Ball Point Pen Paintings by Shane McAdams

Ball Point Pen Paintings by Shane McAdams

Ball Point Pen Paintings by Shane McAdams

Ball Point Pen Paintings by Shane McAdams

Brooklyn based artist Shane McAdams is taking the ordinary and doing extraordinary things, namely, ball point pens. If you told me that Shane created the images above using just ball point pens I’d tell you that you were crazy. There’s so much depth in the color and shape, it nearly looks like something you’d have to make in Photoshop. I’d be really curious to hear how he makes these pieces, I don’t have the slightest idea. What I do know is that these are beautiful and I want them on my walls.

Found through Destroy Today


23 Comments Ball Point Pen Paintings by Shane McAdams

  1. TM September 28, 2011 at 11:16 PM

    They look a lot like paper chromatography (Google Images search here: but aside from the top image which is linear, I also have no idea how these images are created. They’re striking.

  2. Steven September 30, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    I think theyre created using just the INK of the ballpoint pen, not the actual pen themselves.

  3. Rob October 3, 2011 at 7:09 AM

    Looks like something I did way back in elementary school (as the first person said, chromatography). Involves putting the ink on paper of some sort and using a solvent, though if I remember right we just used water in my elementary class. Eventually the ink bleeds and creates a bunch of colors on the paper.

  4. Greg October 6, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    Interesting. Appears to be assisted by Gravity and Centrifugal Force. Perhaps mixed with a little water or solvent

  5. Rosehippi October 6, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    Excellent. #2 draws one in and seems to move if you look at it for a bit… almost meditative, soothing… I love the Technique…. It is not what is there so much as what is not… I Like them

  6. lini October 6, 2011 at 7:02 PM

    the second painting looks like pupil of an eye

  7. Verdevaquero October 7, 2011 at 10:10 AM

    Lennie Mace has been doing ballpoint pens artwork for years and with much more narrative. I don’t know if it’s on his website but his ballpoint Mona Lisa was dynamic.

  8. Jason October 7, 2011 at 9:01 PM

    I think i know how he he did this… pour in on to the paper or whatever then puts acrylic medium or whatever on a piece of glass then puts the glass on the paper and puts it into a hand press thing.

  9. TOVO October 8, 2011 at 8:22 AM

    Beautiful!! The first one is my favorite.

  10. Christine October 8, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    The last one is gorgeous!! It looks like a forest of trees from an interesting upside down angle.

  11. Evil Pundit October 8, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    I used to draw with a ballpoint when I was bored in school. Nothing as good as this, of course. But I learned that the ball point is more versatile than most people realise, and changing the pressure can yield a variety of shades.

  12. Ashok SenGupta October 8, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    It could be that the images are indeed drawn on paper with ball-point pens, and then a solvent is dropped on the paper or allowed to soak into it from one side, thereby liquefying, moving and diffusing the ink.

  13. Lori October 9, 2011 at 4:40 AM

    The last one IS gorgeous, Christine! It is reminiscent not only of a forest but also of rain streaking from clouds. It has a very “natural world” feel to it despite the “modern world” medium. The others don’t appeal to me as much; they seem a little gimmicky, but this one’s texture is amazing!

  14. Shannon October 9, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    Not to diminish his work at all, but you shouldn’t misrepresent the paintings either. Check out the artist’s site and you’ll see other amazing paintings and learn that they are actually multimedia works- he uses ink yes, but he also uses acrylic, oil, and even charcoal. McAdams is very talented at merging these different mediums seamlessly. I hope he keeps painting!

  15. Christopher Temares October 9, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    I’ve been using ball point pens, sharpies and crayons for as long as I can remember. Depending upon the method of application, some extraordinary textures can be rendered with results that are difficult to match with more ‘conventional’ medium.

  16. Jiseop Logan October 9, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    Very impressive! I love them!

  17. susan October 9, 2011 at 10:22 PM

    the second one totally trips me out… it plays tricks with my eyes and i love it. rare and beautiful. original and lovely. i want one.

  18. Kathleen Lemme October 10, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    These are some of the most beautiful pieces of Art. I’ve always said artists need to use more colors and finally, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL, MOST COLORFUL. These colors I would imagine will be in Heaven someday Great Job.You’ve done the most amazing Job ever. Keep bring this kind of Art and you will definitely will make yourself well known for all your Beauty.

  19. Joseph Cannon October 11, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    From a statement on the artist’s website:

    “For instance, my ball-point pen drawings appear at first to be finely rendered, time-consuming compositions, when in fact they are made by blowing the ink through the a tube and atomizing it.”

    At least this gives us some clue as to how he does it. If he buys a new pen for every “line,” these are expensive works to produce.

    It would make more sense to buy ink by the bottle and use just a few tubes for application.

  20. fun4life October 12, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    These drawings are very eye-catching and creative. Who says that it takes a certain medium to make beautiful art? Love it!

  21. MikelArtist October 12, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    And to think that people go into a store to buy cheap printed art instead of original art. When they do, it hurts all artists out here trying to paint for the masses. Good job showing what original art can do for the masses !!

  22. Gaurav M December 4, 2011 at 7:20 AM

    immersion!!!! oh man!

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