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2020 March Art Dare


Create an artwork using ballpoint pen! Feel free to combine ballpoint pen with any other art media.

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Post your artwork on Instagram, tag us  w/ #artprofdare. Or, post on our Facebook page. We feature your submissions on our Instagram too!  Submissions close Tues., March 31 @ 11:59pm EST



Mia Rozear

“While I’m drawing, my mind tends to wander, and I allow my hand to move and capture wherever my thought process ends up. These drawings are a type of self-reflection through mark-making.”

Ballpoint Pen Drawing, Amelia Rozear

Mia’s Drawing Process

“Typically when I make one of these drawings, my hand just needs to move, and I let it. I sketch out the big shapes very very lightly with the pen, so that if I want to adjust lines later, I can.

Before making darker adjustments, I always finish my light sketch first to make sure the composition is balanced, as well as checking the design from all different angles.  After this, I go in with the ballpoint using slightly more pressure.”

Ballpoint Pen Drawing, Amelia Rozear

Developing the Drawing

“If I am satisfied with a portion of the drawing, I will darken the lines that make up big shapes, and fill them in any way I want– blacking them out, shading them with light lines, etc.

I use this process throughout the entire drawing, the whole time moving my eyes around the paper to make sure the composition still feels balanced.”

Ballpoint Pen Drawing, Amelia Rozear

Warming up to Draw

“Sometimes I will warm up before starting a bigger drawing. In my case, this means loosening up my wrist to make free and dynamic marks. I do this in my sketchbook or on scrap sheets of paper lying around. Sometimes if I make an interesting shape with a line during my warm up, I will try and incorporate it into my final design.”


“I also tend to look for interesting shapes in nature or around me in everyday life to start out with. For example, one of my favorite blue ballpoint mindscapes was based off of the shape of my friend’s shoe!

I typically never want recognizable shapes in these drawings, so I only use them as a jumping off point, but it’s still a good way to incorporate interesting shapes when starting out.”

Ballpoint Pen Drawing, Amelia Rozear

Types of Ballpoint Pens

“I have used so many different brands of ballpoint throughout my drawing experiences, and even though this might sound weird, I prefer cheap, every-day pens to super expensive ones. My favorite ballpoint pen to use I found on the floor of a hotel!

Regular pens are great because you can buy them in bulk, and they’ll last you for years. If I had to pick a brand to recommend, I would say any kind of Cirrus pen, just because they allow for a great variety in value, and are very smooth to work with. 

No matter what brand of ballpoint you choose, definitely keep a scrap of paper nearby. This is to wipe up any excess ink that gathers on the tip of the pen while you draw. It might seem strange to do this, but there is no worse feeling than to have a great drawing in progress and then have a glob of excess ink smear across the whole thing.”

Ballpoint Pen Drawing, Amelia Rozear

Hand Position

“While you draw, pay attention to where your hand is positioned in comparison to your paper. My hand tends to sit right on the surface, and I end up smearing ink all over myself and the drawing. 

Finally, make sure to ALWAYS start light and layer your values! Practice on a scrap sheet of paper, applying the smallest amount of pressure you can that still gives you a mark.

It can be easy to want to jump right into crazy dark marks right away, but starting lightly gives you freedom to make changes later on, and helps to create a rich sense of value in the final product.”


We award prizes and honorable mentions.To be eligible for a prize, your artwork must be created specifically for this Art Dare, and follow all guidelines.


Art Dare winner
Artists in the US will receive a giant box of art supplies. International artists will get to choose from a portfolio critique, an artist website critique, or an artist Instagram critique!

Honorable Mention
Artists in the US will receive art supplies, international artists will receive 3 months free in our Facebook Critique Group.

Art Supplies

Sample of art supplies for the Art Dare winner
(US residents only)
We do not specify exactly what art supplies you will receive, however, you can see a list of the art companies who provide supplies for us here. 

Caran d'Ache Crayons, General Charcoal Pack

Sample of art supplies for the Honorable Mention winner
(US residents only)
We do not specify exactly what art supplies you will receive, however, you can see a list of the art companies who provide supplies for us here. 

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