Shirish Deshpande gives the ballpoint pen a novel status

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Art for Shirish Deshpande is food for the soul. It encompasses his whole being, saturates the soul. Art inspires, illuminates, encourages, surprises, excites, provokes, calms, elevates emotionally as well as spiritually and connects soul to soul.

Ballpoint pens are known to be the biggest spoilers of one’s handwriting, it is said. But after seeing this you will have to change that saying.

Shirish Deshpande from Belagavi creates beautiful pictures on canvas using ballpoint pens. It is just amazing, the pictures speak to you and unless told you will not recognize they have been made by using a ballpoint pen.

Shirish Deshpande ball point pen paintingsIn 2008, Shirish started painting again. One day, with his one-foot by-one-foot hardboard waiting, he readied to approach it with his brush but instead picked up a multi-colored ballpoint pen and started hatching. Several layers and a one-and-a-half day later, he finished his first ballpoint ‘painting.’ He was astonished by the result and got down to make four more.

As an artist, the process of creating the artwork is important to him but he refuses to accept the limitations imposed by rules. Shirish wants to work in all styles and delve through many subjects and then draw conclusions at his own pace. Right now, he “paints” with the ballpoint pen. Some may also call it a drawing or an illustration. It is not important what it is called. He has found that the simple ball pen with its fine line has a huge potential in allowing the artist to express his or her thoughts and emotions. Unlike painting with a brush, where a single stroke can cover a large area with color, pen lines are very thin and there is a sense of creation at every stroke. It is very challenging to create innumerable tones by combining the limited available colors in ballpoint pens. He needs to draw millions of lines to make his painting come alive!

Shirish Deshpande ball point pen paintings

His subject matter deals with landscapes, portraits as well as stylizations. Light plays a very important role in creating the required drama to draw the viewer into another world. It could be a rustic village home or then dancing crops against a dramatic skyline. Towering boulders astound him and sometimes a coy girl in all her innocence finds her way on to his canvas. He paints with the motive that he will finally achieve the result he initially had in his mind. Simple subject matter, good composition, the boldness of forms, delicate line work and a little dramatization play a key role in the impact, on the viewer.

He did his schooling from Beynon Smith High School, Belagavi and then passed out with a G.D.Art in Applied Arts from Abhinav Kala Vidyalay, Pune. For about 27 years he has worked in the field of Communication Design and applied his creative talent in rendering a variety of artworks for a number of clients which included Graphic design in all its variety, Architectural delineations, 3D models etc. He was also involved in creating some of the world’s best software user interfaces at Deltra Software.

Shirish Deshpande ball point pen paintingsAfter years of designing for varied people, he concluded that he needed an outlet that would help him realize his creative potential in a more satisfying way. Art for Shirish like for many other people became the most meaningful part of life and a source of much fun and relaxation.

Shirish Deshpande ball point pen paintingsAnything that touches my heart through the eyes especially the effects of light, appeals to me to be the subject of my paintings. But The city of Belagavi lacks a good Art gallery, we have created awareness with World Art day events and others to give scope to the local artists but with no proper art gallery it becomes difficult for artists to have their exhibitions, Shirish added.

6 thoughts on “Shirish Deshpande gives the ballpoint pen a novel status”

  1. More power to this great artist, and son of Belgaum. A very humble person who is willing to listen with a smile. Don’t underestimate his musical abilities.

  2. Those paintings are really wonderful. They give the impression of a real photo image. Really creative. Congratulations on discovering a new art form.


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