White Gel Pen recomendations/experience

Claude J Greengrass

Active member
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I needed a 'good' white gel pen of similar for a small project I'm currently involved in. Checking Google, the pen's I picked up a Hobby Lobby, were #2 on the list of best pens. They were "Gelly Roll" by Sakura: 0.5, 0.8, and 1.0 mm.

I'm working over dry watercolour paint on 140# CP, or 200# Rough, Saunders-Waterford watercolour paper. The 0.5 pen doesn't work at all. The 0.8 and 1.0 are OK but application can be a bit blotchy. Repeated applications, without waiting for the gel to dry, cause bleed through of the underlying watercolour paint. Oh yes, 95% or more of the lines in need to apply are straight.

Q. Any recommendations for better pens in this media/support combination?
Q. Do I need to ditch my favourite watercolour paper for a smooth, Hot Press finish?
Q. Any alternative recommendations for a white pen around the 1.0 mm width?
 

laf.art

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890
I hope this thread gets some answers. I've tried several pens and haven't been happy with any of them really.I found that they were very short lived.
 

Artyczar

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I think I know of the effect you're after and I've tried all kinds of things. The best thing I've come up with it using white opaque gouache over the dried watercolor with a 000 brush, and even having to do a couple layers after it's dry. All the pens I've tried just suck and the tips get ruined running them over the paint, even though I use hot press paper. It's just about being really careful with the brush and using the right amount of water. Even acrylic paint can work, but those acrylic gouaches are best with a good synthetic 000 point watercolor brush.
 

musket

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705
I'm always a little shocked that so many people use teensy brushes.

I know synthetic brushes are cheap, but a #2 Raphael 8408 or Scharff 3000 kolinsky will point so well it will do even the finest detail work, and the belly will hold a lot more paint than something like a 000 (paint consistency was a major concern for me). If you take good care of them the high price will be justified. I have some that are over twenty years old and still in perfect condition, even though I used acrylics on most of my carvings.

The smallest size I used was usually a #4, though I did use a #2 on occasion. I preferred Scharff, but only marginally.
 

Artyczar

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I use the synthetic ones because they bounce back more than the kolinskys and keep their tips better. I don't mind having a bunch of them on hand. Same difference in price to me. Actually, it's more expensive, but I don't care. Whatever tools to the job are what I use.
 

musket

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705
I would probably still use a larger size even in a synthetic, just because the belly holds more paint, if synthetics act like sables.
 

Bongo

Active member
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141
Dewart Intense color pencils, and blocks. They are INTENSE - and they cover. You can do white over black in one pass. you first wet the pencil, block, or surface and then apply - they're soft when wet and can easily go over rough or painted surfaces. They dry permanent. A variety of ways they can be applied and blended. I use them for telephone lines in my paintings.


 

laf.art

Well-known member
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890
Thanks for the info, will try. At the mo I tend to use a knife for straight(ish)🙂 lines
 

Claude J Greengrass

Active member
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121
Dewart Intense color pencils, and blocks. They are INTENSE - and they cover. You can do white over black in one pass. you first wet the pencil, block, or surface and then apply - they're soft when wet and can easily go over rough or painted surfaces. They dry permanent. A variety of ways they can be applied and blended. I use them for telephone lines in my paintings.


I'll give them a try, but they only come in "Antique White" which from experience tends towards an off white/cream colour.
 

Bongo

Active member
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141
I have a 26 color set of the pencils and the blocks but I mostly only use the white. I've never noticed a color difference from titatium white.
below is a comparision for color the top two lines and the block are from the Dewart Intense, the bottom lines from Golden titanium white.

2whites.jpg


To get the thinnest lines with it - I wet the block or pencil, and then soak up the color using a short flat brush (no. 2 Rosemary Ivory).
Then draw a line using the very edge of the brush. You'll see the Dewart pigment settle out of the water - so before it dries, take a napkin (or q tip) and drag and blot it along the line so it sucks up the water without touching the pigment. (this is my secret technique so don't tell anyone).

That is something you can't do with paint, because it doesn't deposit the pigment like that to be soaked up. With paint if you try that it just smears. If you look at the top line, you'll see it's comprised of a dense layer of pigment with a white- wash of color underneath it. -
it's that white wash that you can suck up and just leave the line of dense pigment.
 

Claude J Greengrass

Active member
Messages
121
The Uni-ball Signo UM-153 is superior to the Sakura Gelly Roll IMSOHO. I tried both pens on watercolour/gouache paintings on Saunders-Waterford High White paper. The Sakura Gelly Roll 05 pen didn't work at all. The 08 and 10 were OK but occasionally skipped.

Then I tried the Signo Uni-ball. Much easier application but you need to wipe the ball over some scrip paper after 4 or 5 lines, to 're-wet' the ball. I didn't try wiping after each line. Don't try a double application. i.e. drawing the same line twice. Set it aside. Wait 5 minutes and then re-apply. At least that's my experience. YMMV
 

tinkertrain

Member
Messages
49
The Uni-ball Signo UM-153 is superior to the Sakura Gelly Roll IMSOHO. I tried both pens on watercolour/gouache paintings on Saunders-Waterford High White paper. The Sakura Gelly Roll 05 pen didn't work at all. The 08 and 10 were OK but occasionally skipped.

Then I tried the Signo Uni-ball. Much easier application but you need to wipe the ball over some scrip paper after 4 or 5 lines, to 're-wet' the ball. I didn't try wiping after each line. Don't try a double application. i.e. drawing the same line twice. Set it aside. Wait 5 minutes and then re-apply. At least that's my experience. YMMV
Glad you like it!
 
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