I love stationery – fact! I adore pens – fact! But I thought I was so over gel pens. I favour my Pilot Frixion ball pen for my bullet journal because although it is not the blackest black or the finest nib it is erasable. For doodling and colour in my bullet journal and travellers notebooks I tend to use Staedtler Triplus Fineliners.
But oh the joy of rediscovering the magic of a gel pen prepping for my 2 hour A C Moore show on Create & Craft. The tacky ink of a gel pen enables it to support more pigments so we can have neon, pastel, bright, metallic and glitter effects. As they are an acid free ink, bold, permanent and fade proof, it makes them ideal for business purposes (obviously I am talking about the sober black, blue, red colours here and am not suggesting you suddenly start to sign documents with a neon glitter pen and a doodled heart!).
Thicker ink means less bleed, they write on smooth surfaces which some pens won’t and you don’t have to shake the pens to mix pigments. They have a unique ability to show up on dark card, a quality white gel pen can be used on parchment paper instead of white ink for tracing, and they can be layered, for instance, a glitter pen can be used over a metallic or a neon pen for speciality spot effects.
Talking about speciality spot effects – flat patterned paper can be transformed by using glitter pens as highlights.
As well as for full on colouring or spot highlight effects they can be used beautifully for doodling. Hold them upright and let that ink flow and your mind wander.
The most surprising (to me) and most satisfying discovery I made was their ability to blend. I thought this would be a no-no and impossible to achieve. But as the ink is thick and so takes a little longer to dry it was a cinch to blend two or three colours to achieve shading and blending. You have to try this. (Some gel pens can even be smudged intentionally to colour such as petals.) To blend I laid down my lightest colour, added my next colour, then used my lightest colour in circular motions or strokes to blend the inks, then used the darkest colour and went back to blend the crossover with my second colour.
So, go on, get out those gel pens again (I know you have them) and have a play. Whether it be for a bold, permanent, black signature, a shimmering metallic effect or full on glitter , these pens deliver! Such fun!