Dawn DeVries Sokol
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{Gel Pens, the Like and a Little Latte}

Happy Tuesday! I wanted to answer a question posed by Lucy in yesterday’s post:

Let me ask you this, what is the best way to store pens. Standing Up,
laying down? If it's up, do you store them with the tip down or up??

Lucy: I tried to comment last night on this, but Typepad didn’t post it for some reason...I just read somewhere that it’s best to store them horizontally. I’ve always done that with the pens I have in my drawer, the ones I’m waiting to use...but the ones I have at my fingertips, I’ve usually had vertically, with no concern for tip up or down. But lately, even those pens have been laid on their side. I just want to try to get the most out of them...

Thanks for your question, Lucy! Everyone, please feel free to ask questions...I will either try to reply in the comments section or on the following day’s post...

Now, on to part 2 of my Marking Tools Series. And with that, we’re going to talk gel pens (and their cousins)...

Sakura
First up, gel pens by Sakura. Now, Sakura makes a vast array of pens...some think that the ones made FOR Japan’s customers are a bit better than the U.S. counterparts. That’s only half true. Some of the Sakura pens you can get in the U.S. now, and they’re awesome. Like Souffle pens. They look really weird when wet on the page, but once they dry, they have a somewhat raised appearance. It depends on the paper you’re working on, too. I use Fabriano Artistico in my journals, and that paper tends to really grab ink, so sometimes I go back over the Souffles, just to get more of the raised effect. Aqualips are cool and I think sold in Japan only, but they are the same as the Gellyroll Glaze pens. No real difference. The Glaze pens give a glossy, watery look when dry. Kinda slick. Gellyroll Moonlight pens are neon colors and are sold in the U.S. I haven’t seen Tiara pens sold in the U.S. yet, except for in Kinokuniya and on Jet Pens. They have a nice glittery sheen to them and only are sold in a set. And I’m not sure where I found the Gellyroll Gold, but it dries to a goldish hue of it’s intended color. There are also just regular Gellyroll pens. It’s fun to play with them to see what various effects you can get from them. Most of them are best when doodling, filling in, and writing text that is more doodle-ish. (If that makes sense...) You’ll need to play with them to see what mediums they will write over. I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem with bleeding of any of these pens. You do have to let them dry on your surface, though. Oftentimes, I’ve smudged them because I don’t have enough patience and accidentally move my hand over them while I’m writing or doodling elsewhere on the page.

Signoum153
Next up are Uni-ball pens. Their line of Signo pens are cool...But there is a difference in the ones distributed in the U.S. and those not widely available here. The Uni-ball Signo UM-153 White pen is the pen that writes over most any surface or medium. It’s great for writing on black paper as well. I have had some problems with it in the past, such as less than continuous flow. I keep a heavy stock of them in my drawer because I tend to use them quite a bit. You can find them on Jet Pens or in Japanese bookstores. The UM-153 is also available in blue, dark blue, green, orange, red, black, silver and gold. I’ve used these as well and really like the red...And they are good for fine writing, doodling, etc.
I’ve recently played with other Uni-ball Signo pens, such as the UM-120, which I love the Uniballtexture and appearance of. Jet Pens has them available as Uni-ball Signo Angelic. The UM-100 is OK as is the Uni-ball AquaMagic pen. Again, play and experiment by buying one of each to see what works best for you...

Pilot
And another widely known manufacturer is Pilot. I mentioned the Pilot Parallel pens yesterday, which are available in several calligraphic nib sizes and are refillable, with various colors of ink available. Lately, I’ve been using the Pilot Latte pens, which have some incredible colors (my work in my Moleskine for Exchange 5 was done with Pitts and Lattes). They flow well and are meant for a variety of surfaces, including plastic. Jet Pens has them in sets or sold as open stock. LOVE these. I also picked up a Pilot Choose pen whenSpotliter I was last at Kinokuniya. Works OK, but not as well as the Lattes...And Pilot also has the Spotliter2 pens, which are mainly meant as hi-liters, although I use them sometimes on my pages...I like the neon colors, if I’m going for that effect. Each pen has two different tips: a chisel and a regular tip. I found those at Kinokuniya in a seven-color set, and you can also find them on Jet Pens, where they sell them separately.

Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at markers!