I recently received a complimentary set of Art-n-Fly gel pens to review.
The set of 40 gel pens comes in a plastic container that makes it easy for storage. You’ll see on the right how I store my pens upside down so the ink will flow and collect on the end where the pen tip is. This ensures that the ink will flow smoothly. There were a few pens that needed some encouragement to get the ink flowing but for the post part I was pleased with how the ink flowed in these pens.
Note while this canister is convenient for storing the pens in your studio, it isn’t sturdy enough for throwing into your bag. The lid will fly off and the pens will empty out into the bottom of your bag. If you want to travel with these pens, I would put them into another pen case or bag.
The set comes with a variety of colors and styles including: metallic, classic, pastel, neon, and glitter.
I thought I would give the pastels a try. You’ll see that I used some dark colors over light colors…this worked well. I tried using white on the purple bands along the edge but it didn’t show up at all. It is hard to find good white gel pens. My favorite still stands, Uni-Ball Signo Broad Point.
I was curious to see how these pens worked on a black background. I started by outlining the Seed of Life pattern in white. Once again, I wasn’t thrilled with the result. The metallics on the other hand showed up beautifully on the black background. I really liked the silver and gold. From the photo above the neons showed up really well as did the pastels, while the glitter pens not so much.
Where the glitter pens “shine” is on white paper. Pictured above is a mandala colored in with gel pens, mostly the glitter ones. It is hard to see it here in the photo but it really shimmers like a jewel. I loved the result.
I like to mix media. Here I colored the arrows and pink background with water color paints. I then added a shadow by coloring in with a black gel pen. Because gel pens are so wet, you can spread the color using a paint brush. I loved the effect.
I then went back in with the gold and black glitter gel pens to outline the edge of the arrows.
The glitter gel pens were used to accent the yellow bursts around the boat and the blue waves.
Gel pens are fun to use in my journal. Here I drew the lines and letters in with a micron pen and then added accents of red color using one of the Art-n-Fly gel pens. I finished the page by adding colored pencil.
I enjoyed the wide range of colors and styles in these gel pens. Like any medium, it takes some experimentation to see how they work. While not all colors work well in all situations, there is a lot here that you can do. I hope you are encouraged to play with gel pens and discover different ways to combine them with other mediums.
This set is priced at $15.99 and can be purchased on Amazon.
(Disclosure: The links in this post will take you to Amazon. I’m an affiliate which means I get a commission on any purchase you make after clicking on a link from my website. This doesn’t affect the price you pay. This is one way to support my work here on 100 mandalas. I use the commission money to purchase art supplies. Thank you for your support!)
Hi Kathryn, I just color, do you have instructions on the different types you did in this review and on what types of paper? I have never heard of water color with gel pens.Cathy Books are a person’s best friend, read much and love more.
Hi Cathy, If you want to color using watercolor paints, you’ll want coloring books that have a heavy weight paper to handle this wet medium. I just did a search on Amazon for “coloring books on watercolor paper” and found a few.
I do not have any instructions or tutorials. I did mention my technique in this post but perhaps these you’ll find these expanded details helpful: I paint the first layer in watercolor, let it dry then draw in lines and details using gel pens. For the blending, I use a paint brush to feather out the ink of the gel pen before it dries. You can also use this same technique using colored pencil for that first layer in place of watercolor paints. I encourage you to experiment and play. That is what I do. 🙂 Have fun!