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How to Draw with a Ballpoint Pen. Sketching Instruction, Creativity Starters, and Fantastic Things to Draw ( PDFDrive ) Flipbook PDF

How to Draw with a Ballpoint Pen. Sketching Instruction, Creativity Starters, and Fantastic Things to Draw ( PDFDrive )


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How to Draw with a

Proof 1

BALLPOINT PEN

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B Translation © 2017 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc. The original German edition was published as Kuli Kunst. Copyright © 2016 frechverlag GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany (www.frechverlag.de) This edition is published by arrangement with Claudia Böhme Rights & Literary Agency, Hannover, Germany (www.agency-boehme.com). First published in the United States of America in 2017 by Quarry Books, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc. 100 Cummings Center Suite 406-L Beverly, Massachusetts 01915-6101 Telephone: (978) 282-9590 Fax: (978) 283-2742 QuartoKnows.com Visit our blogs at QuartoKnows.com All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the copyright owners. All images in this book have been reproduced with the knowledge and prior consent of the artists concerned, and no responsibility is accepted by producer, publisher, or printer for any infringement of copyright or otherwise, arising from the contents of this publication. Every effort has been made to trace the copyright holders and ensure that credits accurately comply with information supplied. We apologize for any inaccuracies that may have occurred and will resolve inaccurate or missing information in a subsequent reprinting of the book. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

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ISBN: 978-1-63159-317-8 Digital edition: 978-1-63159-385-7 Softcover edition: 978-1-63159-317-8 Cover and Book Design: Katrin Röhlig Cover Image: Gecko Keck Photography: Gerhard Wörner Illustration: Gecko Keck Printed in China

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How to Draw with a

BALLPOINT PEN Sketching Instruction, Creativity Starters, and Fantastic Things to Draw

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Gecko Keck

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Foreword Simple but ingenious. On the tip of a fine, ink-filled tube rotates a tiny ball that, while writing or drawing, transfers color to a surface. Starting out with ideas that date back to Galileo Galilei and brought to perfection by Hungarian László József Bíró, the ballpoint pen set out on a triumphal procession around the whole world, a success story which has not yet come to an end. Sometimes while drawing at night, I stared out the window lost in thought, looking for new ideas. At those moments, our earth appeared to me to be just like a tiny ball rotating in the infinite black-blue expanse of the universe. With that crazy comparison in mind, I started to anticipate that there are more possibilities for a ballpoint pen than just taking quick notes or filling in forms. Could it be that even worlds of art and unknown creative scopes of design are hidden beneath the tiny ball? My answer to this question is in this book, which is a collection of drawings from many weeks and months. If you would like, start your own work right away, draw along, or get inspired by the various approaches presented. This is not only an instruction book. While flipping through, it should help you look at the ballpoint pen as a creative tool and awaken the desire to start using it. Have fun reading and drawing.

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Yours, Gecko

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Contents Few Lines with Big Impact Page 12

Areas and Gradations Page 14

Patchwork—An Artistic Ballpoint Pen Carpet Page 16

The Magical Circle Page 18

In the Depths of the Ocean Page 20

The Spiral of Materials Page 22

My Hamster Is a Chameleon Page 24

In the Labyrinth of Lines Page 26

Pictogram, Wherever the Eye Looks Page 28

Upside Down World Page 30

Flower Magic Page 32

On the Tracks of Abstract Art Page 36

Microcosms Page 38

The Micro-Insanity Goes On Page 42

Typography Page 46 Proof 1

A First Stress Test Page 10

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Comics, the First Steps Page 52

Comics, the Next Steps Page 54

Comics, Artwork and Style Variations Page 56

My Life Is a Comic! Page 58

Surreal Worlds Page 62

Attack of the Dust Mites Page 64

Other Surreal Techniques and Fantasy Worlds Page 66

A Small Technical Slide-In Page 72

An Abstract Diary Page 74

Modern Dream Homes Page 76

Perspective…or Not? Page 78

Everything Cubic Page 80

A Ruin Becomes a Fantasy Palace Page 82

Sketch a Project Page 84

Pixelized Pixels Page 86

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Dropped Capital Page 48

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Pixel Art Meets Hollywood Icons Page 88

Crazy Collages Page 90

Scribbly Page 92

Back to Innocence Page 100

Scraps of Paper Page 104

Message for a Successor to the Throne Page 108

Lasting Memories Page 110

The Culture Machinery Page 112

Monsters Hunt Butterflies Page 114

When the Mailman Rings… Page 116

Observing and Caricature Page 120

Photorealism Page 122

Levels of Difficulty You can do it

This is hard

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This is simple

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Tool Test

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All of This Is Possible with a Ballpoint Pen.

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The first test already features an abstract ballpoint pen picture.

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A First Stress Test Who hasn’t doodled, written, or drawn with a ballpoint pen? Ballpoint pens are found everywhere—in every office, every household, and even at schools. But what else can you do with these pens other than fill out forms or write down notes? First, let‘s subject pen and paper to a small stress test. Apply the ink to the paper as thick as possible by drawing lines that get denser. The paper will start to curl, maybe even threaten to rip, but it will achieve an interesting gloss.

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Finally, closed areas will emerge, but irregularities in the color application remain, as you can see in the picture on the left.

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Few Lines with Big Impact A few small drawing exercises in the beginning will teach you skills for later. Various forms of lines, parallel shading, cross-hatching, doodle shading, and gradients from a dark-pen blue to the white of the paper. Everything can be tested.

Various forms of lines

Wide and dense

Fast and curved

Thin and dashed

Doodled

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Interrupted

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Cross-hatching: For this, too, all lines are drawn parallel. For finer gradations, draw more on top of the first lines going in the other direction.

Doodle shading: A line mesh created by doodling random lines.

Parallel shading: All lines run parallel.

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Shading techniques

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Areas and Gradations You can draw color gradients surprisingly well with a ballpoint pen. There are two ways to do so: One is a fast, sketchy progression, and the other is a subtle, fine gradation. This page shows both possibilities. Wide gradation

Dense gradation

Dashed gradation

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Dotty gradation

These first illustrations show fast, sketched gradients from blue to white using lines, interrupted lines, and dots.

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Fine Gradients and Shading Techniques These illustrations show very fine gradations. For this effect, you must hold the ballpoint pen very straight and draw very fast—especially for the light shading.

Little pressure

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Lots of pressure

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Patchwork—An Artistic Ballpoint Pen Carpet The first lines alone can be combined creatively into an interesting picture. The patchwork on page 17 consists of various technical finger exercises and evolved into an abstract composition. Some squares resemble materials such as stone, brick, tile, and cotton.

Step 1: Draw a square.

Step 2: Draw your first lines.

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Step 3: Develop a structure using the lines.

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Abstract patchwork

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The Magical Circle Circles are the starting point for many designs. That’s why outlining clean circles in all sizes is a type of “drawing gymnastics” you can use to loosen up. With the help of the shading techniques shown on page 15, the simple circle (top left on this page and the next) becomes a ball. In the following variations, you’ll find many new creative experiences once again; for example, abstract, modified circles; circles that become graphic stylized faces; circles with gears; and pizza slices.

Examples of circles with patterns

Examples of circles with faces

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Examples of circles with shading

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Funny circle pictures

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In the Depths of the Ocean The things you've learned so far offer an amazing variety of design possibilities. Here is another really basic form example—a fish. These shapes are great areas for abstract patterns and ornamental forms. New sea worlds with imaginative creatures emerge. The more you let go of things from nature, the more interesting it becomes.

Step 1: Draw a simple, basic fish shape.

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Step 2: Fill in the areas with patterns.

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Step 3: Complete your deep sea picture by adorning it with other ornamental fish.

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This basic spiral form already shows a transition from wood to scales.

The Spiral of Materials

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The depiction of materials and structures, such as wood, stone, fur, or feathers, is fundamental to creating complex and realistic illustrations. The spiral is perfect for practicing these structures, and anybody who dares can try to draw fluent transitions from one texture to the next.

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Wood

Scales

Smooth surface Feathers

Knobs Stubble

Stone Horn shield

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If the textures are drawn well, it almost seems as if you could feel the textures.

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My Hamster Is a Chameleon Following the free-form drawing, patterns, and first material tests, we’re getting a bit more specific now. An even better way to test out different surfaces can be done with the help of a cute animal. Simply draw the outline of a small animal multiple times and then draw the textures (e.g., hair, bristles, folds, or feathers).

Step 1: With a few lines, sketch a hamster.

Step 2: Shape the surface.

Step 3: Fill the entire surface with the desired texture.

Pudgy hamster

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Short-hair hamster

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Scaly hamster

Bristle hamster

Knob hamster

Feathered hamster

Hedgehog hamster

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Different kinds of skin and fur make the animal appear new every time and even surreal in some instances. Long-hair hamster

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In the Labyrinth of Lines If you would like to become more confident in your line drawing, the following exercise is useful. Drawing various line structures and a narrow labyrinth require high concentration because no line is supposed to touch another. Similar to the Patchwork section on page 17, abstract image compositions emerge.

Tight labyrinth

Wide, rounded labyrinth

Round labyrinth

Note the differences between tight and wide ballpoint pen labyrinths, round and angular, as well as big and small ones.

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Triangle labyrinth

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Other variations of line labyrinths

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Pictogram, Wherever the Eye Looks Few designs reflect the spirit of the times like small symbols, pictograms, icons, or buttons. Be it in the digital world, at school, or at work, your computer, tablet, and smartphone screens are filled with tiny pictures. It is fun to draw big things as small as possible. At the same time, it is quite the art to be able to draw entire worlds within the size of a stamp or even smaller.

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Small animals are especially well-suited for versatile usage on invitations, in school notebooks, in presentations, and much more.

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Mini-fruits are especially , fun to draw because they re known from an early age-bananas, apples, cherries, and pears are some of the first things we tried drawing.

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Even different landscapes can be depicted in a mini format, from hill, forest, and mountain landscapes to city and village landscapes.

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Upside Down World First draw basic shapes of different things, for example, bottles, balloons, or cars. Then get inspired by the initial shapes and turn them into something completely different, such as this freak parade.

The car tu rns into a bearded fr eak with gl asses.

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A bottle becomes a guy with a huge nose.

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An octopus becomes a dolled-up diva.

kind of guy. a scarecrow to in ed rn tu A balloon is

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An apple tu rns into a goblin with blazing ha ir.

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Flower Magic After so many tiny and quirky topics, let’s take a leap into another theme: the flower world, blossoms, and decorative ornaments. Here, too, first drafts can be developed from really simple, basic shapes. But if you like, you can let the forms grow out beyond the edges.

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A few lines can be turned into fantasy blossoms.

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Floral Ornaments Using the different techniques and graphic depictions from the previous pages (i.e., spirals, blossoms, and shading), magical and seemingly poetic motifs can now be created. These are suitable for a variety of things, including invitations and table decorations or wall designs and tattoos.

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In the first step, the single blossoms are arranged and then beautifully decorated.

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Graphic Floral Ornaments

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In contrast to the flower ornaments on pages 32–33, these ornaments are created graphically, which means they consist of spirals and simple leaf forms. From a technical standpoint, these lines are more controlled and drawn slower. These kinds of motifs are great for illustrating books.

Simple structures with outgrowing spirals from one strand

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Finished graphic floral ornaments

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On the Tracks of Abstract Art To promote creativity further, we’ll take another big leap—this time into abstract art. Because what looks simple is, in reality, one of the hardest things to accomplish—a completely nonrepresentational drawing. A quickly and randomly doodled web of lines creates your starting point. This doodle can be turned into an abstract drawing by using all of the previously shown graphic techniques.

In a close up detail, it is easier to see how the areas are filled in.

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The web of lines should start out as random as possible. If it seems difficult, simply close your eyes while drawing.

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By using shapes and shading, an abstract image composition emerges.

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Microcosms Let’s come back up from a dive into the world of the abstract and jump right into miniature graphics and microcosms. Pictograms accompany everyday life nonstop—be it on packaging, technical devices, or in the media. Pictograms offer instructions, help, and orientation. But can they be turned into art? On these pages, you’ll see how small pictogram images are created in a few steps with fine shading and small details. On pages 40–41, you'll find a whole pictogram carpet, partially drawn with a red ballpoint pen to make it a bit more diverse.

Proof 1

Mini-pictures in steps

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In the first step, a really simple shape or line is recognizable without any connection to an object. In the second step, however, you realize what it will be after only two or three lines have been added. In the third step, you’ll discover the finished image.

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Even more mini-pictures shown with their steps

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The Micro-Insanity Goes On The illustrations on pages 42–45 are very time-consuming, the progress is very slow, and they require a lot of concentration. What insanity took hold of me when I started these drawings? Well, as it is most often, insanity comes step by step. My first thought was to continue with the circles from page 19 and create countless mini-faces. Then I decided to turn it into an area, which appears uniform at first glance. Although, in reality, no two faces or masks are alike. Looking at it from a creative point of view, such an illustration is an excellent performance test because you’ll need hundreds of different design ideas in a small format.

First faces emerge.

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The details reveal the variety of faces.

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Der fertige Gesichterund Maskenteppich

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Animal insanity

Of the three variations, the most complicated one is the animal jumble. No mark is coincidental, even if it does appear that way. Every line, no matter how small, is part of an animal. This illustration is placed vertically on purpose so all of the animal insanity is better visible.

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Letter soup à la graphic style

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For this variation, the basic idea is built on letters. New ideas for letterforms are constantly needed. You can drive the viewer even crazier by adding small messages (shown in red) into the vast mix of letters.

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Typography Let’s turn toward a very different theme: fonts. The art of typography has centuries-long traditions. It goes back to the earliest human history, in the Middle Ages with the invention of the letterpress through Gutenberg, and typography reaches new heights today with digital images and text editing that make the possibilities even greater.

Designed letters made up of various materials

Why not create your own fonts? Graph paper is a big help because the lines can be used for orientation.

Proof 1

Different computer fonts redrawn

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Letters in various styles and different sizes--time to experiment

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Dropped Capital A dropped capital is the first letter of a text, such as books, magazines, or digital media, that is made bigger or bolder than the rest. Back in the days when books were still copied by hand, like in the Middle Ages, these ornamental first letters were often very artistic and spread across whole pages. Dropped capitals are still around today—especially in the fantasy genre, which is really fitting, because these letters are great for fantasy creations. There are no limits to the scope of design.

The first sketch for the letter "D"

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Initial details through shading

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The finished dropped capital

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Comics and More What Else Can a Ballpoint Pen Do? think

...

hmmm

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gulp

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hey!

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hey!

Comics, the First Steps Drawing comics is its own form of art. It has long been underestimated, but today, comics are everywhere, be it on television, in digital media, or in printed form. Getting into drawing comics is not that hard if you start with simple shapes. Circles and ovals, for example, make good bases for figures. Afterwards, you can try to animate the comic character and draw funny, lively faces.

huh?

...

hmmm

gulp

think

Proof 1

This crazy headfooter started out with a simple circle.

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This mouse started out as an oval.

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Just like a building set, funny guys can be created with simple geometric shapes.

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In the next steps, the gang can be refined and details are added.

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Comics, the Next Steps This is just like being back at school! Boring classes and the notebook is already being used for other things—things that are more fun. Graph paper is really great for drawing comics, because it is easier to read the proportions of a figure and easier to transpose the design into other poses.

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The three elephants in this collage clearly show how different the design of one character can be.

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Detailed comic picture, cleaned up and finalized

Comics, Artwork and Style Variations

Proof 1

A comic image is finalized. Starting out with the sketch and a ballpoint pen, fine artwork is created as the comic subject is drawn, cleaned up, and finalized. To do so, all techniques shown until this point can be used. You can also add a name to the figures. These two boys, the tall girl, and the dog are dubbed “Four.”

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Free and loose shading style variation: For this, force yourself to draw quicker and be less precise as you add the shading. That's how the stroke becomes looser.

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Graphic and reduced style variation: The shading is added very consciously, precisely, and slowly to give the whole comic a cool, controlled look.

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My Life Is a Comic! These days, people spend a lot of time reflecting on their lives and making it public via social media. The platforms are booming, and selfies are a popular way to capture and share special moments in life. A good old, secretly kept diary seems to have gone out of style. But why not combine various illustration possibilities and create a comic story based on one’s life? It could be scanned or photographed and then made public digitally, too. A pair of circle-comics emerge.

Step 1: Two circles Step 2: Two circles and few lines for the body Step 3: The finished circle-stick person

Proof 1

Of course, the figures could look very different from an everyday comic, as these examples show.

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Proof 1

Draw a few practice themes with the figures and then we can get started.

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Proof 1

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Proof 1

Who likes to draw stories of everything that life has to offer? Sometimes it’s funny to add a mood barometer just like the one on top of the right page. That’s how the calendar can be used as a diary as well— anything happening in life can be captured visually.

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Surreal Worlds Surrealism is an art form that pulls inspiration from dreams, the unconsciousness, or absurd and fantasy-like things. The crossover from comic-style to surrealism is fluid, even if the creative influences are different. Nonetheless, in surrealistic painting as well as in comics, things or beings that do not exist in reality are often portrayed. For a long time, comic art has been a good example of this.

Step 1: Sketch of a small strawberry

Step 2: Oops, the pineapple suddenly has a face!

Step 3: That's how they're turned into the Three Strawberry Amigos.

Step 3: The Pineapple Punk is finished.

Proof 1

Step 1: Sketch of a normal pineapple

Step 2: Suddenly it's two and you start to see faces.

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Proof 1

That's how fruits come to life.

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Attack of the Dust Mites With this idea, comics and surrealism are combined into a funny image. Simple shapes evolve into peculiar creatures. As if observing them through a microscope, everything appears really close and it seems as though we’re invading a world of small beasts.

Proof 1

Here are a bunch of simple forms, which seem like single-cell organisms, amoebae, or bacteria.

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Proof 1

A whole world of dust mites! It really doesn't matter what the little beasts look like.

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Other Surreal Techniques and Fantasy Worlds Some people may still remember the technique used on these pages from art class (the technical term is “frottage”), but surrealists have applied it too. Put a piece of paper on top of a rough surface like wood, wicker, or another really rough surface and go over it vigorously with a ballpoint pen. This will create a texture on the paper. Get inspired by the abstract areas and create something new. If holes appear in the paper, try to incorporate them into the art.

First graphic add-ons

Original texture

Proof 1

Finished: The yucky creepy-crawler

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Original rippled texture

Limbs are added.

Proof 1

Finished: The odd prehistoric animal with google eyes

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More complex image compositions can be created this way as well by combining different textures in an organized way.

Various sized areas and shapes with different textures

Proof 1

The detail nicely shows the texture of the surface, in this case a vegetable grater.

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Proof 1

The shapes are turned into a landscape just like one from an apocalyptic sci-fi movie.

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The motif for this theme was coincidental, because it started as nothing more than a test paper. Through mostly unconscious doodling, an odd picture eventually emerged, and it reminded me of cracked wood.

Additions of perspective turn it into a finished picture (right).

It starts out as a test paper for textures.

Proof 1

The textures are recognizable in the detail and resemble wood.

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Proof 1

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A Small Technical Slide-In Until now, almost all of this book’s themes were drawn in the two-dimensional plane. The last few started to show small perspective and three-dimensional play. Let’s take a closer look at three-dimensionality, because more knowledge about useful drawing techniques never hurts.

This shows how two-dimensional representations of a triangle, a circle, and a rectangle are first turned into flat threedimensional forms. In the bottom row, they're turned into a cone, a ball, and a cylinder with shading techniques.

Two-dimensional

Three-dimensional flat

Proof 1

Fully three-dimensional

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Light from above

Light skewed from the side

Light from the side. The shadow becomes really long. Light from behind

Light and shadow are important for a three-dimensional design, which is why you should always try to envision where the light is coming from and where the darkly drawn shadow falls.

Proof 1

Light skewed from below.

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An Abstract Diary To have an even looser way of working with geometric forms, here is an idea for an abstract drawing that has a hidden meaning. Small areas of text are included, lending the essence of a diary. The experiences of a day (or a week) become a picture, and life an abstract gallery.

Proof 1

The original simple geometric shapes

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Proof 1

The German text makes it clear that the finished abstract image is about a summer's day. Particular attention should be paid to the text design. In this image, the font sizes and font widths vary greatly from line to line.

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Modern Dream Homes—Construction vs. Fantasy There are always two ways to approach an idea: with the mind and with the heart. The mind could give you clear, simple structures, while the heart builds castles in the air. Both are visible on this page. Who doesn’t sometimes dream of a modern, luxury home? With a few lines and basic geometric shapes, futuristic houses are conceptualized. Domed house Peaked-roof house

Ball tower house Stone house

Modern church

Proof 1

UFO house

Conceptualized modern architecture in a mini format

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Soap bubble house

Horn house

Flower house

Fan house

In contrast, there are no boundaries for these houses—neither for structural engineering calculations nor regarding the materials used. The ideas are solely guided by fantasy without any consideration to ever build it.

(

Proof 1

d

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Perspective…Or Not? Most of us learned about perspective in school—but maybe only a few people had fun with it. Well, for some things, understanding comes later on. Because perspective depictions open unknown possibilities, for many the attitude toward it changes—and, suddenly, it is interesting. Let’s start with the four basic forms of perspective:

1. Isometric Perspective: All lines running opposite to each other are parallel.

Proof 1

2. One-Point Perspective: In space, all lines running toward the back vanish into one point on the horizon.

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4. Three-Point Perspective: Various lines vanish into two points on the horizon and the third vanishing point clearly sits below or above the horizon.

Proof 1

3. Two-Point Perspective: In space, all lines running toward the back vanish into two points on the horizon.

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Everything Cubic Just an FYI: As an illustrator, you can manage pretty well with simple isometric perspective images or occasionally with the one-point perspective. The two-point and threepoint perspectives are only needed for special depictions, which are not themes in this book. It is fun to start out drawing building blocks and simply letting the motifs grow. And it is the most fun when playing with the perspective knowingly, as with this King Kong theme.

Proof 1

Simple isometric perspective exercises and King Kong sitting on the top of a bending building (right).

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Proof 1

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A Ruin Becomes a Fantasy Palace What do math scrap paper and a factory abandoned for decades have in common? The ballpoint pen brings them together, drafting it into a fantasy palace on the scrap paper. Sometimes it is good to graphically dream away reality. Even just a little knowledge about perspective is enough. We’re ready to go. Photo of the old factory

Proof 1

First lines on the scrap paper

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Proof 1

Finished sketch of the fantasy palace

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Sketch a Project Very different possibilities will open up to anybody who has a bit of knowledge about perspective drawing. A few quick, successful lines can be drawn on paper during a presentation. With a little time, it would be easy to give personal ideas shape and form. These sketches show the wish of a little house by the sea— the basic architectural ideas are visible.

Proof 1

Complete floor plan in a mini format with a few details

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Proof 1

Complete exterior view, details, and the floor plan for a bathroom

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Proof 1

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Pixelized Pixels Who hasn’t, during a phone call, unconsciously doodled in the boxes of a piece of graph paper? Scientists have proven that unconscious drawing during a lecture or a talk is not distracting—actually it increases concentration. So, simply leave a scrap paper (or in this case, an old test) on the desk, doodle away, and keep adding to it. Those with ballpoint pens in different colors can arrange the doodles in color, which makes the unconscious, creative pastime even happier.

Detail of the pixelated printout for the motif on page 89. It is important to check off box by box so you don't lose the overview.

This detail shows how each area is filled in with mini-hatching.

Proof 1

Scrap of paper with box constructions (left)

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Pixel Art Meets Hollywood Icons The term “pixel” means a certain size made up of tiny digital image points. Nowadays, every photo is composed of them. Back in the days of the big Hollywood stars, the digital world didn’t exist, so it’s even more exciting to combine the two in an artistic way.

Proof 1

Thus the face of an actor who died too young was created.

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First a picture has to be reduced with a computer so it becomes really small and pixelated (i.e. image size of 1/2" x 1/2" [1.2 x 1.2 cm] and 72 dpi). Then scale the image to fit a letter size paper and print it so that each pixel roughly matches the size of the boxes on your graph paper. Now you can reproduce it, box by box, in the right brightness on the graph paper.

Proof 1

From afar, this female Hollywood legend is recognizable.

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Crazy Collages In the previous section, photos were the source of inspiration, and this time around, photos are directly included in the art. There are two possibilities to do so: cut a photo and glue it directly onto the paper or combine them using a graphic program and print it out. In the second variation, the surface of the paper is better for drawing on than the glossy surface of a photo.

Proof 1

Step by step, a pineapple turns into a spiral-eyed freak.

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That's how an apple troll is created.

Proof 1

And that's how a tomato dwarf is made.

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Scribbly It is nearly every ambitious illustrator’s wish to create imagery with loosely jotted lines and shading. The result that seems so effortless is really the outcome of a demanding process. However, there is a little trick to master it. First, use a laptop or tablet to enlarge a photo to the desired drawing size. Then put a piece of paper on top of the screen and start loosely tracing the contour lines that filter through. (Be careful not to scratch the screen.) In the process, condense lines in some areas to show darker surfaces, and simultaneously leave blank, lighter ones. Make sure to stop early enough so everything still seems spontaneous and loose.

Proof 1

Small landscapes work very well for practice sketches.

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Proof 1

Faces are distinctively harder--especially if you think the person will recognize him or herself.

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With experience, you’ll become more confident and can start to take on more complex subjects. Because the scribble technique takes little time, it’s not so bad if the sketch doesn’t go as planned. Just try it again.

After just a few lines, you can recognize whose face is depicted.

Proof 1

The detail shows one possibility of the scribble technique.

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Proof 1

Here is the finished portrait of the famous professor Einstein.

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To depict complex images such as the metropolis of New York, it has to be sharply abstracted, meaning it must be simplified. With detail elements such as windows, the picture wouldn’t be as recognizable.

In the enlargement, the abstraction is very obvious.

With just a few lines, the Empire State Building and the surrounding skyscrapers are captured.

Proof 1

Where possible, window and facades elements are added.

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Proof 1

In the end, it all turns into a lively view of the city.

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In contrast to the skyscrapers of New York from pages 96–97, here is a drawing of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy. The interesting thing with this one is the combination of the river, the old facades, and the staggered bridges in the background.

Proof 1

In the enlargement, loosely intertwined lines are visible and almost appear abstract.

First, loose lines are drawn.

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Proof 1

Now draw in facades and windows.

The finished view of the Ponte Vecchio.

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Back to Innocence I have to admit that out of all of the themes in this book, this one gave me the most pleasure. The unselfconsciousness with which children draw, the diversity of shapes and forms, the humor—where does it vanish to as we grow up? Picasso once said it took his whole life to be able to draw and paint like a kid again. Ballpoint pens are just as good for kids as for adults because they’re easy to use and smoothly roll over the paper.

Proof 1

The depictions in the first step show the drawings of a five-year old, and then in the second step, what I, with my daughter’s consent, turned them into.

The animal world of my five-year-old daughter.

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Proof 1

My graphic variation of the drawing.

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Children like to draw their parents, siblings, and friends.

Proof 1

Dad meets daughter, red-blue detail

The ornaments and hatchings I added frame the ingenuity of a childlike viewpoint (right).

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Proof 1

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Scraps of Paper They lay on the desk or on top of the dresser for quick notes. Or they’re used while trying to figure out a task. Sometimes a few lines, structures, and shapes are drawn unconsciously too. That’s exactly what happened with this original scrap of paper, where suddenly, maybe inspired by a vacation to the south, a few ovals on the paper reminded me of cactus ears. It would be a pity to throw it in the garbage, so let’s keep drawing and see what it turns into.

The scrap paper as it lays on the desk

Proof 1

Cactuses sprawl across the paper.

The detail shows the sharp contrast between blue and red ballpoint ink.

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Proof 1

In the end, an unconventional and powerful image is created--one which could never be planned consciously.

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Always and Everywhere

Proof 1

The Endless Possibilities of a Ballpoint Pen

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Proof 1

e

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Message for a Successor to the Throne Sometimes a session on the john takes a bit longer than planned. So why not leave a little message behind for the successor to the “throne”? Some people keep a pen handy in their pocket, maybe along with a small notebook on which the toilet paper can be laid. Let ’ s start a drawing of “can” messages.

Toilet paper messages

Proof 1

High-Security Wing! Use at Your Own Risk.

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Is it a public toilet or a private one? Do you know who will stop in after to use the place or will it be a stranger? This is what makes the act so exciting—you don’t know who will receive the toilet paper message, plus the finder won’t know who drew or wrote it. Tact is needed or, on the contrary, you could create an anonymous message, which carries a punch.

Proof 1

Draw carefully because the paper is really soft and rips easily.

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Lasting Memories A hard contrast to the toilet paper messages is this graphic variation. The German poet Matthias Claudius, who made his mark in history with the poem and song “The Moon Has Risen” (also called “Evening Song”), was featured in a theater piece. A portrait of the poet was created on the program and ticket, which made a beautiful connection between past and present. The drawing technique, photorealism, will be described in detail on page 122.

Now details such as the eyes and mouth can be developed more.

Proof 1

The outlines and first hatchings show the contours of the face.

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Proof 1

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Proof 1

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The Culture Machinery Let’s stick with the art and culture scene a bit longer. This page is pulled from a culture calendar with announcements for various events. Drawn on it are mannequins or figures that recall Oskar Schlemmer’s figure drawings. A machinery fantasy is outfitted with gears and a person moving within it and another bound to it. In a few lines, the figures and gears are sketched on the drawing paper, and after, hatchings are added.

The detail shows the interesting combination of printed letters and hand drawn ballpoint pen lines.

Proof 1

The basic layout of the culture calendar serves the composition of the figures.

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Monsters Hunt Butterflies A roll of paper towels with butterflies printed on it is just asking to have a funny, mean drawing added to it. And so the world of butterfly-eating monsters is born. Technically, it is not that simple. Just like with the toilet paper, you have to pay attention so the soft, multi-layer paper doesn’t rip while you draw on it.

Proof 1

The snatching monsters are outlined.

The detail shows a part of the monster's mouth.

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Proof 1

With shading and textures, the monsters come alive and catch colorful butterflies.

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When the Mailman Rings… …nowadays he mostly brings bills, advertisements, or letters from the IRS. Personal letters have become a rarity in an age of smartphones and tablets. Surprise a loved one by sending something via regular mail—even better with an envelope creatively decorated with original designs.

This motif drawn on a 6 1/2" x 9" (162 x 229 mm or DIN A5) envelope is useful for a romantic purpose.

Proof 1

The detail shows the fine hatchings of a rose blossom.

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The motif on a 9" x 13" (229 x 324 mm or DIN A4) envelope shows a happy mail image. The technique resembles that of the fish on page 20.

Proof 1

The detail shows a flat, strong contrasting and constructed design.

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The Book of Secrets Even with all of the technical innovations, social media, and digital images flooding us, books still hold a special allure. Some people still want to keep a private book to write and view their personal secrets. Such a notebook deserves a special design. So let’s take out that ballpoint pen and draw yourself into a hero or mystery girl (or even something very different) on the cover.

Proof 1

The light brown color of the cover lends the drawing a bit of a retro look right from the start.

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Proof 1

The retro look occurs as the blue of the ballpoint pen mixes with the light brown of the cover.

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Observing and Caricature A while back, I was sitting out at a pool, observing the other visitors. I couldn’t help myself and took the notepad from my bag, and with quick ballpoint lines drew the people in an exaggerated style to make it more fun. And then there was that old tote bag hanging in the bushes along the fence, and it looked at me so pitifully. “Okay,” I thought, “if you really want to.” Soon after, a couple that really inspired me was immortalized on the dirty fabric.

Proof 1

The original caricatures from the pool.

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Proof 1

The rotten bag, which is now, to me, a piece of art.

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Photorealism Photorealism with a ballpoint pen? Impossible. That’s what many people think. So it is especially important to start the experiment and to push the technical boundaries of the material. It is best to pick three subjects with different levels of difficulty: a water drop (easy), cherries (medium), and an eye with eyelashes (hard). The technical basis for photorealistic drawings is the hatching and fine shading techniques from page 15, because the transitions should be very smooth without hard edges. These fine hatchings should be mastered already, and a lot of patience should be brought to the table—then, the drawing will succeed.

Proof 1

In the first step, clean outlines are drawn and a few distinct dark areas are filled in.

On the enlarged details, it is good to see how smooth the hatching and color transitions are.

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In the second step, lighter hatchings are drawn and transitions from light to dark are created.

Proof 1

In the third step, the very delicate transitions between the light and dark picture elements are drawn and final details are added.

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Scorpion A level harder is the scorpion, with many little details and textures on the surface. Because of this, it is really important to draw with a lot of patience and accuracy to get each aspect correct.

Proof 1

In the first step, fine contours and dark areas are created. On the tail of the scorpion, you can start testing out the animal's texture.

In the second step, the larger dark areas are filled in.

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In the enlarged detail, it is easier to see which techniques were used to draw the fine-pored, uneven surface close to and around the claw.

Proof 1

In the third step, the fine transitions are hatched and the finished animal emerges.

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A Walk across the Mudflats By now, you can create very hard levels of difficulty. I thought for a while and decided on a picture of a walk across the mudflats. People of different ages, small faces, partially in shadow, reflections on the water, wrinkles, and so much more. The motif is ideal to really see what a ballpoint pen can do. If you can’t create the base drawing freehand, you can use a little trick. That is, the template drawing is traced really lightly, but the outlines are not traced— instead, the areas are copied in grayscale similar to the subject in “Pixelized Pixels,” on page 87. Then, work the same way as you did with the rest of the photorealism section. But even more so here, patience and concentration are necessary, because, unfortunately, ballpoint ink is not erasable.

The picture shows the approach while tracing--both the contours and the outlines of the individually shaded areas are traced.

Proof 1

The face of the woman shows how fine the hatchings have to be so that the face seems realistic.

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Proof 1

The finished drawing of a walk across the mudflats

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About the Author "It is fun to always try out new things," says Gecko Keck (actual name Gerhard Wörner) about himself. He also lives by that motto. Illustrator, painter, author, designer, publisher, entrepreneur, caterer, and organizer are just some of the jobs which the Stuttgart native has held over the years.

Proof 1

Working for more than ten years as a toy designer for Ferrero Kinder Surprise Eggs, for the past eight years he has been the author of more than twenty-five books which were translated into various languages, and took on an ambitious entrepreneurial project with high-quality merchandise for his second home, the Tuscan island of Elba. These are just a few projects which highlight the diverse creative accomplishments of Gecko Keck. All of his experience from these various fields influenced this book.

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