There are many people that use a white gel pen or paint pen to embellish their work but others wonder how they work and whether it is worth them buying one. The great thing about gel pens and paint pens is that they will write over the top of the pencil and even over markers which means they can add embellishments once you have completed your pencil/pen work. There are lots of places where you can use them to make your pictures stand out. The obvious choice is snow, as in the picture above, but there are lots of other ways they can be used to. There are some examples of places I have used them below:
In this picture, I wanted to make the fish scales look shiny and so used the white gel pen marks to give that impression. I have a tutorial for the fish scales if you wish to take a look it is here.
In this picture, I used the white gel pen to add shine to the jelly as well as to try to give the impression that the cake stand was made of glass by adding some white highlights in places to make it look as though it was catching the light. The tutorial for this is here.
In this picture, the white gel pen has been used to make certain parts look shiny. I wanted to give the impression that some of the parts were jewels and the white pen gives the impression that they are catching the light.
In this picture, the white pen was used a lot! I used it to add a shiny look to the lemon slices, ice cubes, strawberry and glass. Although close up it may not look so effective, it works when you look from a distance! I have a tutorial for this image if you are interested it is here.
The white gel pen in this picture was used to create stars on top of the background. This is a much easier alternative to leaving parts of the background blank. If you do not colour the star shapes it makes it harder to colour the background as it is very hard to not colour over the lines and it is easier to make the background look more consistent by colouring over the top and finishing with a pen.
The top of the water in this picture was dotted with gel pen to indicate more movement in the water. It was also used to give the impression that the water creatures were moving and to draw in their air bubbles.
The white gel pen was also used for water in this picture. The horizontal stripes were used to try to give the impression that all of the items were underwater and inside the container.
In this picture, the white gel pen was used in diagonal stripes on the windows to give the impression that they are reflecting the light. When there are curtains at a window it is a good way to make sure they look like they are inside the house rather than on the outside!
A white pen can be great for Christmas pictures! As well as snow and adding shine to ornaments they can be used to create fluffy stockings! They can also be handy for any type of fur on clothing or on animals. I use a layer of grey pencil underneath and do some lines in dark grey or black before adding the white. See my tutorial here.
So as you can see, there are lots of uses for white pens. Your next concern might be which ones to buy. Like pencils and markers, everyone has their opinion on which is the best as we all like different things. For me, I have two favourite brands.
The posca pens are useful as they come in different sizes and shapes of nib. They are actually paint rather than a gel pen, so you have to shake them up to get them going. Make sure you do not shake them with the lid off as they will splatter everywhere!
White gel pens come in many brands and I like the Sakura gellyroll. I buy them in a pack of 3 with different sized nibs. The ink flows better in the larger nibbed pens but the small one is good for smaller items, when you do not want such a big mark.
You can buy the pens from many places. I tend to buy from my local independent art shop, Jackson’s Art and they have an online shop. But you can also buy from Amazon. Links are below: