fi eld 
hands, chain gangs and working-class lifestyles of mar-
ginalized minorities.” Rice became known as a portraitist, 
creating cut-paper portraits of politicians and members 
of European royalty, in addition to ordinary men and 
women. Other subjects include Lowcountry landscapes, 
architecture and wildlife.
South Carolina
Silhouettes
Carew Rice (1899–1971). 
ABOVE RIGHT
Uncle Gabriel Lance, Sandy Island, South Carolina
by Carew Rice, 1936, hand-cut paper.
RIGHT
Gate of the Swords, Charleston, South Carolina
 by Carew Rice, 1933, hand-cut paper.
10 Drawing / Summer 2017 DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM
Join CPSA
Become a positive voice
for colored pencil fine art
www.cpsa.org
Enter Explore This! 14, the juried
online exhibition from the Colored
Pencil Society of America that
encourages artists to explore using
colored pencil with other media, on
three-dimensional objects, or on
artist-prepared surfaces.
Artwork selected for Explore This!
can be viewed on the CPSA website
for a full year, from February 1 to
January 31. Cash and product awards.
For complete information on entering
Explore This! 14, download the
prospectus at www.cpsa.org/ETA
Eye of the Storm
Peggy Magovern (California)
CPSA Explore This! 13 online exhibition
Colored
Pencil Call for Entries
Entries: September 15
to November 15, 2017
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NORTH
L I G H T
T H R O U G H D E C E M B E R 1 7
The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, California
(310) 440-7330
getty.edu
Artists since the Renaissance have worked with dry 
colored media—natural chalks or fabricated versions 
consisting of powdered pigment and a binder. In the 18th 
century, pastels became extremely popular, especially for 
portraiture. Sold in countless colors, these sticks off ered 
a promising new alternative to oil paints. They enabled 
artists to work quickly and spontaneously, with refi ned 
results.
“The Birth of Pastel,” an exhibition on view at the 
Getty Museum, in Los Angeles, provides a look into the 
origins and evolution of the medium. Among the artists 
included are Rosalba Carriera, Maurice-Quentin de La 
Tour, Simon Vouet and Charles Le Brun. (You can learn 
more about the careers of Vouet and Le Brun laterin this 
issue, beginning on page 44.)
The Birth of 
Pastel
A Muse
by Rosalba Carriera, mid-1720s, pastel on blue laid paper, 123⁄16 x 10¼. Collec-
tion J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California. 
Lessons in Masterful Portrait Drawing
By Mau Kun Yim and Iris Yim
ISBN: 9781440349768
Mau-Kun Yim learned to draw as the Old Masters did and stresses 
to students that to render the essence of life in portrait drawing, 
one must continue to pursue the old ways. It’s a unique philosophy 
and methodology in today’s world and relies on a holistic approach 
of observation, analysis and critical-thinking honed through time 
and patience.
$29.99 • R3417
Yu Qing by Mau Kun Yim, from Lessons in Masterful Portrait Drawing
Available at your favorite bookseller. To learn more about the full range of 
ArtistsNetwork products, including North Light books, visit ArtistsNetwork.com.
Drawing 
Instruction 
from 
Mau Kun Yim 
& Iris Yim
Unleash Your Full Potential
These and many other North Light products are available at your favorite art & craft 
retailer or bookstore. You can also order online at NorthLightShop.com or by phone 
at 1-800-258-0929. Online prices may differ on listed titles; prices are as marked on 
store pages in the North Light Shop.
an imprint of F+W Media, Inc.
Keys to Drawing with Imagination 
By Bert Dodson 
ISBN: 9781440350733
 
This ten-year edition of Keys to Drawing with 
Imagination is a course for artists in how to take 
something, do something to it and make something 
new. In every section, Bert Dodson offers you basic 
guidelines that help you channel your creative ener-
gies in the right direction. Before you know it, you’ll 
lose yourself in the process, enjoying the experience 
as you create something gratifying and worthwhile.
$24.99 • R4441
Perspective for the Absolute Beginner 
By Mark and Mary Willenbrink
ISBN: 9781440343681
 
Perspective is arguably the most important element 
of drawing and also one of the most difficult to 
master. It’s what gives drawings dimension and is the 
key to realistic drawing. Now the best-selling authors 
of Drawing for the Absolute Beginner are here to 
demystify perspective, simplify concepts such as 
vanishing points and multi-point perspective, and 
make it easy for you to experience success... 
and have fun while you’re doing it.
$22.99 • S3149
14 Drawing / Summer 2017 DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM
B
allpoint pens may have been
invented for writing, but why 
not draw with them? These 
days, more and more art-
ists are deciding to do so. 
Ballpoint is a fairly young medium, 
dating back only to the 1880s, when 
John J. Loud, an American tanner, 
patented a crude pen with a rotat-
ing ball at its tip that could make 
marks only on rough surfaces such 
as leather. Some 50 years later László 
Bíró, a Hungarian journalist, improved 
Loud’s invention using quick-drying 
newspaper ink and a better ball at 
its tip. When held perpendicular to 
its surface, Bíró’s pen could write 
smoothly on paper. In the 1950s the 
Frenchman Baron Marcel Bich pur-
chased Bíró’s patent and devised a 
leak-proof capillary tube to hold the 
ink, and the Bic Cristal pen was born. 
It was durable and could write when 
held at any angle, even upside down.
Although the ballpoint pen’s consis-
tently even line was at first denounced 
as heralding the death of beautiful 
handwriting, the neat and inexpen-
sive pens quickly became ubiquitous, 
replacing more expensive and inflex-
ible fountain pens. The hexagonal, 
transparent Bic Cristal was considered 
such a remarkably designed product 
that one is held in the collection of The 
Museum of Modern Art, in New York.
B A L L P O I N T I N A R T
Ballpoint drawings are all about line 
and what an artist can create with it. In 
the 1970s the critic Walter Koschatzky 
dismissed the possibility that ballpoint 
had any potential for serious artists 
on precisely this basis. “Pressing the 
point of the pen down produces no 
change in the thickness of the line,” 
he wrote. “[Therefore] its use in art is 
virtually nil. Drawings done with a 
MATERIAL WORLD Getting the most out of drawing mediaB Y S H E R R Y C A M H Y
Ballpoint Basics
ballpoint pen always exhibit a dead-
ness of line.” Artists, however, already 
had begun to prove Koschatzky wrong, 
with such prominent figures as Alberto 
Giacometti, Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol 
and Cy Twombly adopting ballpoint 
for various manners of drawing. 
JH
by Janet Cook, 2016, pink and purple ballpoint pen 
with acrylic wash, 11 x 9.
DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM Drawing / Summer 2017 15
Ballpoint pens offer some serious 
advantages to artists who work with 
them. To start, many artists and collec-
tors disagree entirely with Koschatzky’s 
disparaging view of ballpoint’s line, 
finding the consistent width and tone 
of ballpoint lines to be aesthetically 
pleasing. Ballpoint drawings can be 
composed of dense dashes, slow con-
tour lines, crosshatches or rambling 
scribbles. Placing marks adjacent to one 
another can create carefully modu-
lated areas of tone. And if you desire 
some variation in line width, you can 
in fact achieve it, either by adjusting 
the pressure you apply to the pen or by 
simply switching between several pens 
of different thickness. Some are less 
than half a millimeter wide and can 
be used for the most delicate details.
Among ballpoint’s other virtues: 
They never need to be sharpened; 
they’re lightweight, nontoxic and 
odorless; and many modern ball-
points are archival. Ballpoint pens 
glide quicker than most other draw-
ing media, making them perfect for 
quick sketches. They move smoothly 
in all directions and can change 
direction abruptly. They can be used 
on many surfaces other than paper, 
including gesso panels and illustra-
tion boards. The contemporary artist 
Jack Dillhunt is known for drawing 
with ballpoint on bedsheets.
Black and blue may be the most 
common, but ballpoints come in 
countless tempting colors. Further 
colors can be made by using a cross-
hatching technique, layering varying 
values and colors to create subtle 
optical combinations. Working on 
colored surfaces adds even more 
possibilities in this regard.
Although erasable ballpoints exist, 
most pens aren’t erasable. Once a 
line is made, it’s permanent, and for 
artists this can be daunting but also 
quite rewarding. “Mistakes” can be 
left alone or corrected by incorpo-
rating them into an image with a 
darker value or another color, expos-
ing the artist’s creative process.
Israel Sketch
From Bus
by Angela Barbalace, 
2017, ballpoint pen with 
watercolor wash, 3 x 10.
Odyssey’s Cyclops
by Charles Winthrop 
Norton, 2014, ballpoint 
pen, 19½ x 16. 
16 Drawing / Summer 2017 DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM
MATERIAL WORLD
B A L L P O I N T P E N V A R I E T I E S
Ballpoints range from inexpensive disposable pens to more 
expensive refillable models and high-end collectible pens. 
Some artists simply buy refills and use them without any 
holders at all. Ballpoint pens can be capped or retractable, 
single-colored or multicolored. Some include a stylus tip 
compatible with touchscreens on smartphones and tablets.
There are so many ballpoint pens available that choos-
ing among them can be perplexing, and to muddy things 
further, the nomenclature is confusing. We can group the 
pens into three main categories. Pens in the first category 
are usually simply called “ballpoint pens,” but to distin-
guish them from the other varieties, here we’ll call them 
standard ballpoint pens. The second category is rollerball 
pens, and the third is gel pens. These three varieties have 
basic mechanical qualities in common, but each differs in 
certain characteristics and uses a different kind of ink.
S TA ND A R D B A L L P OIN T P EN S
Standard ballpoint pens are filled with ink that’s viscous, 
oil-based, permanent and quick-drying. It’s designed not 
to smear or bleed. Altering pressure on the point creates a 
slight variation of values.Filling an area solidly with stan-
dard-ballpoint ink creates a uniquely leather-like texture.
ABOVE
Ballpoint pens in 
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All photos of 
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LEF T 
Bic Cristal 
ballpoint pen; 
dual-purpose 
Stylus pen with 
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compatible 
rubber tip; 
retractable 
ballpoint pen 
and refill.
The ink supply in standard ball-
points tends to last longer than those 
of rollerball and gel pens. Because 
the ink in standard ballpoints is 
permanent and quick-drying, 
watercolor and ink washes can be 
added easily to these drawings with-
out losing the original marks. 
ROL L E R B A L L P E N S
Rollerball pens have water-soluble liq-
uid ink similar to that used in fountain 
pens, but unlike fountain pens the ink 
is held in a self-contained compart-
ment that is in contact with a rolling 
ball at the tip. Rollerball ink dries 
slower and is more likely to bleed and 
smear than standard ballpoint ink.
Rollerball allows for more variation 
in line width than standard ballpoint. 
Slow strokes can make thicker lines, 
especially on soft, spongy surfaces. The 
ink is so fluid that a momentary pause 
can cause it to puddle. This can cause 
disaster, although with practice the 
problem can be turned into an advan-
tage, with artists using these puddles 
deliberately to add dark accents.
GEL PENS
Gel pens contain a pigmented 
fusion of oil- and water-based gels 
that doesn’t often bleed or fade. Gel 
pens generally are associated with 
writing, illustration, scrapbook and 
Ballpoint pen with retractable points in four colors.
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craft projects, but they can be used in fine art as well.
Gel pens require a steadier, more controlled pressure 
than standard ballpoints, but some are capable of more 
calligraphic strokes. Thinner lines dry faster than wide 
ones and are less likely to smear. Gels come in many 
colors, ranging from intense opaque pigments to f luores-
cent, metallic and glittery colors, many of which stand out 
boldly on dark surfaces. Note that a gel pen’s ink supply 
can harden if a pen isn’t properly capped or retracted.
Ballpoint has something to offer many artists. Those who incline toward careful observation may thrive on the intense concentration it demands if accuracy is the 
goal. Artists who revel in the feeling of freedom may enjoy 
the playful sense of having nothing to lose that ballpoint 
can grant. However you use them, you’ll find ballpoint 
pens have a quality of line not obtainable from any other 
medium. 
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20 Drawing / Summer 2017 DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM
FIRST MARKS Introductory lessons in drawingB Y M A R G A R E T D A V I D S O N
Pen-and-ink drawing is one of the 
world’s oldest art forms. Ink drawings 
were produced in ancient Egypt, ancient 
China and the Maya civilization. In 
medieval Europe they formed parts of 
illuminated manuscripts. This man-
ner of drawing has continued without 
pause to the present day.
For many centuries artists made 
their own pens from materials such 
as bird feathers and reeds. In the 19th
century steel-nib pens were intro-
duced, and they quickly came to domi-
nate the market, causing artists to 
buy pens rather than make them. But 
it’s still possible to make your own 
pens—making pens from sticks is 
especially easy—and there’s something 
splendid and satisfying about drawing 
with a pen you made from scratch. In 
this article we’ll learn how to make a 
pen from a stick using simple tools. 
You can use a very similar method 
to make a pen from a hollow reed, 
but wild reeds don’t grow too read-
ily near my home in the Northwest, 
so I use materials I can find easily. 
CHOOSING A STICK
There are two main considerations 
when looking for a stick to turn into 
a pen: It needs a hollow shaft, and it 
must be soft enough to cut with a knife. 
Reed has these qualities, as do forsythia 
and bamboo, which grow in more 
northerly climates. When harvesting I 
look for bamboo or forsythia sticks that 
are
as
hollow core about ⁄8 in
diameter. I cut the sticks
off near the ground with pruners, and 
then trim them to the desired length 
when I get back to the studio.
Forsythia is a common ornamental 
shrub here, although only some vari-
eties have cores hollow enough to be 
useful. I usually cut severalstems to 
see if I can find what I need. Forsythia 
isn’t as hard as bamboo, so it’s easier 
to cut and shape, and you can work 
it into a pen weeks after you’ve cut it. 
Its point wears out faster, however, 
and needs to be reshaped more often.
Bamboo is nice and hollow, and 
it’s a wonderful material to draw 
How to Make a Pen 
From Scratch
Street in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
by Vincent van Gogh, ca. 1888, reed pen, quill and ink over chalk on wove paper, 99/16 x 12½. Collection The 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York.
e about as big around
my ring finger, with a
llow core about ⁄1 8" in
Three finished pens. The two on 
the outside are forsythia; the one 
in the middle is bamboo.
DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM Drawing / Summer 2017 21
with. It can get very hard to cut as it 
ages, so use younger branches that 
are still green if you can find them. 
Bamboo also hardens very quickly 
after being cut, so carve your pens 
right after you collect your sticks.
MAKING THE PEN
T OOL S 
To make your pen, in addition to the 
stick itself you will need: 
• pruners• a knife (you can use a jackknife, 
although I find it easier and safer 
to work with a blade that isn’t 
inclined to fold up in my hand)
• a mat knife• scissors• a piece of thin aluminum, for 
example a section of a pop can
S T EP 1 
Make sure the hollow core in your cut 
branch is about 1⁄8" in diameter. Trim 
the stick to your desired length.
S T EP 2
Using the pruners, cut one end off at 
an angle.
S T EP 3
Using either knife, shave the angle to 
the drawing tip that you want—either 
a blunt end or a pointed one. This also 
thins the wood slightly. If you’re using 
forsythia, you may want to shave the 
bark away from the end, as well. 
S T EP 4
Pens need a split tip, which causes 
the tip to spread when pressed down, 
allowing the ink to fl ow smoothly. 
The best tool for splitting a stick’s tip 
is a straight blade. A mat knife works 
perfectly. 
Lay your stick on a table with the 
longer, pointed side at the bottom 
and the tip f lush with the edge of the 
table. Push straight down with the 
mat knife to cut a straight slit in the 
middle of the tip. Try to split the tip 
right in the middle. This can be tricky, 
Materials for making a stick pen. From left to right: 
pruners, knife, mat knife, scissors and a piece of 
a pop can. If you don’t have a knife like the one 
pictured here, you can try to use your mat knife for 
carving; it should work as long as your sticks are 
fresh. Do not use an X-Acto knife or a mat knife that 
has a snap-blade, which can break and cut you.
22 Drawing / Summer 2017 DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM
and if you don’t get it quite right, you can further trim 
the tip with your knife until the split falls in the middle.
S T EP 5
Next, you need to make an ink regulator—a tiny but tre-
mendously important component that will regulate the 
ink fl ow, enabling your pen to lay down even lines without 
gushing blobs at the beginning of every stroke.
With your scissors, cut a strip from the pop 
can that’s narrow enough to fi t into the hollow 
core of your stick. This should be at least 1" long 
but can be longer. Bend this strip into a “J” shape 
by running the strip between your thumb and in-
dex fi nger as you do with curling ribbon. 
S T EP 6
Insert the regulator into the hollow core of the stick in such 
a way that the curved part is inside the pen and the top of 
the J rests against the pen tip but doesn’t stick up beyond 
it. Once the regulator is in place, you’re ready to draw. Dip 
your pen in a jar of ink, grab a pad of drawing or watercolor 
paper, and get to work. When the point of your pen starts to 
wear out, soften or split, simply cut the soft part away and 
shape a new tip on the same stick.
DRAWING WITH STICK PENS
You’ll quickly fi nd that diff erent types of pens have their 
own personalities and produce diff erent kinds of lines. A 
stick pen lets you be freer than any steel-nib or quill pen 
can, as the stick will move in any direction without snag-
ging and will curve and zigzag and stop on a dime. Stick 
FIRST MARKS
Basket
2017, pen-and-ink, 10 x 13.
For this drawing I used a stick 
pen and black Chinese ink 
on rag paper. Note the heavy 
lines of the drawing—stick 
pens dish out more ink per 
stroke than steel-nib or quill 
pens do. I recommend using 
thick, heavy paper for draw-
ing with pen-and-ink, which 
can absorb all the liquid of 
the ink without warping.
NOTE: 
I drew the illustra-
tions for the above 
sequence of steps 
using a pen with 
a metal nib. Look 
closely and you can 
see how the line 
produced by a steel-
nib pen differs from 
the line produced 
by a stick pen, as 
seen in my drawings 
Basket and Boots.
DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM Drawing / Summer 2017 23
pens make broader and heavier marks than do pens with 
steel nibs, even when the tip is carved to a fi ne point. This 
kind of mark has its own joy—strong, rough and eager to 
be seen. The contrast is high and vivid, and when the pen 
runs low of ink you get wonderful broken, scruff y strokes. 
Stick pens are excellent for landscape drawing, as 
you can see in Van Gogh’s Street in Saintes-Maries-
de-la-Mer (page 20). For still life drawing I find they 
work best on things that aren’t delicate. I probably 
wouldn’t draw a lace doily with a stick pen, but heavi-
er cloth and wooden objects work out just fine. 
You can use almost any ink with a stick pen. Some of 
my favorites are Pelikan black drawing ink and Pro Art 
India ink. I mix my own brown ink from dried peat-based 
crystals that I buy from the Paper & Ink Arts website, 
but any ink you buy in the art store will work just fine.
Enough talk from me—start carving! Summer is an 
excellent time to make a handful of pens and then draw 
with them all year. 
Boots
2002, pen-and-ink, 15 x 11.
This drawing was done with a stick pen and brown peat-based ink on 300-lb 
watercolor paper. The rough texture of the paper interacted with the pen to 
make broken, interrupted marks that add a sketchy quality to the drawing.
Great pencil drawings start with a great graphite pencil.
Derwent Graphic pencils offer a wide choice of degrees from the 
popular HB pencil, to the fine and crisp 9H and soft smudgy 9B. 
Whether you're doing fine detailed illustrations or adding shading 
and texture to your drawing, Derwent has the right pencil for you.
GRAPHIC
e
www.DerwentArt.com
Drawing by Adam Vinson
24 Drawing / Summer 2017 DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM
CHAMBER pieces
For Peri Schwartz the studio is a stage where she can 
arrange furniture and other ordinary objects to form 
subtle explorations of shape, light and color. 
I N T E R V I E W B Y A U S T I N R . W I L L I A M S
T he drawings and paintings of Peri Schwartz reveal a mind intensely engaged with questions of compo-sition and representation. In her studio scenes and 
still lifes, the artist plays shapes off one another to cre-
ate a sort of quiet visual tension. She works exclusively 
from life, meticulously matching her setup to her vision 
for an image, even if it means repainting parts of her 
studio. Drawing recently spoke with the artist about her 
process, her inspirations and the importance of taking 
the time to create unhurried, carefully considered work.
DRAWING: Hello Peri. Let’s begin by talking about the 
relationship between drawing and painting in your 
art. Are most of your drawings related to a specific 
painting? 
PERI SCHWARTZ: In the studio series, which I began 15 
years ago, a drawing would start as a study for a painting. 
It was the most direct way for me to get the composition 
down and figure out what size canvas I needed. Inevita-
bly, I became more involved with the drawing, loving the 
darks and lights, erasing and moving objects as the work 
developed. The drawing took on a life of its own, and it 
was no longer just a study for the painting. I’ve continued 
this practice and can spend weeks working on a drawing.
Studio No. 232017, charcoal and Conté, 53 x 40.
Courtesy Gallery NAGA, Boston, Massachusetts.
DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM Drawing / Summer 2017 25
Studio XLIV
2017, oil on canvas, 48 x 38.
Courtesy Page Bond Gallery, Richmond, Virginia.
26 Drawing / Summer 2017 DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM
DR: Where is your studio? What 
about it inspires you to make it 
such a central part of your work?
PS: My studio is in an office building 
in downtown New Rochelle, New 
York, where many of the tenants are 
lawyers and accountants. It’s a corner 
office on the 10th floor with beautiful 
light and expansive views. When I first 
moved in I was working on still lifes 
and self-portraits. After completing 
a series of abstract self-portraits I 
wanted to return to something more 
realistic. That was when I started 
drawing books and seeing my studio 
as a subject. What I like about the 
studio is that there are certain things I 
physically can’t change, like the place-
ment of the window. Then there are all 
the things I can change: the wall color, 
the size of the tabletop, the books. 
I don’t think what I’m doing now 
fits into the category of studio paint-
ings done by artists like Giacometti or 
Matisse. My setups are more like very 
large still lifes or stage sets that I work 
from—I’m making the studio look a 
certain way; I’m painting the boards; 
I’m adjusting the size of the table. The 
objects on the surfaces aren’t just the 
objects that happen to be in my studio 
but things I’ve selected because they 
work for the composition.
DR: Your drawings may show your 
studio or a row of mason jars, but 
to me they seem in a sense to be 
more about things like perception,
space and light. What formal 
elements are you most interested 
in exploring?
PS: Color, light and composition are 
the most important elements in my 
work. I want to create a real space that 
works as a two-dimensional composi-
tion. In the studio paintings the fore-
ground books are large abstract shapes
that wouldn’t make spatial sense if 
they weren’t connected to other objects 
in the studio. In the Bottles & Jars series
I want the bottles to have both weight 
and luminosity.
DR: Tell me about the books. How 
did they become such prominent 
players in your images? 
PS: After posing for many self-portraits, 
I felt I had exhausted myself as a 
subject. In searching for a new idea, I 
noticed art books haphazardly piled on 
my work stools. I began to draw them 
and realized this subject excited me. I 
loved the abstract shapes they made, 
and although I didn’t identify the 
artists’ names on the books, the fact 
that the books were about artists I had 
studied was meaningful to me.
Seated Self-Portrait
2001, charcoal, 41 x 30.
Courtesy Gallery NAGA,
Boston, Massachusetts. 
DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM Drawing / Summer 2017 27
DR: You mix the colored liquids 
in the glasses to produce your 
desired color, correct? If you want 
a warmer red in a certain bottle 
in your painting, you’ll mix a 
warmer-red liquid to put in the 
real bottle? 
PS: Yes. Initially I was using diff er-
ent bottles of oil that were around 
the studio. When I began adding 
more bottles, I moved on to red-wine 
vinegar and Windex, often diluting the
color until I found what I wanted. And
for about a year now I’ve shifted my 
palette to cooler colors made from liq-
uid soaps, and I often mix two liquids 
to get what I want.
DR: Traces of a grid are visible in 
many of your images, for instance 
the drawing Studio No. 13 [page 
31] and the painting Studio XII 
[at right]. What role do these grids 
play in the creation of your work?
PS: The grid has become so integral to 
my work that I can’t imagine working 
without it. When I was in art school at 
Boston University [BU] we were taught 
to hold up a straight edge vertically and 
horizontally to line things up. It was 
also a way to measure the verticals in 
relation to the horizontals. I became 
obsessed with this way of drawing, and 
the grid lines are really an extension of 
my measuring.
I don’t just draw a grid on either 
the wall or my drawing. I look, 
measure, draw, look again, measure 
again, move something and then draw, 
so none of the lines are done uni-
formly. They develop as the drawing 
develops.
DR: So you actually paint grid 
lines onto the books and tables in 
your studio? 
PS: Yes, although the grid lines on the 
setup aren’t paint—I’ll use black tape or 
charcoal. And the grid only works from 
the one position where I’m sitting. The 
lines on the books have to connect to 
the table and the wall. The vertical lines 
are actually diagonals going back into 
space. It often takes me several tries to 
get the angles right.
DR: Walk me through the course 
of a typical drawing. How does 
the initial idea take shape, and 
what are your first marks on the 
surface?
PS: It takes several days to arrange 
the setup. Once I have things some-
what in place, I draw a pencil line in 
the middle of the paper. I’ll proceed 
to fi nd the midpoint in the setup and 
draw a charcoal line on the wall. The 
line on the wall will be moved an 
inch or so to the left or right many 
Studio XII
2006, oil on canvas, 54 x 42.
Private collection. 
28 Drawing / Summer 2017 DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM
Studio VI
2011, charcoal, 55 x 35. Private collection. 
DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM Drawing / Summer 2017 29
times as the drawing develops, but the
pencil line in my drawing stays in the
middle.
Once I’m feeling confident that I
have found the midpoint, I will draw
soft tones in with willow charcoal.
It’s important that I begin with soft
marks that can be easily removed with
a kneaded eraser. I know from experi-
ence that once I’ve made a darker line,
it’s much harder to erase. I’ll continue
making compositional decisions, mov-
ing the books or bottles around until
I’m happy. I draw something, erase it,
move it and draw it again. This leaves
quite a lot of tone on the drawing.
Once I’m feeling confident, I go into
the drawing with compressed charcoal
and Conté crayon. The truth is I end up
wanting to erase the darker lines, too.
Sometimes, when even a plastic eraser
doesn’t work, I’ll use white pastel.
For the last few years I’ve been
drawing on Mylar, and I’ve become
very attached to that as a surface. It
seems to erase better than paper, and
some of the blacks can get very velvety.
DR: You often paint over areas in
your paintings, and you once said,
“A lot of my painting is about
what’s underneath.” Is a similar
effect at work in your drawings?
PS: I do think that shows up in the
drawings, too. In a painting, I may
start with a red shape, then two days
later change it to orange. Some of that
red will creep through into the orange,
and it will look beautiful. This also
happens when I’m drawing and the
history of how I moved things around
comes through.
Many of the paintings I love most are
ones where I feel this kind of struggle
and see how the artist kept changing
things. Take Richard Diebenkorn. Over
and again in his work you’ll see places
where a color shows through from 
underneath and he had the presence of 
mind to leave it.
DR: Is Diebenkorn a favorite
of yours?
PS: Definitely. He was an amazing
draftsman and did exquisite drawings
from life. My favorite period is his
Berkeley years, when he had returned
to figurative work but was pushing the
abstraction. In the paintings, these
large fields of color and sense of space
are most exciting to me.
DR: With all the bottles and
jars, your work brings Giorgio
Morandi’s still lifes to mind. Do
you think your work is in dialogue
with his in some way?
PS: I love the relationships of the
objects in Morandi’s still lifes. Like
Diebenkorn, he pushed the abstrac-
tion in his figurative work. The
personality of every object Morandi
painted and how they relate to each
other feels like a metaphor for family
relationships. That thought occurs 
to me as I arrange and rearrange the 
simple bottles and jars I use.
Studio XXX
2011, oil on canvas, 48 x 38. Courtesy
PageBond Gallery, Richmond, Virginia.
Self-Portrait
2003, charcoal, 23 x 16. 
Collection Arkansas Arts Center,
Little Rock, Arkansas.
30 Drawing / Summer 2017 DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM
DR: I know you’re a fan of classical 
music. Does that inform your art 
at all?
PS: Yes. I go to chamber music 
concerts regularly and see many 
commonalities between what those 
musicians do and my work. A theme 
is picked up in one instrument 
and then handed over to another; a 
silence is like a negative shape, as 
important as a sound or a color.
DR: When you teach drawing, is 
there any advice you constantly 
find yourself giving to student 
after student? 
PS: I think students expect results 
too quickly. I try to slow them down 
and make them think about where 
their subject is going to sit on the 
page. Going back to my days at BU, 
I encourage my students to hold up 
a ruler and line up the verticals and 
horizontals. By going slower, there are 
more opportunities to discover rela-
tionships they hadn’t seen initially.
I also recommend doing studies 
from paintings by artists like Vermeer, 
Degas, Cézanne and Matisse. Looking 
at a painting is not the same as getting 
out your sketchbook in a museum and 
drawing from it. It slows down the 
process and makes you much more 
aware of the brushstrokes, the com-
position and the color. Copying was 
an important part of my development, 
and I would recommend that any artist 
do it throughout their life.
TOP
Bottles & Jars No. 6
2012, watercolor, 15 x 22. Private collection.
ABOVE
Bottles & Jars IV
2012, charcoal on Mylar, 20 x 30. Courtesy Gallery 
NAGA, Boston, Massachusetts. 
DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM Drawing / Summer 2017 31
ABOUTTHEARTIST
Peri Schwartz’s work is found in 
numerous private and public collec-
tions, including those of The Metro-
politan Museum of Art, in New York; 
the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; 
and the Portland Art Museum, in 
Oregon. The artist lives and works in 
New Rochelle, New York. For more 
information, visit perischwartz.com.
DR: What recommendations would you make to aspiring artists from a 
career perspective? 
PS: You have to be very hardened to rejection, because you’re going to get reject-
ed a lot. And I think you do have to be willing to sell yourself. There is somebody 
out there who is going to like your work, and you have to fi nd that person and 
connect with them. They’re not going to fi nd you. 
That process can also inform you. You might come across somebody—a 
dealer, a curator, a friend—who will point out something you haven’t noticed in 
your own work. It could be good or bad. But it’s important to just get out there 
and get feedback. 
Studio No. 13
2012, Conté crayon and ink wash 
on Mylar, 38½ x 28½. Private collection.
32 Drawing / Summer 2017 DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM
Guno Park, Nicolas V. Sanchez and Joo Lee Kang discuss
how they create their stunning artwork using ballpoint pens.
B Y A U S T I N R . W I L L I A M S
Cases in 
BALLPOINT
Bloody Angle
by Guno Park, 2014, 
ballpoint pen, 17 x 22.
Private collection.
Cover art for the album Doyers 
by the band Live Footage.
DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM Drawing / Summer 2017 33
G U N O P A R K
In most of his drawings, Guno Park takes a monochromatic approach, 
working in one of the “traditional” ballpoint colors of black, blue 
or red. His varied subjects include portraits of passengers sleep-
ing on public transit, dramatic depictions of animals and detail-
packed views of city streets. He sets many of his subjects against stark 
white backgrounds, causing them seemingly to jump off the page.
Park has been drawing with ballpoint since he was young. “Even as a 
kid, before I started drawing more intensely, I was using the pen quite a 
bit,” he says. “As I learned more and more, I stuck with it. The pen was al-
ways in my pocket, and it became this very comfortable medium to draw 
with. I use other media as well, but I think that the pen creates a type of 
tone that no other writing or drawing tool makes. The ink has a sheen and a 
glow that I enjoy.” Park notes that no two models of pen are quite the same. 
“It’s really interesting to navigate the various types of pens and see how the 
consistency and tone of the ink are a little different in each,” he says.
Park acknowledges that the familiarity of ballpoint can be an obsta-
cle. “The pen is just like any tool, but the funny thing about it is that peo-
ple are so familiar with it,” he says. “The challenge comes in separat-
ing yourself from the idea that this is a tool you’ve used to jot down notes 
and sign checks. But as I draw, I don’t really think about the pen itself 
too much. It’s a refreshing and satisfying feeling not to think about the 
tool that I’m using and only think about the image that I’m making.”
ABOVE LEF T
Underwater Plants
by Guno Park, 2015, 
ballpoint pen, 21 x 21. 
Private collection.
ABOVE RIGHT
Ape
by Guno Park, 2014, 
ballpoint pen, 65 x 45.
Private collection.
34 Drawing / Summer 2017 DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM
Park is an inveterate sketcher, 
drawing in a sketchbook during his 
commute and other spare moments. 
For his larger drawings, he works from 
a mix of sketches, photos and men-
tal images. “Sometimes I’ll use one 
type of reference more than anoth-
er,” he says. “If I’m working under 
a deadline I’ll rely more on a photo 
reference. If I’m freely drawing for 
myself I’ll have the reference there, 
but more than anything else I’ll 
look at what I’ve drawn and bounce 
off what I’ve already put down.”
For the most part he plans his 
compositions in his head. “I develop 
a kind of stamp of the image in my 
mind,” he says. “This gives me a very 
good idea of, say, how big the head 
should be or where it should be placed 
to look satisfying in the composition. 
I don’t do any underdrawing; I just 
start from one point that I think sig-
nifies an anchor. I draw a few lines 
that define that anchor, and the rest 
of the drawing sort of drapes and 
falls according to those first marks.”
While he’s drawing, Park’s two 
most important considerations are 
form and light. “I think about form 
initially because I have to under-
stand the three-dimensional shape, 
which consists of all these different 
planes,” he says. “In a way, I draw 
that form without thinking about 
the light and then add the light to 
it; I look at the direction and inten-
sity of the light and wrap that around 
the form I’ve created.” Park is care-
ful to note, however, that it’s not sim-
ply a two-step process, with form 
coming first and light second. “It 
all happens simultaneously,” he 
Zocalo—Mexico City
by Guno Park, 2014, 
ballpoint pen and watercolor, 
15 x 37. Private collection.
DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM Drawing / Summer 2017 35
says. “I have to juggle all these things every time I put down a mark 
or a patch of hatches. If I don’t, the drawing won’t be believable.”
Park works with a variety of pens. Some of his favorites are 
made by Muji, Tombow and Zebra. He generally draws on water-
color paper, which offers a little tooth, but lately has also been 
working on printmaking paper. “Printmaking papers are tough-
er and able to take more pressure,” he says. “With them, I’ve 
been able to do some very deep, heavily rendered areas.”
To keep his backgrounds pristine, Park keeps a clean piece of 
paper between his hand and the drawing. For very large drawings, 
he’ll use a mahlstick. “I just keep track of where my hand is and 
make sure the ink is dry even before I put the guard paper down,” 
he says. “After many failures, it’s become this sharp instinct.”
When asked what advice he would share with aspiring art-
ists, Park stresses the importance of practice. “Just draw more,” 
he says. “Students often feel that going to class and drawing for 
three hours there is enough, but it’s not. Practicing on a regu-
lar basis is the most important thing any artist can do, even if it’s 
15 or 30 minutes a day doodling in a sketchbook. Big projectsare 
great, and thinking about composition is great, but all that stuff 
happens in your brain anyway when you’re doodling. And I think 
the best ideas come to you when you’re in the act of creating.”
LEFT
MTA Postman
by Guno Park, 2015, 
ballpoint pen, 12 x 12. 
Private collection.
MIDDLE
MTA Rider 
After the Gym
by Guno Park, 2015, 
ballpoint pen, 12 x 12. 
Private collection.
RIGHT
MTA Sleeper
by Guno Park, 2017, 
ballpoint pen, 11 x 11. 
Private collection.
36 Drawing / Summer 2017 DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM
N I C O L A S V . S A N C H E Z
Using ballpoint in an array of colors, Nicolas V. Sanchez crafts strikingly realis-
tic portraits of people and animals. Pen has been the artist’s medium of choice 
for as long as he can remember. “I’ve always been drawing and sketching,” he 
says. “My dad taught me how to draw when I was very young, and he always 
had a pen in his shirt pocket. I didn’t really recognize that as an inf luence 
at the time, but having a pen on hand found its way into my routine. I fig-
ured that sketching was simply the best way to spend my commute through-
out New York City, and now I draw on the train, in taxis, on planes, et cetera.”
Ballpoint eventually became Sanchez’s primary medium for finished 
work as well. “It allows me to draw with tone and with a range in value,” he 
says. “With ballpoint, I can draw lightly or create heavy lines. That’s very 
different from Micron pens, for example, which create only fine lines.”
Much of Sanchez’s practice is devoted to portraiture, with his subjects 
ranging from adults to children to pets. Many of these drawings share an 
overall look. On warm, cream-toned paper we see a person from the shoul-
ders up, centered on the page, often in full profile. The subjects wear neu-
tral expressions and look straight ahead. Any clues as to their lives and per-
sonalities are subtle, indicated through posture, clothing or hairstyle.
Argenis
by Nicolas V. Sanchez, 2015, 
ballpoint pen on toned paper,
3½ x 5½. Private collection.
DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM Drawing / Summer 2017 37
ABOVE
Midwest Grass
by Nicolas V. Sanchez, 
2015, ballpoint pen 
on toned paper, 6 x 8. 
Private collection.
LEFT
Dizzy
by Nicolas V. Sanchez, 
2015, ballpoint pen on 
toned paper, 8 x 10. 
Private collection.
38 Drawing / Summer 2017 DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM
“There is always something that 
inspires me about every profile I 
draw, whether it be someone’s hair, 
the zigzagging composition of their 
posture, the way they look through 
their eyes or their awareness of the 
moment,” Sanchez says. “And every 
drawing allows me to learn as much 
about the medium as about the 
unique qualities of the person.” The 
artist also enjoys the play of historical 
contexts at work in these drawings. 
Portraiture is one of the most tradi-
tional of genres—so much so that a 
tightly rendered portrait drawing can 
seem out of place in many corners 
of the contemporary art world. As a 
further twist, the tool being used is 
decidedly modern—something that 
wasn’t available even 100 years ago.
Sanchez’s portrait drawings 
are time-consuming, and the art-
ist works largely from photographs 
that he shoots himself. “It’s very 
difficult to find people who can sit 
for the hours it takes me to draw 
them from life,” he says. “My train-
ing from years of life drawing allows 
me to work comfortably from photo 
references. In the end I use a com-
bination of photos, memory and 
what I know about proportions.”
He doesn’t do much in the way 
of preliminary sketching or draw-
ing, diving right in to the finished 
work. “Every drawing has its own 
unique entrance,” he says. “I don’t 
start with the same color every time. 
I hope the approach to each drawing 
can be parallel to the unique soul of 
each piece.” Sanchez employs many 
pens and colors over the course of 
a drawing, generally using a small 
group of pens for a given area. “I 
can draw a nose with a few colors 
and then draw the eyes with a dif-
ferent set of colors,” he says. “Then I 
may use just one pen in one color for 
something simpler, like the chin.”
TOP
Magnus
by Nicolas V. Sanchez, 2016, 
ballpoint pen on toned paper, 
5 x 7. Private collection.
ABOVE 
A drawing from Sanchez’s 
sketchbook.
The delicately rendered skin and hair tones Sanchez achieves can surprise 
viewers who are used to seeing ballpoint used for monochromatic drawings 
with tone created primarily through crosshatching. “My approach to skin and 
hair with ballpoint is no different from any traditional method for painting 
skin and hair with oil or acrylic,” the artist says. “I apply basic color theory and 
my knowledge about skin tones to each portrait. Everyone has a unique color 
range in their skin, so I try to remain sensitive to the individuality of each per-
son. This keeps me away from step-by-step processes and formulas—which 
can be reliable but stale—and makes room for more life in each portrait.”
Sanchez encourages other artists to give ballpoint a try. “Drawing direct-
ly with ballpoint pen, from beginning to end, has developed my draftsman-
ship faster than any other medium,” he says. “It’s best to jump right into 
it. Avoid preliminary sketches in pencil. If you’re just starting with the 
medium you’ll make a lot of mistakes—it doesn’t matter. Don’t allow the 
permanence of each mark to cause hesitation. Let it give you the sense 
of freedom to continue developing your ideas, imperfections and all.”
Marlene
by Nicolas V. Sanchez, 2016, 
ballpoint pen on toned paper, 5 x 7. 
Private collection.
40 Drawing / Summer 2017 DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM
J O O L E E K A N G
The drawings of Joo Lee Kang take us 
to a strange realm where mutated f lo-
ra and fauna run rampant over what 
appear to be decaying still life tab-
leaux. Her images feel simultaneously 
modern and steeped in art history—in 
particular the work of Dutch still life 
painters of the 16th and 17th centuries.
Kang says that she’s attracted to 
still life in part for how the images 
have been used to ref lect the aspi-
rations of people in different cul-
tures and historical periods. “A still 
life is often a representation of a 
person’s wishes,” she says. “I want 
my drawings to have that quality. I 
also want them to look realistic at 
first, but once you get closer, you 
find something else—something 
kind of grotesque. You realize it’s 
not exactly what was wished for.”
Like many artists who work in ball-
point, Kang adopted the medium in 
part for reasons of convenience. She 
worked primarily with oil and acryl-
ic paint while in college in Korea and 
then graduate school in Boston. But 
those materials were hard to trans-
port when she would leave school for 
breaks, and Kang began to leave them 
behind and reduce her equipment. 
She first switched from working on 
canvas to paper, then from painting 
in oil and acrylic to watercolor. Finally 
she switched her focus to drawing, 
eventually settling on ballpoint. 
“I like ballpoint pen for three rea-
sons,” she says. The first has to do 
with ease of access—she can buy 
ballpoint pens anywhere and car-
ry them easily. Her second rea-
son relates to crosshatching. “My 
inspiration comes from my study 
of art history and European paint-
ing, so I keep my drawing very tra-
ditional,” she says. “This means I 
use a lot of crosshatching, which 
TOP 
Wreath No. 4
by Joo Lee Kang, 2017, 
ballpoint pen, 26 x 26. 
Courtesy Gallery NAGA, 
Boston, Massachusetts.
ABOVE 
Chandelier No. 1
by Joo Lee Kang, 2017, 
ballpoint pen, 26 x 33. 
Courtesy Gallery NAGA, 
Boston, Massachusetts.
DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM Drawing / Summer 2017 41
is a traditional method—usually it’s used for etching and printmaking. It 
means layering lots of very short lines to create the three-dimensional 
form. I’ve tried crosshatching with many pencils and pens, and ballpoint 
is my ideal. With it, I can create the fullest range of brightness to dark-
ness.” The third thing Kang loves about ballpointis its lack of erasabili-
ty. “Once I grab my pen, I just go and go and go,” she says. “I want to never 
give up or erase, so the pen being non-erasable is very important for me.”
Kang’s process for a drawing begins with a period of research, during which 
she collects several types of reference material and visual inspiration, which she 
refers to as her “data.” Paintings by historical artists, especially the Dutch mas-
ters, are one source. Images from newspapers, scientific magazines and the in-
ternet are another. She notes that the animals and flowers in her drawings derive 
not from imagination but from research into things that exist today in nature.
With her research complete, Kang mentally “reassembles” these mate-
rials into an original composition. She then starts to draw, avoiding any 
preliminary sketching. She lets her hand and her eye guide her, describ-
ing her process as “almost like a sort of meditation. And all the drawings 
are different. Sometimes I start and finish right away. Other times I’ll do 
Still Life With Insects No. 9
by Joo Lee Kang, 2014, ballpoint 
pen, 25 x 32. Courtesy Gallery 
NAGA, Boston, Massachusetts.
42 Drawing / Summer 2017 DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM
90 percent of a drawing, then leave it 
aside—maybe for a few hours, may-
be for a year—and finish it later.”
Kang usually draws with Bic ball-
point pens, which she prefers in part 
because they’re available the world 
over. “The other brands that are avail-
able in Korea I can’t find when trav-
eling,” she says. But even the classic 
Bic pen, it turns out, isn’t exactly the 
same everywhere. “In Asia and Europe, 
they sell a Bic with a 0.7mm tip,” Kang 
says. “But in the U.S., 1.0mm is the 
sharpest they sell—everything is big-
ger in the U.S.! That makes a real dif-
ference for me, so now when I travel 
from Korea to the U.S., I always car-
ry some 0.7mm pens. One time I was 
carrying a suitcase full of them, and 
the security guard at the airport was 
pretty curious about my occupation.”
For her surface, Kang uses print-
making paper, alternating between 
smoother hot-pressed paper and rough-
er cold-pressed paper. She notes that 
she often prefers smoother paper for 
drawings in black or blue pen and 
rougher paper for drawings in red.
In addition to her drawings, Kang 
TOP
Still Life No. 3
by Joo Lee Kang, 2015, 
ballpoint pen, 32 x 45.
Courtesy Gallery NAGA, 
Boston, Massachusetts.
ABOVE
Still Life With Rabbit
by Joo Lee Kang, 2017, 
ballpoint pen, 15½ x 15½. 
Courtesy Gallery NAGA, 
Boston, Massachusetts.
DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM Drawing / Summer 2017 43
ABOUTTHEARTISTS
Guno Park was born in Seoul, South Korea, raised in Toronto, Ontario, and 
lives in Brooklyn, New York. He studied at schools including the New York 
Academy of Art, where he now teaches drawing. He also teaches at the 
New York Film Academy. For more information, visit gunopark.com.
Nicolas V. Sanchez lives in New York City. He studied at Kendall College 
of Art and Design, in Michigan; and the New York Academy of Art. He has 
been selected for artist residencies in China, the Dominican Republic and 
Italy. For more information, visit nicolasvsanchez.com.
Joo Lee Kang received her B.F.A. from Duksung Women’s University, in 
South Korea, and her M.F.A. from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at 
Tufts University, in Boston. She has participated in numerous solo and group 
exhibitions. She’s active in both the United States and Korea and is represent-
ed by Gallery NAGA, in Boston. For more information, visit gallerynaga.com.
Chaos No. 10
by Joo Lee Kang, 2015, mixed media.
Installation at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery,
New Orleans, Louisiana, 2015.
creates three-dimensional paper instal-
lations, and currently she’s at work on 
an installation relating to the Korean 
Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). “The DMZ 
is a very interesting area for me, since all 
my artwork starts with nature,” she says. 
“After the war, people left the DMZ, and 
now it’s home to a third of all Korea’s ani-
mals and plants and half of its endan-
gered animals. Doing the research on 
that has been amazing. With every proj-
ect, I want to push myself further.” 
44 Drawing / Summer 2017 DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM
The Angel Appearing to St. Joseph in the Carpenter’s Shop, the Virgin Reading Beyond
by Jacques Stella, ca. 1640, pen-and-brown-ink and gray wash over black chalk. 
All artwork this article collection The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, New York.
DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM Drawing / Summer 2017 45
Over the course of the 
17th century, France 
evolved from an 
artistic backwater to 
an epicenter of refined 
painting and drawing.
B Y J O H N A . P A R K S
French Drawing in the Grande Siècle
POUSSIN, 
CLAUDE
 BEYOND:AND
Early in the 17
th century, two young French artists of humble origins 
made their separate ways to Rome. Both would immerse them-
selves in Italian art, and both would eventually become artistic 
giants whose work would influence painters for centuries to come. 
Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665) and Claude Lorrain (ca. 1600–1682) 
knew each other in Rome, where they were steeped in the same artis-
tic environment and enjoyed patronage from some of the same clients, 
yet their work is very different. Poussin became a maker of exacting 
figure paintings in which he re-created scenes from antiquity in high-
ly ordered narratives. His clarity of form, mastery of gesture, con-
cern for historical authenticity and elegance of composition earned 
him the right to remark, “I have neglected nothing.” Claude, on the 
other hand, became a painter of landscapes that embody an Arcadian 
vision, an idea that had been popular since Renaissance intellec-
tuals rediscovered the poetry of Virgil. Embracing a new interest in 
naturalism, Claude made many studies directly from nature, and 
then in his paintings transformed the world into a vision of golden 
and wistful tranquility infused by a light that seems truly divine.
Both Poussin and Claude were consummate draftsmen for 
whom drawing was central to their practice, and it is their draw-
ings that form the focus of the exhibition “Poussin, Claude and 
French Drawing in the Classical Age” at The Morgan Library 
& Museum, in New York City. As the title suggests, the exhibi-
tion expands beyond those two masters to tell the story of the 
development of French art though the 17th century, an era that is 
known in France as “Le Grande Siècle,” meaning “the great age.”
46 Drawing / Summer 2017 DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM
The story begins at the end of the 16th century when Italian art 
held sway in much of Europe. One work from this period included in 
the exhibition is Procris and Cephalus, a drawing attributed to an art-
ist known as the Maître de Flore, or “Master of Flora.” The artist sensu-
ally retells a somewhat obscure classical myth in which Procris, seek-
ing to discover an infidelity on the part of her quite innocent husband 
Cephalus, is shot and killed by him when he mistakes her for a deer.
“I think this is probably the most important 16th-century French draw-
ing in America—and one of the most beautiful,” says Jennifer Tonkovich, 
the Eugene and Clare Thaw Curator of Drawings and Prints at The Morgan. 
“We know it’s probably a drawing from the second school of Fontainebleau 
[then the location of the French Court], but we’re not sure if the artist was 
French or Italian, as there were so many Italians there. It has a decora-
tive approach, and it really represents that moment of elegant Mannerism 
that gives way by the middle of the 17th century to a greater natural-
ism, moving away from a courtly style as the Age of Reason appears.”
Procris and Cephalus
by Maître de Flore, ca. second half of 
16th century, brush-and-brown-wash 
and pen-and-brown-ink heightened with 
white gouache over black chalk, with 
touches of red chalk.
DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM Drawing / Summer 2017 47
Orion Carrying Diana on His Shoulders
by Jacques Bellange,1613–1616, pen-and-brown-ink and wash.
48 Drawing / Summer 2017 DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM
For all the activity in France, Italy remained the center of the artistic world at the opening of the 17th century, and Poussin and Claude’s removal to Rome was more or less a necessity for young artists at the time. “If you look at the period before 1648, when the French Royal Academy was found-
ed, there really wasn’t the training system set up in Paris,” Tonkovich says. 
“The activity was in Florence, in Rome and at the ducal court of Nancy—great 
centers employing a lot of artists. It’s natural for intellectuals and artists to 
make a pilgrimage to places where they can study and obtain patronage.”
Poussin is represented in the show by a group of drawings that display his 
prowess at composition and design. Death of Hippolytus is a brilliantly orches-
trated telling of a mythical incident in which Hippolytus, a son of Theseus, 
is killed when Poseidon sends a sea monster to terrify the horses pulling his 
chariot. Poussin masses the tones in the landscape on the left to silhouette 
the frightened horses, and then emphasizes the downward diagonal com-
ing in from the right to accentuate the movement of the tumbling chariot. 
Claude is represented both by studio compositions and drawings done 
straight from nature. A Hilly Landscape With Bare Trees appears to be a straight-
forward study from life, with the artist using layers of brown wash over black 
chalk to create a sense of illumination and depth. Two other drawings by Claude 
are much more elaborate. The Sermon on the Mount lays out the composition 
Death of Hippolytus 
by Nicolas Poussin, 1645, pen-and-brown-ink 
and wash over black chalk.
DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM Drawing / Summer 2017 49
that serves as the basis for a finished 
painting of the same subject, now in 
The Frick Collection, in New York. 
This is probably a study for the paint-
ing, although Claude did sometimes 
work in the reverse order and make 
drawings from his finished paintings, 
using them as a record of pictures that 
had been sold. A third Claude drawing 
in the exhibition, Apollo Watching the 
Herds of Admetus (page 51), is a high-
ly finished work. Brown washes have 
been heightened with white gouache 
to achieve rich and delicate render-
ing, and the whole is suffused with 
the artist’s signature divine light.
A Hilly Landscape With Bare Trees, 
by Claude Lorrain, 1639–1641, brush-and-
brown-wash over black chalk.
The Sermon on the Mount
by Claude Lorrain, 1655, pen-and-brown-ink 
and wash over black chalk.
50 Drawing / Summer 2017 DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM
By the second half of the 17
th century things had changed radical-
ly for artists seeking a career in France. Tonkovich points out that 
French power abroad expanded vastly during the period, and pow-
er within France consolidated around the monarchy. Under Louis XIII 
(1601–1643) and his famous chief minister, Cardinal Richelieu (1585–1642), 
huge programs of building were undertaken, including the lavish Palais-
Cardinal, now known as the Palais Royal. Later in the century Louis XIV 
(1638–1715) moved the court to the greatly expanded palace at Versailles, 
where he lived in such splendor that he became known as the Sun King.
Art, artifice, theatre and music formed an integral part of court life, serv-
ing to aggrandize the monarchy, assert the independence of French culture 
and provide entertainment for a privileged aristocracy. All of this activity pro-
vided employment for a considerable number of artists, and as the exhibi-
tion proceeds we come across artists whose careers brought them back to 
France after their early years in Rome, along with others who trained in the 
latter half of the century at the newly established 
Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. “Over 
the century, Paris starts emerging as a major artis-
tic and cultural capital,” Tonkovich says. “You now 
have a system established for training French art-
ists, and Louis XIII also calls artists back from 
Rome. You have artists coming back and find-
ing work, not only with the king but also with the 
aristocracy and even some private collectors.”
Among the most inf luential artists recalled from 
Rome was Simon Vouet (1590–1649). Vouet had 
travelled widely in Italy, absorbing the elements of 
the new Baroque style, a highly polished combina-
tion of Renaissance classicism, Mannerist adven-
ture, Caravaggesque lighting and the naturalism of 
the Carracci brothers. Vouet had become immensely 
successful in Rome, and on returning to France in 
1627 he was appointed first painter to the king and 
put his talents to work in a multitude of decorative 
schemes, altarpieces and private commissions. He 
established a large studio where a whole new genera-
tion of artists was to receive training and experience. 
Vouet’s mastery and elegance is on view in Study of a Woman Seated on a Step 
With Another Study of Her Right Hand, in which a figure, posed in a way that is 
both dynamic and natural, is rendered with a beautifully controlled chalk line. 
Among the painters who trained with Vouet was Charles Le Brun (1619–
1690), who went on to become the most established and successful painter of 
his day. After spending some time in Rome, where he worked under Poussin, 
he returned to France, where he co-founded the Royal Academy in 1648. 
Appointed first painter to Louis XIV, he became responsible for almost every 
aspect of the many grandiose artistic projects that the Sun King undertook. 
Among his most famous commissions were the ceiling paintings for the Hall 
of Mirrors at Versailles. Le Brun’s style was more rhetorical than Vouet’s and 
A Caryatid
by Charles Le Brun, 1641, black chalk 
and gray wash, incised for transfer.
DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM Drawing / Summer 2017 51
Apollo Watching the Herds of Admetus
by Claude Lorrain, 1663, pen-and-brown-ink and wash, 
heightened with white gouache, over black chalk.
well-suited to the lavish official nar-
ratives required of him. The current 
exhibition includes A Caryatid, which 
shows off the artist’s perfect mas-
tery of form and the cool elegance at 
the heart of the Classical Baroque. 
Tonkovich acknowledges that for 
many viewers today, Le Brun is a dif-
ficult artist to love. “It’s true that re-
sponding to the subject matter of 
these obscure, aggrandizing histori-
cal scenes can be a bit tough,” she 
says. “His drawings are a little easier 
to warm up to. And then you realize 
that through these drawings he had a 
huge impact because he was training 
the next generation of artists. Even 
if he’s not beloved, he is an impor-
tant teacher, and he felt that drawing 
was at the core of artistic practice.”
Study of a Woman Seated on a Step With Another Study of Her Right Hand
by Simon Vouet, ca. 1630–1635, black and white chalk on light-brown paper.
52 Drawing / Summer 2017 DR AW INGMAG A Z INE . COM
Another artist recalled to France by Louis XIII was Jacques Stella (1596–1657), a close acquaintance of Poussin. (Poussin himself was recalled to France in 1640 but left after two years to live out his life in Rome.) Stella’s art takes on that master’s rigor of com-
position, design and storytelling. In The Angel Appearing to St. Joseph 
in the Carpenter’s Shop, the Virgin Reading Beyond (page 44), he negoti-
ates the realm between classical idealism, naturalist observation and re-
ligious sentiment. We see the care Stella takes with the historical detail 
in the accoutrements of the carpenter’s workshop, alongside the clas-
sical refinement of the angel and the naturalistic pose of Joseph. 
“I love that Stella is really thinking hard,” Tonkovich says. “He’s read-
ing the biblical text, he’s making the connection to antiquity, he’s think-
ing about antique dress and what the workshop would look like. There’s 
a historical awareness that really informs this rigorous classicism. It’s a 
kind of art that can leave some people cool, but there’s such a control

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