Rabindranath Tagore, one of the world’s most famous poets, once wrote in Stray Birds that colors bring happiness into his life, just as the vibrant skies keep calamities like rain and storms at bay. He had a point. Colors play a vital role in the world around us. They can soothe us, sway our thinking, help us relax, or even enable us to communicate better. After all, we often associate a color with a certain meaning. Red symbolizes urgency, black is linked to mourning, white evokes innocence, green suggests tranquility.
That’s mainly why adult coloring books have become so popular in recent years. In today’s fast-paced society, coloring can be a major stress reliever for people of all ages. It reduces anxiety while also improving focus and sleep. Coloring books for grown-ups generally feature more intricate designs and a wider selection of themes, so taking up this hobby can also improve motor skills and vision. You need to stay inside the lines but also find the best color to suit your purpose, which boosts creativity.
If you’re thinking about giving coloring a go, however, you need to make sure that you have the right tools to make this activity as smooth and relaxing as possible. That’s where gel pens come in. These type of writing instruments use a pigment that has been suspended in a water-based gel solution in order to make the ink thicker and less translucent than that of a regular pen. These qualities make them perfect for coloring and designing, especially on quality paper that doesn’t allow the ink to bleed through.
Read on as we list the main uses of these handy writing tools and try out the most popular brands on the market. All in order to find the best gel pens for coloring and give you a head start when picking up your art supplies.
Practical Uses of Gel Pens
Besides coloring, gel pens can be used for just about anything that involves a regular pen, but are especially recommended for tasks that entertain your creative side. Here are a few activities that could be improved by upgrading your regular pen to a gel model:
- Journaling/planning – bullet journals are all the rage nowadays and feature collections, stickers, and habit trackers. Colorful ink will help you take your planner or bullet journal from drab to fab with minimal effort.
- Arts & crafts projects – gel pens can take your scrapbooking to the next level, while also coming in handy for a variety of creative projects.
- Creative writing – if you prefer to do your creative writing the old-school way, on paper, using different colors to highlight important scenes or keep track of the characters can be extremely useful.
- Business use – colorful pens may not be ideal when drafting important contracts, but they can help you add a bit of flourish to personal memos or thank-you notes. Also, teachers can use them to make grading papers a much more enjoyable activity.
Looking for the Best Gel Pens on the Market
Gel pens come in a variety of styles, featuring a wide range of colors and tones. You can get pens in pastels, metallic blends, neon colors, glitter, and many other appealing gel inks. Plus, you can choose between pens with fine and broad tips. Fine tipped pens are ideal for designing and filling in narrow shapes with vibrant colors, while thick and broad tips make it easy to color in expansive spaces.
If you’re a newbie when it comes to coloring, choosing the right instruments can seem like an overwhelming affair. That’s exactly why we’ve decided to give you a head start in your shopping adventure. Here are 10 of the best gel pens for coloring. Read through the pros and cons of each to find the brand that will best suit your needs.
Top 10 Gel Pens for Coloring: Comprehensive Reviews
1. Shuttle Art 120 Coloring Gel Pens
The 120 coloring set from Shuttle Art is one of the best collections of pens we stumbled upon in our research. According to our market survey, these instruments win over artists thanks to their tremendous aesthetic appeal and quality finish. A group of art teachers and I tried them out and concluded them to be highly suitable for coloring.
We found that there’s a lot to love about the colors featured within Shuttle Art’s set. The pens come in different shades of vibrant and gleaming style, making them an appealing choice for both average users and professional designers. While the shades can be close, no two are identical, which gives you plenty of diversity to choose from, ensuring Shuttle Art a spot on our list of the best gel pens money can buy.
There are nine styles of colors within the set: neon, metallic, glitter, swirl, neon glitter, pastel, magical, standard, and unique. The Unique and Magical ones immediately caught our eye. As the manufacturers state, they instantly stand out thanks to their incredible shine. The rainbow and swirly ones are particularly dashing, as they are multi-colored and enable you to add a touch of whimsy to your work.
We did encounter an issue as well – their performance is not consistent. The pens from one pack performed exceptionally in all criteria, while some from other packs were either too scratchy, not entirely filled with ink, or did not have ink properly flowing out at all. Still, the customer service provided by Shuttle Art was remarkable. The flawed packs we got were replaced swiftly with new perfectly packaged models.
- Bright colors
- Nine different styles of pens
- Rare colors and styles included
- Smooth-flowing ink
- Ideal for coloring in relatively small and medium-sized spaces
- Convenient packaging for storing and carrying
- Strong, 3-5mm thick tips
- Lasts relatively long
- Made with acid-free and non-toxic materials
- Remarkable customer care service
- No pens were identical
- Slightly similar shades present
- Inconsistencies in product packaging in a few cases
2. Super Doodle Glitter Gel Pens
The Glitter Pens from Super Doodle are newer on the market, but they’ve gained extensive popularity within a relatively small time frame. For a good reason – the pens produce bright colors and perform flawlessly. Some of my colleagues and I decided to give them a go, along with several kids in our families. The majority of us were pleased with the results.
Most of all, we were delighted with the brightness, shades, tones, and sparkles of these colorful pens. The generous range of tones proved to be helpful since there no color was repeated. The slight variation in the shades, however similar they appeared to be, was admired by professional artists as well, as it enabled them to come up with more realistic drawings. On top of all this, all of us were pleased with the soft and smooth grips on the barrels of the pens. The bold tips were very convenient, allowing ink to flow out effortlessly, without any scratches.
On the other hand, one of the major problems we found with this product is the low amount of gel ink within each of the pens. One of my colleagues was coloring in an intricately designed A4 picture for work purposes. Some of the most used shades of colors were on the verge of running out before the entire page could be completed. Fortunately, he realized that the pens were almost running out beforehand. Therefore, he pressed lighter on the paper to retain enough ink so that he would be able to finish. It is very important for a professional artist to maintain consistency in his or her artwork. If that’s you, you might want to buy multiple sets of pens to make sure you always have a backup.
- 80 pieces of bright glitter colors
- Two styles of glitter colors included – standard glitter and neon glitter
- One of each color without any duplicates
- Acid-free, non-toxic elements used in manufacturing
- Latex-free grip for comfort in holding
- Smooth and free-flowing ink
- Bleed-proof ink
- Travel easily thanks to foldable case
- Ideal for usage by all age groups
- Excellent customer service
- Low quantity of ink
- Inconsistency in quality maintenance
- No refills included
3. Reaeon Gel Pens Coloring Set
This set from Reaeon is a best-seller within the category of art supplies. We’re not surprised: these pens make coloring fun and effortless. I tested this product out at my cousin’s child care center. From what I could gather, all the adult staff members and the 6-10-year-old kids enjoy using these pens quite a lot.
We all found the instruments to be arranged neatly in different styles of dazzling colors. The styles included are metallic, neon, glitter, swirl, classic, pastel and fluoro glitter. The glitter pens offer plenty of sparkles, which is always a plus. As for the neon pens, they are very noticeable thanks to their extensive boldness. Next, the pastels are able to fulfill the rich, lighter shades and set smoothly onto paper. The metallic colors are shiny and appealing to the eye, while the fluorescent ones are rich, offering excellent coverage of all areas. Finally, the rainbow-styled pens with swirling combinations of colors are truly unique, allowing you to enjoy all colors in a seamless manner. The best part of owning Reaeon pens is that the set includes refills for all the colors, so they will last you for a long time.
Some minor issues experienced while using these pens involves their poor casing, which can lead to ink leaks and difficulty in identifying refills. In short, the casing appears to be very flimsy and thin. A lot of the people who were testing the products found at least one or two pens leaking inside the package. Some of the people experienced pens leaking as they were being used. Furthermore, all of the users agree that there should be some sort of coding or labeling included so that the refills can be matched to their identical pens.
- 100 pens of seven different styles along with 100 matching refills
- 20% extra gel ink added to this model
- Durable because of extra ink and refills
- Highly functioning tips of 0.8-1mm
- Superfluous and smooth gliding ink flow
- Top graded ink that does not skip, smear or fade
- Non-toxic and acid-free, so safe for all ages
- Free replacement or full refund at manufacturer’s guarantee
- Washable ink
- Fragile casing
- Vulnerable to leaking ink
- Difficult to identify refills with pens since no labels are provided
- Inconsistencies in product quality in rare cases
4. InkCraft 320 Piece Gel Pen Set
This set from InkCraft is another great investment for lovers of coloring. The pens are very affordable, with the set offering 320 pieces of art stationery in total. Both young and adult members from my art club tried out the pens and were impressed with their performance.
My fellow art club members and I loved the large range of colors provided. You get 160 exceptional colors in eight different styles of gel ink. The rainbow colors and the translucent watercolors are worth a special shoutout; we were all mesmerized by the glow and brightness of the color combos. The set also includes 160 refills, ensuring that your pens last twice as long. Additionally, the tips of the pens are designed with strict precision for supreme flow and smoothness. This makes coloring easy since all areas of a picture can be uniformly covered.
Most of us who tested the pens found little to complain about. One minor disappointment was that the shades aren’t as diverse as we would have liked. This also makes pens difficult to match with their refills, given that some of the shades are almost identical. For instance, the fluorescent red is very similar to neon red, which can cause confusion. Another weakness we noticed with this product was the long time it takes for the ink to be entirely dry on paper, making it vulnerable to smudging. We recommend using the pens at a slow pace to avoid making a mess of your hard work.
- Eight varying styles of 160 pens (Glitter, Pastel, Fluorescent, Metallic, Neon, Watercolor, Standard and Rainbow Colors) with 160 matching refills
- Twice as much longevity
- Free from acid and non-toxic
- Premium designed fine tip to provide comfort and effortless usage
- Easy to use
- Shades are not noticeably diverse amongst all styles
- Difficult to match refills with pens
- Takes a long time to dry
5. Color Technik Glitter Gel Pens
The Glitter Pens from Color Technik are known for their vibrant colors, available in multiple shades. I tested them along with some professionals in our creative department and we were all highly pleased with the output. As a result, we’re pretty confident to recommend these as some of the best gel pens worth investing in.
One of the best features of the Color Technik glitter pens is that they contain exactly 30 unique shades in two different styles of gen ink, glitter and glitter neon. The colors dazzled us with their impressive gleaming sparkles, making them a clever choice for when you need to add a bit of glitz and glam into your life. Another superb characteristic of these pens is the free flow of ink over large areas, which enabled us to color our pictures uniformly. Furthermore, the pens appeared to last far longer than most other brands, without needing refills. Also, the pens are a pleasure to use thanks to their soft relieving grips meant to reduce any extra pressure upon your fingertips.
A downside of this product is that we found it quite difficult to manage the flow of the ink, at least initially. Therefore, we suggest that you practice by lightly pressing the pen upon a paper that does not contain your final artwork until you get used to the pen’s output. After that, try to maintain a medium range of pressure. Applying too much had often resulted in huge blobs. Another issue we had was with coloring in narrow spaces of an image. The ink flow was abundant and the tip is quite thick at 1.0mm. For coloring in narrow spaces, it is best to use pens with 0.5mm tips.
- 30 unique shades
- Two dazzling styles of glitter
- Comfortable grip for ease in handling
- Free from acid, lead and toxic substances
- 365 days refund period if not satisfied
- Suitable for coloring in large areas
- Long-term durability
- Uniform area coverage
- Difficult to manage gel ink flow
- Difficult to color in narrow spaces properly
- Possible formations of blobs because of too much ink flow
- Tips are too thick
6. Inspired Art Gel Pen Set
According to user reviews, this set contains a comprehensive collection of top quality instruments. I tested them out along with some relatives, including children, and we ended up quite impressed. Turns out, these gel pens are crafted to create appealing designs in the most efficient way possible.
The pens come beautifully arranged in a smart box equipped with trays to ensure that the instruments are well secured and uncluttered. You get 100 pens in basic colors, but they come in various attractive styles. Since the price is quite low, we were delighted to discover that the internal tube ink cylinders are thicker than with most other brands. They are Extra-Extra-Large (XXL) sized, so you get more than twice the amount of ink. This gives you a whole lot of bang for your buck.
Unfortunately, one of the weaknesses of this product is that the plastic body of the pens is quite fragile. We suggest that you take special care while handling them and store them neatly in the included box. Another issue is that it can be tricky to color in large areas of a picture. This makes the pens very suitable for intricate designs, but less so when you have a large space to fill out. You might also have trouble distinguishing the styles of the pens as the colors within each style are pretty similar. We would find it more convenient if the pens came labeled with their styles of pastel, neon, metallic, glitter or neon glitter.
- 100 bright pens in five differing styles
- Easy gliding, smooth ink flow
- 0.8mm to 1mm fine tips for designing within intricate spaces
- Acid-free and non-toxic
- Suitable for both adults and children
- Lasts long with 60% greater ink content
- Arrives within a smart box – convenient for storage
- Full money-back guarantee with no hassle
- Reasonable price
- Vulnerable to leakage because of fragile plastic body
- Not suitable for coloring in large spaces within pictures
- Difficult to identify the colors according to their styles
- Inconsistency in quality of some products
7. Art-n-Fly Art Gel Pens Set
In our search for the best gel pens available, my art club and I tried out the Art-n-Fly set, which turned out to be excellent for coloring. These instruments provide great value at an affordable price, making them a good choice for newbies.
While testing the pens, we found the 40 colors available to be absolutely gorgeous. They come in a variety of gel ink styles including glitter, neon, and metallic. We were impressed with the fact that rare colors like white, silver, black and gold are also included. These pens were able to perform well when coloring in intricate areas of an image, as well as when using them for fine designs. The tips flow smoothly and the ink does not bleed through the paper or smudge at all. Furthermore, Art-n-Fly is an excellent company with superior customer service.
That being said, my fellow club members and I were quite disappointed with the cylindrical handle which holds the pens. It isn’t particularly sturdy – we would go as far as calling it flimsy and only suitable if placed at a fixed position. The constant movement of the handle, like when traveling with it, may result in it falling apart. Also, the pens don’t appear to last very long. Three red colors of different styles were completely used up after coloring in 25 small postcards. Finally, the pens don’t perform as well when you use them to fill in a large space. They’re mostly recommended for fine designs.
- 40 gorgeous colors of various styles including unique shades
- Gel ink dries swiftly after application
- Smooth-flowing tip
- Fine pointed tip, ideal for coloring in narrow spaces
- Bleed resistant and smudge proof
- Money-back guarantee with no hassle
- Superior customer service
- True value for price
- Flimsy cylindrical holder
- Not suitable for coloring in broad spaces
- Low amount of ink per pen
- Difficult to distinguish colors of each style
- Not very durable
8. Smart Color Art 80 Colors Gel Pens Set
This 80 colors set by Smart Color Art is one of the most praised on the market. The pens are easily adaptable to various styles and techniques, making them appealing to all sorts of professionals. A few artists within my social groups gave them a try and were amazed by the many impressive features of the product.
The artists were very happy that the pens were easy to use for coloring in different images. They perceived the colors to be able to blend well. The glitter gel ink retains its sparkle even when several layers of colors are added, making it clearly stand out from the crowd. The set comes several vivacious styles, all visually pleasing: glitter, milky, metallic, neon, standard, and pastel. Both novice and proficient artists within the field found comfort in using the pens as they were quickly able to adjust their level of pressure when coloring thanks to the steady and smooth flow of the ink.
The only downside we could find was that the set can be less appealing for lovers of pastel or neon colors, since these are not always visible on dark backgrounds. If you’re into glitter though, this set is a godsend, as it comes with a wide range of excellent glitter pens to choose from. Another thing: the ink doesn’t last very long. In one instance, one of the artists quickly ran out of the brown gel pen while coloring in an image of a large tree on a regular sized paper.
- 80 vibrant shades of colors in six different styles
- Suitable to be used by both children and adults because of PVC packing
- Manufactured without any lead, toxic and acid content
- High quality, sturdy tip of 0.8mm
- Smooth and steady flow of gel ink
- Extremely low in price
- Easy to use
- Easy to layer colors
- More glitter pens than of other styles
- Not all styles were visible in black backgrounds
- Ink does not last long
9. Crayola Gel Coloring Pens
The Gel Coloring Pens from Crayola deserve all the hype they get, and the reason for that is simple: they contain 2.5 times more ink than the average gel pen, so they are the longest-lasting pens within the industry. A few well-known illustrators and I tried them out, along with several kids from the family. We all felt that these pens are worth the price, as their performance is almost always excellent.
Everyone who tested the pens praised the ‘Maxi Ink’ feature, which can easily outperform refills. The ink will last more than twice as long as normal, making the set a great bargain. Even more exciting, the tip of the pens is appropriate for both intricate and broad spaces. The reason for this is that it measures 1.0mm – neither too fine nor too thick.
On the other hand, several of the illustrators within our test group were surprised to find that some of the colors weren’t as appealing as they expected and that the dark and light hues aren’t always distinguishable. For instance, the dark blue and the light blue pens were mostly criticized because there was little contrast between the two shades. Another challenging aspect of the pens is that the ink doesn’t always match the pen’s exterior, so you’ll need some time to get used to using the set. The light red, for example, appears more salmon pink on paper and the green resembles teal.
- 40 pens of different shades and styles including glitter, bold, fluoro-glitter and crisp
- Unique shades like shimmery browns included
- Smooth gliding flow of ink
- Bleed-resistant, quick-drying ink for preventing smudging, blotting and skipping
- Premium medium 1.0mm point ink tip for flexibility in coloring
- ‘Maxi Ink’ feature
- Longest lasting ink
- Low in price
- Suitable for both children and adults
- Glitter-free, non-toxic and acid-free
- Latex-free grips on pen barrels for comfort
- Top graded customer service
- Not labeled in terms of shade and style
- The external body and the ink color does not always match
- Variation of shades are not noticeable
- Original single shades of colors are difficult to find
10. Sargent Pack Glitter Gel Pens
When it comes to pens for coloring, the 12-Pack from Sargent doesn’t disappoint. They work flawlessly and deserve to be ranked among the best gel pens currently available. My colleagues and I tested them out and found them to be a superb set of tools to use for coloring.
Overall, we were incredibly satisfied with the performance of the instruments. The ink flowed freely and smoothly onto the paper. It was perfect to use for layering and blending various color. Plus, the 1mm sturdy tip of the pens is ideal for coloring in both constrained as well as broad areas of a picture. As for the shades, they are beautiful and vibrant, especially the primary ones – red, blue, and yellow.
The only letdown was the durability of the instruments. Given the fact that this limited set is quite pricey, we were gearing up for the pens to last us much longer. Another small issue is that the structure of the pens is flimsy. Most of us agree that these are not suitable for rough handling, so they’re not a great choice for kids.
- 12 glitter pens of differing colors and true tones
- 1mm fine tip works well for coloring and designing within intricate and broad areas
- Free-flowing ink working smoothly
- Ideal for layering and blending different colors
- Consists of perfect amount of sparkling glitter
- Dries quickly to prevent smearing
- Full refund if not satisfied
- Top grade customer service
- Does not last long
- Limited amount of ink
- Poorly structured, flimsy body
Last update on 2023-03-21 at 09:22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Any idea on good coloring books that are not too expensive?