Farm House Dunrobin, Derwent Valley. Tasmania.

Biro on cartridge paper.

With such a huge range of drawings pens on the market, you may wonder why I prefer to draw with a biro. It’s all about the variation in tone that I require to give depth to my work.

Let’s compare:

Fine Line Felt Pen: Excellent ink quality and strong, even line. Various line widths available. The problem is that after several hours’ use the tip starts to wear, resulting in a much wider line.

Fine Line Pen with a stainless steel tip: These contain pigment ink that is permanent, waterproof and fade-resistant. They produce a consistent, even line, but don’t vary in tone.

Biro: Cheap, long-lasting, with the ability to make very light lines when required. Ink quality is good, but the flow can be erratic at times.

My preference is the biro, because I can lightly block-out each drawing and then build up the tone using layers of line of different strengths.

What do you use?


About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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10 Responses to BIRO OR FINE LINER?

  1. Dors says:

    That’s interesting Richard. so the old cheap Biro works the best.
    You are a Pro…I would need to use an eraser too much to use Biro.
    I will give it a go though… It’s always good to try many mediums.

    Thanks for sharing Richard. Your comments are always very interesting.

    • artkleko says:

      Thanks for your comments Dors. The reason I prefer biros to fine liners is that you can draw lightly, then build up the tone. Fine liners are brilliant to use if you want a consistent, dark line.

  2. Dors says:

    Thank you Richard. I never thought of Biro building up tonal layers….Do you use a fine or medium point Biro?

  3. Chelsea says:

    oh thats brilliant. I love it. Does it work better on certain papers?

  4. I use a fine point Bic biro Dors.

  5. Hi Chelsea! Soft papers are better as you don’t have to press as hard. Cartridge is cheap and does a good job. Heavy weight, smooth papers are excellent. If you use a light weight paper, add another sheet underneath because any uneven areas on your drawing board will show through in your drawing.

  6. Your WP design looks amazing.

  7. artkleko says:

    Thank you Kostenlos for your encouraging words.

  8. antfox says:

    I have been happy using a biro. I used to carry a fountain pen and/or a Rotring sketch pen, but these things are hard to get and expensive – and as I can be a wee bit careless about where I have left things (somewhere in a parallel universe there is a planet populated entirely with pens I have lost), I always go back to the biro.
    … So, I vote Biro!

    ps – lovely drawing!

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