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The white gel pen should be your best friend.  They are crucial in helping to create more contrast and beauty in your art.  They are little miracles for those who want total control of fine white lines.  Small brushes and white paint can become awkward and unwieldy, and dip pens are disasters waiting to happen unless you have a grave steadiness of hand and no pets.

If you haven’t used white gel pens before here are a few things to keep in mind:

• Keep the point clean.  Make sure the ink doesn’t build up, and wipe it with a paper towel once in a while as you work; this ensures good ink flow and a longer working life.

• If the ink won’t run, hold the pen upright and draw small, tight circular squiggles to get the ink flowing again; don’t shake or hit it against a hard surface.

• Store gel pens in a cup, with the tip down; don’t store them flat.

Types of gel pen ink:

The type of gel pen ink determines the success of ink flow over your work.  Regular white gel pens work best over regular paper (such as in marker, charcoal or watercolor work.)  However, if you use semi-gloss acrylic paint or thick layers of waxy colored pencils or heavy graphite, your best bet is the Sakura Soufflé pen.  The ink in these pens was specifically designed for non-porous surfaces, and Sakura was promoting them to decorate cell phones and the like.  I however have found them perfect for media that normally resists my regular gel pens.



Below are some wonderful examples of works containing white gel pen.  I strongly urge you to view the works in Full View mode to appreciate the technical qualities.  Look for white gel pen used to create realistic cracks in rock, the highlights rendered on toned paper in the manner of traditional masters, graphic outlines that set off and bring a subject forward, dotted patterns of night skies, to construct a violent and energetic texture of cross hatching, seductive pattern and to produce the feel of water.

   Inorganic Romantic by SingularDisease   March of the Demon Horses by hibbary  :thumb115797763:

Mature Content

conhon entry 2.0 by janaschi
  

Mature Content

Kelp Mermaid ATC by EraserQueenStudio
   Clarity by EraserQueenStudio   Soggy Mermaid by EraserQueenStudio

Olm for Drachenmagier - ACEO by Dozaloz   Butterscotch ATC by EraserQueenStudio  :thumb146431057:   Goldfish by raindian  

magic forest by lenin-grad   Byron in Blue by TerryBizarro  :thumb144194520:   Of Flesh and Bone by wylde
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:iconbait-n-switch:
Bait-n-switch Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2010
OH my Goth..i just bought some gelly rolls and i have been shaking and banging them for like an hour i hope they still work...does any one know what kind of ink is inside these and is it water soluble?? any new tips out there?
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:iconeraserqueenstudio:
EraserQueenStudio Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2010
I think it's E V I L ink of satan. LOL

Yes it is water soluble, so you can 'erase' it with water :) Or blend areas with a brush for nice gradation effects.

Shaking and banging them can actually hurt them, so try the suggestions in the article. Good luck!
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:iconbait-n-switch:
Bait-n-switch Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2010
thank you so much for replying' i have been thinking about buying all colors but i dont know if they will all be opaque...the advice on terrys journal has been working great..thanks so much for replying!!!
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:iconeraserqueenstudio:
EraserQueenStudio Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2010
You're welcome! The regular colored gel pens are not opaque, they are definitely transparent! If you want opacity, go for the Souffle pens made by the same company (Sakura) they will offer the opacity you want and come in about 10 different colors :) (the black looks more gray though!) The only problem with the souffle pens is that they do NOT like porous paper!
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:iconsingulardisease:
SingularDisease Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2010   General Artist
Ahhh! Thank you so much for featuring my art! ;o; I really really appreciate it! Gel pens, particularly white ones, add a certain something to traditional artwork, and I use so much of the white souffle and the pilot white ink pen that I have a pretty sizable handful of empty pens in a drawer somewhere, haha.
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:iconeraserqueenstudio:
EraserQueenStudio Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2010
You're welcome! Your art was actually what inspired me to start using them more :)
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:iconbnspyrd:
Bnspyrd Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2010  Professional General Artist
Great article and lovely features too.
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:iconlauratringaliholmes:
LauraTringaliHolmes Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2009
Thanks for this...I have been using them, but in a restrained manner. You have inspired me to be bold!
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:icondarkn2ght:
darkn2ght Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2009
wow, this is informative! thanks for such an informative article!
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:iconeraserqueenstudio:
EraserQueenStudio Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2009
My pleasure! Glad you liked it :D
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:icontalisx:
TalisX Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2009
Thank you very much for this! I have nothing but trouble with white gel pens. I've had to try ink or paint as a subsitute. I'm hoping your advice will make the darn thing work! XD
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:iconeraserqueenstudio:
EraserQueenStudio Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2009
You're welcome! I have noticed that ink flow quality varies even within the same brand. If you have problems with one pen, chances are it's just a bum pen. I've had problems with the Signo unibals before, but the Gelly Rolls are pretty reliable! I read somewhere someone said sucking the tip helped, but I don't know what health ramifications that may have if you wind up ingesting the ink!
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:iconterrybizarro:
TerryBizarro Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2009
Great article. You know I love colored pencils, ink, paint and the like....but I never feel comfortable until I use my trusty white gel pen to finish a piece off. White gel pen is my best friend, and one of the materials I cannot live without. Thanks for including my piece with all these beautiful deviations! You have a great eye!
Thanks again!:)
:heart:
Terry Bizarro
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:iconjupiterjenny:
jupiterjenny Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
holy crap...I never thought about white gel pens! I have to get one now!!!!!!!
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:iconeraserqueenstudio:
EraserQueenStudio Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2009
They are life savers! And I think they would look great in your work; white really sets off color, and your work is brilliant with color! :D
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:iconjupiterjenny:
jupiterjenny Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
I am soo getting one! Where do you get them?
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:iconeraserqueenstudio:
EraserQueenStudio Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2009
You can get them online from major distributors like Dick Blick (Try and buy them during a sale or something lol!) Or you can get them at your local arts & Crafts store. I go to Michael's with my 40% off coupon :D If you want to get the souffle pens, you can order two-packs directly from Sakura's web site :D (it's cheaper than buying a set of souffle colored pens from anywhere else!)

I can't wait to see what you do with them!
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:iconjupiterjenny:
jupiterjenny Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
I am soooo going to Micheals tonight!! I am inspired!
Reply
:iconscarlet-inkxx:
Scarlet-Inkxx Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
thanks for featuring my artwork!!

(and for the helpful advice too)

Great article.

:D
Reply
:iconathalour:
Athalour Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2009   General Artist
Handy advice! Thanks for sharing. ;)
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