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Ball-point pen drawing

The ball-point pen is a writing implement that writes with a minuscule ball in the tip of the pen turning in the direction in which the writing flows to roll ink on to the paper. The line thus achieved is of unvaryingly uniform thickness. Walter Koschatzky belittled the artistic qualities of the ball-point pen as follows: "Pressing the point of the pen down produces no change in the thickness of the line; consequently there is no differentiation of line in hair-thin and hatching, [...] [therefore] its use in art is virtually nil. Drawings done with a ball-point pen always reveal deadness of line." (from the book "Die Kunst der Zeichnung") This academic jibe has failed to deter numerous distinguished artists from using ball-point pens. Detailed drawings and especially hatching, through which light-and-shade effects are created can be executed particularly effectively in ball-point pen. The draughtsman and graphic artist Horst Janssen did ball-point pen drawings. Thomas Hirschhorn also used ball-point pen in combination with other techniques. The Swiss artist Daniele Buetti works over photos with ball-point pen by pressing the point down so hard on the backs of photos for his drawings that they appear raised on the front or even break through the surface.