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Helena Hauss: Laughing Daisies (detail)

Work / Illustration

Helena Hauss’ biro drawings capture the mischief of being a teenager

While elegant fountain pens and carefully crafted pencils are a joy to write and doodle with, there’s something familiar and comforting about casting lines of biro onto a clean sheet of paper. With the infinite motion of the ball point beneath your fingertips, there’s a level of control that other tools just can’t give you. Someone who shares my biro love is Paris-based illustrator Helena Hauss, who creates fantastically intricate biro drawings.

Full of teenage lust, friendship and other shenanigans, Helena’s drawings all have a beautiful sense of fun and freedom about them, instantly taking me back to school. It’s the place Helena first started practising her illustration skills so it seems apt this mischievous spirit has continued. “I started drawing all through high school in my exercise books rather than writing down what the teacher was saying. And using a Bic biro was always a good way not to get caught!” Helena explains on her website.

All large scale works, Helena enjoys working big as it allows her to “really go into the details of hair, patterns and typography with bright and contrasting colours.” It’s what makes these works so interesting as her biro lines reach every corner of the page all laced with lovely tone and shade to turn her figures into fully-formed characters.

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Helena Hauss: Cover Girl

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Helena Hauss: Midnight Lust

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Helena Hauss: Drink Up

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Helena Hauss: The Bet

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Helena Hauss: Laughing Daisies

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Helena Hauss: The Piercing

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Helena Hauss: Ice Queens