If gel pens are still not present in your artist arsenal, this review from WoWPencils is right here to change the situation. These fantastic drawing tools offer a million of unique effects that will make your artwork irresistible. Metallic and neon, pastel and glitter – incredible combinations of shades!
This research covers the best 13 gel pen brands available on the market in 2019. Read on about these handy mediums, which have taken the art world by storm, and try out the top picks that are suitable for you.
Top 14 Good Gel Pen Sets for Coloring
TUL Retractable Gel Pens (0.7 mm) Review
It is quite often that the manufacturers of gel pens consider this kind of product should be kept in a special box. But what if you need to take some of them with you, let’s say, putting them in your pocket? The ideal solution is to buy a set of TUL gel pens that are retractable and have a clip for hanging. And here is a quick review of them.
There are 14 pieces in the set, and all of them come with a 0.7 mm medium point that has a bullet shape. Besides, each item has a grip and a base of the clip, and they both correspond to the color of the ink and emphasize its stylish gray steel barrel. By the way, all the colors are bright and saturated enough. Thus, they are good tools for everyday usage and special projects.
- These tools come with durable barrels
- They are retractable
- They have clips
- The colors are bright
- They are smoothly applied
- Each item is comfortable to hold
- A nice selection of colors
- They run out of ink too quickly
- They shouldn’t be kept retracted since they dry out too quickly
There is another decent set of retractable premium gel ink rollerball pens from the Pilot brand. There are 10 of them, and each comes with a transparent plastic barrel with colored buttons, clips, and rubber grips. Thanks to the latter, this tool is really comfortable to hold even for a long time.
The Pilot G2 gel pens come with a 1.0 mm bold point, so they write smoothly on any surface, but still, they will never overflow. Besides, once the cartridges run out of ink, they can easily be replaced. However, these tools work for a really long time, so there won’t be a need to refill them too often.
These pens are best suited for everyday projects, especially when you need quick access to them, since they can be clipped onto any cover, for instance, a folder cover.
- They are comfortable to hold
- They are durable
- The ink lasts for a long time
- They write smoothly
- A useful selection of colors
- They are refillable
- The ink may bleed through the paper
Sakura Gelly Roll® Ice Cream Smooth: Most Vibrant Colors
This Sakura set of 74 multicolored gel pens has its name for a reason: their application is as smooth as ice cream. They glide across paper with no effort and have fantastic colors. The collection includes the following items:
- 14 pieces in Metallic (reflective metal) with a 0.4 mm line size;
- 17 pieces in Classic with 0.3 and 0.4 mm line sizes;
- 20 pieces in Moonlight (opaque and luminous) with 0.3 and 0.4 mm line sizes;
- 13 pieces in Stardust (sparkling glitter) with a 0.5 mm line size;
- 10 pieces in Shadow (dual color) with a 0.7 mm line size.
Most of these pens write on both white and black surfaces. Some mediums of the same shade have different tip sizes, which is great for both delicate work and coloring large areas.
The pens are properly organized into 6 separate sections and come in a reusable plastic case, which is very useful in sorting and organizing the items.
On the back side of the label, there is a color chart that helps match the name/number/color of the drawing tools.
- Come in a convenient storage box
- Have medium and fine points
- The ink is of good quality
- An amazing color assortment
- The ink doesn’t leak through thin paper
- A helpful color chart
- With continuous use, the tips may get a little gummy (wipe them with paper)
- A little expensive
Crayola Signature Detailing: Good for Detailed Work
This budget brand proves that you don’t need to spend a fortune to buy quality gel pens. The pack includes 20 units in metallic (9) and glitter (11).
The tools feature 1 mm tips and draw fine lines. They have a sleek design and feature a black body with a company name running along the barrel. The colored caps and the end of the drawing tools help identify the color.
All the pens are organized into 2 plastic trays with an individual section for each medium. They come in a colorful tin, which also serves as a storage case.
The mediums provide smooth and even laydown and will add a stylish touch to any Xmas or B-day card on either dark or light paper.
- Thanks to a decorative box, the set can be a perfect gift
- Don’t bleed through pages
- Saturated colors
- An affordable price
- Smooth application
- Extra fine tips for precise artworks
- Non-toxic and safe
- Metallic and glitter inks don’t sparkle much
- The pens may leave ink skips
- The caps are tight
Shuttle Art Set: Perfect for Starter
This Shuttle Art set of 120 gel pens is really incredible and breathtaking! So many color options in one box! It includes 9 color types: glitter, swirl, metallic, neon, neon glitter, pastel, standard, magical, and unique. Some of them work well on dark paper.
Each pen has a transparent barrel, which makes color identification easier. The mediums have fine points that are long-lasting and guarantee smooth writing.
The packaging is very convenient and allows you to pick the shade quickly without searching for the right pen. This collection is suitable for beginners or those people who are coloring for fun.
- An amazing color palette with no duplicates
- Include glitter and other unique inks in addition to ordinary hues
- Durable tips
- Come in a practical case
- A reasonable price
- The pastel pens require effort to release ink
- Some caps are loose and not staying on the pens
- The ink becomes duller on paper when it dries
Aen Art: Top Pens with Glitter Gel
This multicolored pen set from Aen Art includes 100 units. They are designed with fatter ink cartridges that hold 30% more liquid. This ink glitters in all pens!
The mediums feature a clear plastic barrel to see how much ink is left and a rubberized grip for more comfortable writing. This diminishes fatigue during continuous writing sessions and prevents the tools from rolling away from the flat surface. The water-based ink doesn’t leak through the page.
The ballpoint tip is 0.8 – 1.00 mm, and it guarantees precise and smooth color application without scratching.
- A plethora of rich shades
- A soft grip barrel
- The ink doesn’t fade and smear
- Fine points for delicate drawings
- Include an extra amount of ink
- The color of the caps doesn’t fully correspond to the ink color
- No refills to buy
- No pastels in the set
Paper Mate InkJoy: Best with Medium Point
This InkJoy set inspired by Paper Mate includes 14 gel pens. Their 0.7 mm points are retractable. This means there is no more frustration about lost pen caps.
The tools feature a textured grip that ensures fatigue-free writing. This rubber protection prevents the pens from sliding out and getting lost. The pens are well balanced and have a perfect weight.
The mediums use specially formulated ink that dries 3 times faster and reduces smearing. The ink is long-lasting.
The barrel of each pen is colored in accordance with the ink color, but it has a see-through area to view the ink level.
- A special formula for fast drying of ink
- An ergonomic grip
- Retractable tips
- A rainbow of bright colors
- Smooth application
- No skipping or scratching
- The ink doesn’t leak even through cheap paper
- Includes a standard color collection with no unique hues
- The ink is very fluid and spreads on paper
You will become addicted to this pen pack from ColorIt. The collection includes 48 gel pens (12 neon, 12 metallic, and 24 glitter) and comes with an additional refill for each pen. Totally, there are 96 pieces that can color twice as long!
All these cuties are encased in a gift box, which is also very helpful for traveling. The case has individual inserts, so all the mediums are always kept organized. It zips smoothly around the corners.
The pens feature a transparent barrel, which allows you to check the ink level, and a rubberized grip for effortless writing. With their fine 0.8 – 1.00 mm tips, you can easily color tiny details. The pens have color names and numbers engraved on the barrel, which helps find the exact refill.
- The ink dries quickly
- Include an extra pack of ink cartridges
- A palette of bright shades
- A sturdy and compact case for storage
- A comfortable grip
- The pens are a bit flimsy
- The ink is a bit watery
Tanmit Gel Pens: Perfect for Smooth Coloring
120 fantastic pens and 120 refills from Tanmit is a dream of any creative person. They come in a transparent folding case, which has 4 compartments. The plastic is sturdy and can withstand continued use. The case is easy to open, and it can be tossed in your backpack.
The selection of colors, which includes neon (19 pieces), metallic (20), pastel (16), glitter (28), fluorescent (16), dye (11), rainbow (6), and standard (4), is able to bring any bold art project to life. All the tools have labels on their barrels (a name and a number) for color identification.
The high-quality ink eliminates skipping and fading. Thanks to an upgraded formula, these mediums contain 20% more ink than regular gel pens.
- The collection of shades is eye-catching
- Include additional refills
- Long-lasting ink
- A durable and convenient storage case
- Offer unlimited use, including tattoos and nail art
- Meet safety standards
- Smooth writing
- In some pens, the ink chamber is rattling inside
- The refills are not labeled and make it difficult to match the pens
- The caps are tight and hard to open
Daskid Set: Superbly for Doodle Art
Every art enthusiast will like this 48-color pen collection and the way the tools are organized. They come in a lightweight zip-up case, which doesn’t take much room in your bag for drawing on the go. It is portable and allows you to display all the shades. The tools have a transparent barrel that is color-coded (has a color name and a number).
The set contains 48 refills making it a 96-piece collection. The hues are incredible and include neon (6 pieces), glitter (24), metallic (12), and pastel (6).
Each drawing tool has a rubber cushion for a convenient grip and a 0.8 – 1.00 mm tip. The mediums feature the latest ballpoint technology, which ensures smooth writing with no skips.
- The black case is a practical bonus
- A spectrum of incredible colors
- Exceptional price for the quality
- Include replacement ink
- The colors don’t smear
- An effortless grip
- Run out of ink fast
- Some pen tips may shred paper
Reaeon: Longest-Lasting Gel Pens
If you are looking at how to relieve stress, coloring is the best way to relax, especially when you are using this pen set from Reaeon. The pack will impress you with its enormous color collection: 100 colored gel pens and 100 refills! You will find here metallic (18 pieces), neon (16), glitter (28), pastel (15), neon glitter (14), classic (3), and even swirl (6) inks.
Their 0.8-1.00 mm tips guarantee smooth coloring every time. The mediums are developed with a special formula that allows them to hold 20% more ink.
- The range of colors is gorgeous
- Have refills
- Free-flowing application
- No leaking through paper
- Long-lasting ink
- Sold at a very good price
- The color caps don’t give the true shade
- Made of cheap plastic
Castle Art Supplies 100 Piece Gel Pen Set: Ideal As a Gift
This set from Castle Art Supplies, which includes 100 gel pens, is 100% happiness. There are a lot of various colors with mind-blowing effects to experiment with: 28 glitter, 14 neon and glitter, 6 swirl, 15 pastel, 16 neon, 4 classic, and 17 metallic.
The ink is quick-drying and works on a number of surfaces. It is deeply pigmented and flows on the page with a minimum of fuss.
The pens feature a special rollerball technology for a free-flowing application. They have fine points for the detailed artists to draw intricate design elements. Their transparent body allows you to check the ink volume.
The mediums come in a plastic case divided into 4 sections for their proper organization.
- Highly pigmented ink
- A kaleidoscope of beautiful colors
- Snap-close caps to prevent ink from drying
- Acid-free and non-toxic
- Smooth application
- A phenomenal price
- The plastic cases are not durable and tend to crack along the seams
- The ink comes out fast
Lineon: Top Long-Lasting Gel Pens
Nothing can be as perfect as this collection of gel pens inspired by Lineon. A nice combo of 108 unique colors in one set! The pack includes a mixture of neon (17 pieces), metallic (19), swirl (4), pastel (19), glitter (28), neon glitter (14), and standard (7) inks. The colors are bright and sparkly.
The mediums come in a transparent plastic box, which is very convenient for storage. The pens feature 0.8-1.00 mm points for intricate drawings. They write smoothly and don’t bleed through paper.
- A good price point
- Vibrant colors
- Durable tips
- A sturdy storage box
- Excellent customer support
- Should be kept at a particular angle to let the ink flow well
- The pens don’t come organized by style
- The colors include duplicates
Arteza: Perfect Ink Flow
This fantastic set for coloring addicts from Arteza includes 60 gel pens: 9 pastel, 7 classic, 6 rainbow, 10 fluorescent, 10 metallic, 12 glitter, and 6 neon.
Each tool features a 0.8-1.00 mm tip, which is fine for detailed writing, and has a triangular shape for a more comfortable grip. The core in the pens is replaceable and can be purchased separately if it runs out of ink. The ink is of good quality and doesn’t skip, smear, and fade.
Five transparent plastic trays accommodate the drawing tools. All the shades are displayed and can be easily found.
- The refills are available for sale
- A comfortable grip
- Require no pressure to write
- Long-lasting ink
- A visible ink level
- A range of assorted colors with special effects
- The colors become lighter after drying
- The pens are not labeled to identify the hue
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Feela: Great Variety of Colors
When you open up a case with these pens from Feela, you will be impressed by a number of mediums in the set. They come in 5 trays, which accommodate 130 units. There are also 130 refills that come as a bonus! They all are packaged in individual poly bags.
The color assortment will drive you crazy: neon, swirl, glitter, standard, metallic, neon glitter, and pastel.
The tools feature a transparent body, which allows you to check the amount of ink. They have a smooth ballpoint, and its ink flows nicely. The tip size is 0.6 – 1.0 mm, and it dispenses a decent amount of ink. There is no bleedthrough on paper.
- Assorted bright colors, including unique ones
- Come with additional refills
- A nice case for storage
- Good ink quality
- Smooth writing
- Acid-free and non-toxic
- The pens are thin-barreled
- Some mediums are scratchy when writing
- Not all of the pens show up on black paper
When it comes to gel pens, choosing the best gel pens for coloring can be an overwhelming affair for a starter. This buying guide will help in your shopping adventure when heading for Walmart or Costco. Look at the features that are characteristic of a good gel pen:
Most of the top 13 products described in this post have these features, so selecting the right pack will be a breeze for you.
This is impossible to know everything. This is impracticable to try each drawing instrument with so many brands available on the market, even for professional artists.
This is natural that you may have some questions concerning gel pens and their use. Here are the most common questions and answers for pen lovers.
What Are Gel Pens 🖍 for Coloring?
Gel pens are multifunctional instruments in an artist’s storage box. Traditionally, they include gel-based ink and are used for writing and drawing. Their ink is very thick and makes the writing visible even on dark surfaces.
Thanks to various components and substances added to the ink, gel pens have become unique tools that provide shimmering and glittering effects. Along with ordinary gel pens, the mediums with these special effects are widely used in coloring and other craft activities. They help create unusual cards, invitations, etc.
Are Gel Pens Great for Coloring?
Gel pens are close relatives of standard ballpoint pens, but they have a number of advantages:
- feature fine tips for coloring details with ease;
- contain highly pigmented ink and guarantee bright and vivid colors;
- ensure smooth application. Thanks to thick ink, you need less effort to work with these mediums and have extra control over the coloring process;
- don’t leak even through the thinnest paper 📃;
- come in multiple shades and special effects.
Are you still hesitant that these drawing tools can be used for coloring?
How to Use Gel Pens for Coloring?
There is a bunch of advanced techniques and coloring tips on how to use gel pens:
- Blend colors. You can use pens from different brands choosing a “wet” and “dry” type. Apply a “dry” pen over a layer made by a “wet” pen and blend the colors.
- Combine them with colored pencils and markers. Color the selected areas with both mediums or draw with gel pens on the dried marker area.
- Paint. Color with gel pens and then wet this spot with a damp paintbrush 🖌. The hue will fade away. Use special paper for watercolors.
- Add texture with stippling (patterns with lots of small dots) and hatching (sets of parallel lines). If you draw the dots/lines close to each other, you will get a darker color.
Let us know your own favorite techniques that you have ever used in coloring with these pens.
Colored Pencils vs Gel Pens 👀: What Is Better for Coloring?
This is quite subjective.
Colored pencils are commonly used by kids or beginning artists to practice their shading skills. They are easily erasable, but they may break if you put much pressure and require regular sharpening.
Gel pens are also accessible but not as common as colored pencils. They cannot be erased, but they produce shiny ink and offer solid coloring. These mediums allow you to use minimal pressure, but these drawings will lack your artistic personal touch and look like posters.
The choice depends on your coloring style and preferences.
Are Pilot Frixion Erasable Gel Pens Good for Coloring?
These pens include ink that is sensitive to heat and can be erased. The friction caused by an eraser generates heat and makes the ink disappear.
These drawing tools are commonly used on fabrics in sewing and quilting as they can be erased when ironing. They can also be used for coloring.
(The erased ink remains on the fabric 👗. Extreme cold temperatures make it visible again.)
We use gel pens very often, but what do we actually know about this medium? WoWPencils has compiled a list of interesting facts that you probably never knew about these pens:
- The gel ink and the first gel pen were invented and manufactured by Sakura Color Products Corporation (Japan) in 1984.
- The gel ink includes iron oxides and copper phthalocyanine. These pigments are mixed with biopolymers (various types of gum), water, and certain thickeners.
- The U.S. Secret Service maintains the International Ink Library. As manufacturers may change the ink formula from year to year, a special laboratory analysis can trace the date and place of manufacture of most inks. Gel pens can resist this analysis.
- Fraud-resistant gel ink cannot be affected by solvents (for example, acetone) and can withstand check washing.
- Gel pens differ in maintenance from other pens. The tools should always be capped because they may dry, but such instruments can be stored in any position. They can leak out if the liquid that prevents the gel from leaking evaporates.
Now, we know a little more about a drawing instrument that we use almost every day.
Markers and colored pencils are no doubt the most famous art supplies, but gel pens are becoming a favorite among colorists around the world. The secret of this popularity is hidden in their gel ink and its remarkable characteristics. The diversity of its colors and styles adds an extra plus.
This post describes both budget and premium brands of gel pens, but you can share a couple of your preferences in the comments below.