AIR MAIL: Ballpoint Birds on Antique Letters
4 Lessons – Videos and Printables

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Artists around the world are discovering this unexpectedly beautiful drawing tool: a simple disposable ballpoint pen can create rich textures and soft, subtle shading with a look that resembles vintage illustration.

In this mini course, we’ll learn ballpoint drawing basics (including how to tint your work with colored pencil) and then polish those skills in short practice exercises. The practice lesson includes a session on drawing leaves and bark, so your birds will have places to perch.

Next, with step-by-step guidance we’ll create three finished bird drawings on antique paper backgrounds. I will provide a collection of high-quality scans of antique letters and papers, so you can print your favorites directly from the course website.

The course is hosted on a private, password-protected website, and your access will never expire.

No extra art supplies required! Here’s the tiny supply list. 🙂

1. A stick pen

Any BIC plain stick pen (no clicker, just a cheap plastic disposable) will work well. There are lots of different handle styles (BIC Crystal is clear, for example) but the ink and tip is the same. BLACK ink.

2. A click pen

Any inexpensive ballpoint with a clicker button that retracts the point. Many of mine are free pens handed out by businesses. Must have BLACK ink.

3.  2B drawing pencil, any brand.

4.  Kneaded eraser

5.  Several sheets of regular white copy paper

4.  4 sheets of white cardstock

5.  A small set of colored pencils, any type you like. (I will be using Prismacolor in the videos.) Be sure your colored pencils include the following colors: a primary blue (such as True Blue in Prismacolor); a rusty reddish brown (such as Burnt Sienna, Sienna Brown, or Terra Cotta) and white. The other colors can be any shade.

6.  You will need access to a printer, to print the antique letter backgrounds on your cardstock.