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20+ Unbelievable Photorealistic Portraits Drawn with a Ballpoint Pen

A ballpoint pen—we've all owned one at some point in our lives. Whether a Bic or another type of biro pen, this tool for writing is transformed into something magical in the hands of the right artist. Ballpoint pen art has become its own niche genre, with many biro artists focusing on hyper-realistic portraits of celebrities and models.

Artists range from Juan Francisco Casas, who has made a name for himself in the contemporary art world with his pen drawings of sexy women, to Samuel Silva, who caused disbelief with his colorful photorealistic pen portraits. Some artists even create a name for themselves on YouTube, where they publish time-lapses and tutorials to show off their skills.

Yet, even within the genre, styles vary. Some artists prefer a cross-hatching technique, while others show that continuous line drawings can produce startling results. The common denominator in all is their ability to produce work with striking emotional impact.

From self-taught artists to expert illustrators, these masters of ballpoint pen art all prove that you don't need expensive equipment to make a big splash in the art world.

Whether of celebrities or models, these Bic pen artists create dazzling, photorealistic portraits with a simple ballpoint pen.

If you think art with a ballpoint pen can only be in black or blue, think again. Samuel Silva used six colored ballpoint pens for this hyper-realistic portrait.

Bonus: Check out these videos that show some of the artists creating their ballpoint pen art.

All images via the artists.

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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