White Gel Pen Art


Drawing of a hare in white gel pen

Using white gel pens for drawing.
I regularly use toned paper for some of my drawings and have been intruiged by the black paper pads in the same line. Being a lover of linework and pens generally, I thought I'd pick up some supplies and have a go.

Drawing of an owl in white gel pen
If you're used to the more conventional types of pen used for art, such as the fine liners, gel pens are a different experience. The best way I can describe them is a bit gloopy to draw with, they remind me in some ways of paint pens the way the ink comes out.

Swan drawn in white gel pen
One thing I found with the pens is the tips get a bit gunked up, so I intermittently give the tip a wipe on kitchen towel to keep it clean. Gel pens can also flake, I'm not sure if it's dried ink off the tip but it does brush off the paper easily enough. 

Raven drawn in white gel pen
I got a pack of three pens with various nib widths, and with practice you can get different weights and qualities of line. I mostly used the finest 0.5 pen, however I have a tendency to favour finer nibs in my work. I also found it useful to work into the gel pen with standard black Pigma micron pens, especially in more delicate areas of shading. It gives a nice effect and useful for hatching.

Fawn drawn in white gel pen
I really like the effect of the white on black, it reminds me a lot of scraperboard art and wood engraving. I tend not to use dramatic lighting and value contrasts in my work, it's something I'm trying to get better at, and I can imagine the effect would be striking if you are adept at using it.

Clairfontaine paint on noir paper and white gel pens
I used the following materials to create the drawings above. 
Clairefontaine Paint'On black paper 
Sakura white Gelly Roll pens 
Sakura pigma micron fineliners 

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