I've recently been exploring, as a consumer and as a artist, the scope of tools I'd paid no attention to beforehand. And you know, when you start playing with something, you want to find inspiration...you want to know what infinite talent can do with the same tools, and WOW. Welcome to the world of the biro. Welcome to the Bic revolution (my exhaustive poll has proclaimed it master).

The picture at the top of this article is just that—a work by VianaArts made with a handful of scented ballpoint pens—I quote his words to me:

Bic ballpoint Pens are the best pens in the world. Period!

And with results like that, can you argue?

I don't know much about VianaArts—I stumbled across his stuff looking for examples of the medium and struck up a small conversation—to get a few words from him on the medium, and also to ask about his fannishness (you can see from his gallery that anything is a subject for $10 worth of pens—babies, ocelots, anything). I asked what he wanted to draw that he hadn't drawn yet, and now my fingers are crossed for Wolverine—again, this is the sort of photorealism that I get so much personality from that the photo part of it is hearkening to photographers, not snapshots, if that makes any sense.

Closer to (my) home, one of my favourite Supernatural artists is the person who tipped me off to the medium in the first place. Petite Madame works in just about everything—pencil, digital media, and the vaunted Bic. I asked her which ballpoint pictures she liked the most, and look at the line and shading in Castiel and Dean, and the blues in Stiles where she incorporates flat brushwork.


And because she gave me three suggestions and I'm head over heels in love with everything she does:

And she told me not to underestimate the "mundane" little ballpoint pen, and pointed me in the direction of one Juan Francisco Casas, who has nothing to do with fandom, but, wow...


I'm gonna go loot my pencil case and practice now, yeah?