Ballpoint pens, while seemingly ordinary, are many artist’s go-to tools for creating rich, beautiful, and life-like illustrations. Unlike other tools, ballpoint pens can produce modulated values and a dynamic range of line weights, allowing everything from ghostly soft lines to dramatic graphic marks.
Calligraphy is a classic way of handwriting that has turned into a modern art form as well as a growing trend in the creative world. The purpose of calligraphy is to create beautiful and decorative words that can be used on anything from letters, cards, or handwritten signs. While it may seem like a simple thing to learn, or something that you can just jump into, the process of learning calligraphy takes time and effort to practice and perfect. If you are thinking of beginning a journey into hand lettering, here are a few tips that you should know before starting.
By Emily Colledge of @sugar_coated_canvas
Hello! It’s Emily of @sugar_coated_canvas and I’m here today to share how to create—or more specifically, illustrate—the perfect meal for the holiday season using recipe art. These recipe art cards are perfect to have on display during your next holiday get-together. I was so excited when Zebra Pen asked me to team up with them to create this blog post. I love combining food and art. Let’s get started!
By Jerome of kulorbandit
It’s that time of year again when we put down our pencils and pick up our favorite ink pens in anticipation of Inktober®. My name is Jerome (aka kulorbandit), an artist based in Phoenix, AZ, and today I’ll be showing you which Zebra Pen tools I like to use for the Inktober® challenge and for illustrating in general, and how I like to use them. So, let’s get started!
By: Artist Ambassador Sandra Strait
Hello! I’m Sandra from lifeimitatesdoodles. Today, I’m going to show you how to create a realistic illustration that pops on black paper with Zebra Pen products. We’ll be drawing a Fennec fox. It’s about the size of a chihuahua and is a nocturnal desert animal. Let’s get started!
For kids, summer vacation means playing outside, staying up late and hanging out with friends. Kids often associate writing with work and school and view it as a daunting activity, rather than something that can be done for leisure and fun. This summer, make writing and drawing fun for your child with these tips.
According to PsychCentral, “writing is a magical medium.” Writing serves as a vehicle for communication, connection and creativity. It also gives kids an activity that fosters learning and growth. This summer, show kids that writing is not only an educational tool, but also a fun way to think independently and be creative in their spare time.
Have your kids reflect on their favorite summer activities or topics that they enjoy through writing and drawing. Allow them to think freely as they practice handwriting, grammar, mechanics and more with quiet writing time at the end of the day.
Keep Creative Tools on Hand
Zebra creates products specifically with kids in mind! Try our Zensations Colored Pencils available in 24 rich colors and created for easy control while writing, coloring, or sketching. These mechanical colored pencils are also refillable.
Boost Reading Comprehension
Allow your child to select a book of their choice, and encourage them to reflect on their favorite characters, favorite part of the book, and what they learned. He or she could write a letter to one of the characters, write from a character’s perspective, or write an alternate ending or scene.
Encourage kids draw pictures of animals, places, or people and write a story that corresponds with the pictures they created. Giving them the opportunity to create the whole story themselves will show them that writing and drawing can be fun.
Don’t forget to show your support for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums this summer by participating in our art sweepstakes! To enter, you or your kids may draw their favorite animal (real or imaginary) then tag Zebra Pen on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, and use the hashtag: #FromAToZebra. Winners will receive our whole Zensations art line, and the winning drawings will appear on our website.
Learning New Words
Challenge your kids to use new words each week. Teach them a word a day and have them write sentences or stories using that word. Keep them interested by using vocabulary words that relate to their favorite things such as animals, sports, and more.
By: Alice Hendon
Anyone has the power to experience art by following instructions and using the right tools. By following this step by step tutorial, you too can draw the beautiful Grevy’s zebra!
There are many free sites online where you can download photos to use when illustrating. I knew I wanted to draw head and shoulders, so I found five photos of Grevy’s zebras in poses that were cohesive with the vision I had in my head.
I drew my zebras using a light box. Light boxes are an excellent way to learn how to draw, transfer and trace with ease regardless of skill level. If you don’t have a light box, I recommend using a bright light on a glass tabletop.
Take the photo you want to use and place it on the light box.
Then, place a sheet of regular computer paper on top and turn on the light. The light box will shine light through the image and through the paper placed on top, allowing you to trace the outline of the zebra.
Using the Zebra STEEL M-301 Mechanical Pencil, begin drawing over the lines of the zebra on the left. I used the main photo of the two zebras for the head, and the photo showcasing the side view of the shoulder and upper hip for the rest of the body.
For the second zebra, I wanted the head to be more front facing. I used the third image I saved and using the light box, added it to the pencil sketch.
For the body of the zebra, I used the same photo I began with, flipping the image over to draw the reverse side. The really great thing about light boxes is they can handle just about any thin to medium weight layer.
Now, for the fun part. Place the computer sheet image sketched in pen on the light box first. Next, place a sheet of white cardstock on top of the computer paper and turn the light on. This will allow you to see the design underneath, and sketch your zebra on a higher quality paper. Use the STEEL M-301 Mechanical Pencil to sketch the zebra stripes onto your final copy.
Here is my final pencil sketch on the heavier cardstock.
Use the black Sarasa Fineliner and the Technical Drawing Pens to go over pencil lines and fill in the stripes. The brown Sarasa Fineliner works well for the coloring in the eyes. The 0.1 Technical Drawing Pen is ideal for the little fine lines in the mane that are so distinctive to the Grevy’s zebra.
Continue filling in the stripes, going over pencil lines and adding details.
Now, use the M-301 Mechanical Pencil to add shading to my zebras, giving the illustration dimension. Use a paper tortillon to blend in the pencil shading.Take a final look at your zebras and add any stripes, shading or details you see fit. I hope this encourages you to embark on your own creative journey!
Check out more of Alice Hendon’s work at alicehendon.com.