Experimenting with Pens

This lesson is done on a fairly dark background, so if your journal is white,
you might want to paint a darker background on a page, or use a separate page
for experimenting with white and metallic pens.

4th spread

In this lesson demonstration I use a Gelly Roll White Pen and 2 Metallic FaberCastell Pitt Pens, but I’ve listed a number of options so don’t feel tied to what I’m using in the videos.

  • Journal Pages of watercolor paper to doodle and write on
  • Quotes to write
  • Pencil and or piece of chalk
  • Eraser –  kneaded eraser and/or white eraser suggested
  • White Gel Pen – (optional) I like Gelly Roll brand, or your favorite if you want to write with fine lettering on a dark background
  • Metallic Pens (optional) Sometimes I like to use metallic pens, but they are totally optional. The ones I’ve found to be permanent are Sanford Gold Coat Slim Tip, Sharpie Gold, Silver & Bronze Permanent Markers, and Painter’s Gold Leafing Pen. See note below photo of Metallic Pens for more info.
  • White permanent pen for fixing mistakes or writing bigger letters, such as Painters Pen, fine tip, paint marker by Elmer’s, OR ACRYLIC water based paint marker/Extra fine by Montana Markers, OR BIC Wite-Out Correction Pen. (Optional) I won’t be demonstrating this but want you to know you can also use these markers for writing
  • Any pens you want to experiment with
  • Scrap piece of paper to experiment on
  • Spray Fixative for spraying over white written words that are not permanent (optional but recommended when experimenting)
  • Rubbing alcohol (optional) for removing acrylic paint or pen

Notes & Photos of Pens:

white pens photo

As a reminder, I thought I would show the first three as good options for correcting mistakes on white paper. The Elmer’s Painters Pen, #1, is the one I’ve used the most. I purchased #2 recently as a new product from our local Blick store and have been quite happy with it. I prefer one of these two because they also write words fairly well if I go at a slower pace, which seems to be the case with all the white pens I’ve tried. When I am correcting a mistake, it required 2-4 coats of the pen to cover the black ink, which is a bit of a downside. #3 is the most opaque white, so it makes it good for corrections with less layers, but I have found it harder to control (a bit gloppy) so I do not choose it to write with.

As far as writing with white pen, the Gelly Roll by Sakura was my first and still my favorite. It is not permanent though, so it requires spraying over the white writing/doodling with a fixative before  putting any wet media over it.

Metallic Pens photo

Using metallic pens in your journal is totally optional. If you do, here are pens I’ve found to be permanent, not smearing when water media and acrylic medium is brushed on top of them. The gold leaf pen is quite gold, but the fumes are very strong. If you are sensitive to that, I would avoid that pen. You’ll watch me experiment in the video with some metallic pens, finding what doesn’t work as well as what does. Even though the Metallic Pitt pens say they are permanent, they are not.

With all that said, I advise experimenting on scrap paper BEFORE
using the pen/s directly in your journal if you are not sure of the results.

hold on quote

This video show how I use a white gel pen to write a fairly long quote in the HOPE Journal:

The password for the video is: do-letter

This video show writing with metallic pens in the HOPE Journal:

The password for the video is: do-letter

Tubman quote


Leave Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

clear formSubmit