Earlier this week, I made a trip to Barnes & Noble and discovered they have an amazing selection of coloring books. I absolutely fell in love with Creative Coloring Inspirations by Valentina Harper, which I’d only seen glimpses of online. This is such a beautiful book to color whenever you’re feeling sad or need a little extra encouragement in your life. The single-sided pages are even perforated, so you can easily remove them and frame them as wall art.
The photo above is my first finished page from the book. I normally color with markers, but I wanted to try something a little different so I went back to gel pens. Did you know that you can blend gel pens together? It works best if you’re mixing pen brands and have one with really “wet” ink and one that’s a little on the “dry” side. For my picture, I used Sakura Gelly Rolls and a set of travel pens by International Arrivals. I started with the “wet” Sakura colors, then blended in the “dry” International Arrivals pens on the edges. You have to work quickly to blend the colors, however. The goal is to create the transition area between the two pens before the “wet” one starts to dry.
I used purple and pink pens for my letters. For the paint brush tips, I used purple, pink, brown, and yellow pens. This technique looks especially pretty if you mix glitter gel pens with ones that have a matte finish so you have random sparkling highlights throughout your design!
If you want to try this at home, I’d suggest practicing a bit on scratch paper first so you can figure out which pen brands and colors work the best.
Ideas to try include:
- Using light, medium, and dark shades of green on a leaf.
- Make flowers blending red, orange, and yellow.
- Add interested to the sky with light, medium, and dark blue.
- Blend letters in a title using complementary colors such as yellow and green or red and purple.
This video is quite long, but offers some great tips on blending as well as general coloring with gel pens.
Other Gel Pen Techniques
For more fun ways to use your gel pens, check out the article I wrote for Art-n-Fly’s blog on this topic: 4 Gel Pen Techniques to Try. Try combining all these effects in one picture to see what type of masterpiece you can create!
[Photo is a page from Creative Coloring Inspirations by Valentina Harper.]