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August 13, 2013


Replies: 5

White Gel Pens and Colored Pencils? (vs markers)

VioletVenom94 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013
Hi Deviants,
So, I really love the look of using markers and then highlighting/accenting with a white gel pen, But the thing is I don't have any markers, as I typically use colored pencils (or watercolors) to color my art. I was wondering, for those who use the marker & white gel pen technique, could similar results be achieved using the white gel pen with colored pencils? Or does it only work well with markers? What I love about the art I've seen that uses the white gel pen and markers is the rich vibrant color and the gloss. But I don't know if that's because of the markers or just an illusion given by the white gel pen... I know the gel pen finishes glossy, but does it just make the markers 'appear' more vibrant or are they actually that way? 
Does/would using it with pencil dull the liquidy, glossy effect of the gel pen?

I haven't spent money on art supplies in a very long time and I am due to get some new ones but I dont know whether to get more colored pencils (something I am used to working with) or try markers (something I've never really worked with, it would be a learning experience). My decision hinges on how they will work with the gel pen as that is a look I would really love to achieve. I highlight my colored pencils with white charcoal and it works great, that's not the problem, It just produces a more 'chalky' softer look which is fine in it's own right but It's just not what i'm looking to do at the moment. (Hence the gel pen) I know markers like Copic, Prismacolors, etc. can be quite costly but if they were worth the money I wouldn't have a problem spending it since I don't buy art supplies often and have been saving my money up in case I did want to splurge on something. Like I said I've never used markers but I would be willing to learn. I have seen on artwork colored with markers that I love but I do not know if it's just their art, how they are specifically using the markers, or if it's just the style of markers in general...

Anyway, white gel pen aside, what are the differences and benefits of using markers over colored pencils and vice versa? 
**I am not a professional, my art is purely for enjoyment & hobby  

(While I do believe that its less about the tool you use & more about how you use it, I do not think that  means you can simply achieve the same results no matter the tool.  More that you can achieve good results with any type of medium, it's just how and in what way you use that medium which determines those results... I Just wanted to clarify that i'm not looking for nor expecting markers to improve my work.) 

I'm sorry I made this so long, thank you for taking the time to read it



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Devious Comments

DominiqueDuong Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013  Student General Artist
I'd give the markers a go! Worst case scenario if you don't like them is that you've got a box of markers you don't want, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. I didn't have a go at them properly until last year, but it was surprisingly enjoyable. The benefits? They're quicker than colour pencils and give that 'flat' look, although I think you can use alcohol or some special pens to blend them.

But anyway, I've tried white gel pen on colour pencil. The colour pencils are 'waxier' than markers. You CAN draw on them with gel pen, but it's not as easy or as 'smooth' as on a flat matte surface like markers or regular paper. Although for something smaller like highlights or details, it's fine, you just might need to go over it a few more times.
SenshiStock Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I use white gel pens with my colored pencils pretty often for shiny bits. Example:… There are a few different brands. I use GellyRoll usually because it's easy to find, but someone at a stream I was watching recently showed me another brand that I liked a lot more because it was more opaque. I need to find out what it was D:
opiumtraum Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013

I'd say your choice of art supplies might be dictated by what you want to do with your art.


I'll confess that as a result of an old experience, I have a big bug up my ass regarding light fastness. If you're making art as a hobby, or art to be reproduced, screw it, go with markers (I just bought a bunch- with the idea of maybe reproducing something made with markers for collage), but, markers are not light fast. You can spray them with UV fixative or frame it behind UV protective glass, but that retards fading, it doesn't prevent it.


Color pencils on the other hand, are relatively light fast (except, as I recall, neon colors- you might want to research that).


That gel pen...the ink will eventually do weird stuff...if you're using the white for might want to reconsider & go with gouache...

Vineris Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I know some artists use white acrylic ink over coloured pencil to get a more liquid highlight look.

"what are the differences and benefits of using markers over colored pencils and vice versa?"

Coloured pencils tend to let the white of the paper show through, so they have more texture (unless you burnish them).  Markers saturate the paper with ink so there's no white, so they do tend to be more vibrant.  (It can be difficult to get a smooth finish with markers though because the areas where dried ink overlaps are darker.)

You tend to need fewer coloured pencils than you think because they layer gracefully and each pencil can be used lightly or heavily so has lots of value levels.  Markers can be layered but in general you tend to need more markers than you think to do anything useful.  Which is sad because a good marker will cost you 2-3 times more than a good coloured pencil.

They work well together, you can use coloured pencil on top of marker to add texture and detail to a piece.
AlcyoneSong Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The effect of colored pencils varies also with the tooth of the paper.  If the paper is not smooth like Bristol board, the white will show through.  Likewise, markers also do better on "marker paper" compared to the standard sketchbook paper.  I have used Opaque white and I like it for ink work.  I use a white colored pencil over marker for highlights.  I haven't tried using a white gel pen though.  

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