Beautifully Intricate Ballpoint Pen Illustrations

French artist Louis Gibiard creates absolutely stunning ballpoint pen drawings that look like classic art. The vivid blue against the white of the paper calls to mind that of ancient Chinese pottery and Victorian tea sets, which borrowed its aesthetic from the former.

GIBIARD’s use of the pen is remarkable and he even offers tutorials on how to properly use the tool to shade and outline.

How to shade:

-What I do is light cross hatching, your lines have to be close enough so they create a light value, but they shouldn’t be overlapping each other. Work by layers, to have the best shading possible, what works for me is that the 5 first layers should be done without any pressure applied, only cross hatching in the different directions. Then adapt the speed/angle/pressure to the part you’re working on. More speed=light shade because less ink has the time to reach the paper, heavy pressure=decreases the chances to have a smooth finish so use it at the very end. Work from light to dark, that way you’ll have more control over your values, it’s easy to darken, impossible to lighten.

Here’s a compilation of Gibiard’s work.

Illustrator Louis Gibiard from Vendee, France, has gathered attention for his fascinating ballpoint pen designs. Louis draws intricate patterns and murals with his blue ballpoint pen, even adding shading and gradient with a lighter pen.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.