When I think about Adam Riches, I think about nightmares, the shadows, faces obscured and darkness revealed. These are all things Riches evokes, often through the use of nothing but a ballpoint pen on paper. Capable of great detail, Adam Riches has amassed a social media following that stretches into the hundreds of thousands. People flock to see the darkness as only Riches can reveal it to be.

Ballpoint pen drawing of the profile of a figure of a man

Signature to Adam Riches’ style and the darkness he conveys is the simplicity with which he’s able to produce it, a process you can occasionally see first hand in videos posted to his Instagram. In these you are treated to the movements of Riches’ choice of color for his signature ballpoint pen as he seemingly scribbles out looseshapes of discordant lines. From there he builds within that loose structure with more dense shading, crafting an eerie face drawn directly from the surreal discordant shadows which preceded it. Riches shows impressive versatility in his ability to create shape from the shade with varying levels of detail as some of his figures retain the more scribbled quality of their origin, looking like vacant skulls with darkened features. Others are more detailed, taking on the shadow of a man with hair and lips that appears to be looking at you from the under world. It’s easy to imagine Riches has seen the river Styx itself. Whether you’re a lover of art and the power of simple techniques or are just drawn to the darker side of life, Adam Riches is your artist.

Ballpoint pen drawing of 7 heads getting larger as they reach the top of the page

Acrylic painting of a silhouette of a man with the face seemingly melting down the page

Green ballpoint pen drawing of a face sticking it's tongue out

Oil painting of a man's face, but half is gone and is seemingly melting down the artwork

Ballpoint pen drawing of a figure with two faces emerging from the same head