Review – Gelly Roll Souffle Pens

Many fellow artists have told me about their dreams of finding a “holy grail” gel pen that stands out against dark paper. I’ve loved gel pens for years and have tried out many different kinds to try to find my favorite. I’ve found that I like (enough to include them on my Top 3 Favorite Art Supplies of 2014 list!) the Gelly Roll gel pens the best.

Review - Gelly Roll Souffle Pens


Why I Like Them:

The Gelly Roll Souffle pens have packaging that’s not only cute, but practical. The cap matches the ink color inside while the barrel is marked with the variety of each pen. There’s an assortment of colors and mine came in a pack of 10 – black, white, yellow, green, blue, orange, purple, pink, peach, and teal.

The pens write smoothly, provided you make sure you keep the tip clean and replace the cap after each use. They produce a thick line that can fill in larger areas, but not so thick you can’t use them for more detailed work. The ink dries opaque over both dark and light paper and generally doesn’t smudge once it’s dry. I use the Souffle pens frequently to add patterns and contrast to my pieces. One recent piece I’ve heavily used them is on my cat-themed journal page.

These are widely available at arts and craft stores (tip: they’re often in the scrapbooking section!) and are usually sold in a pack. I’ve seen the prices range from $15-20+ depending where you buy them. They’re a little bit of a splurge, but for the effect and how long they last I think they’re worth it. I’ve had mine for over 2 years and they’re still going strong.

Artfully Megan Signature

Do you have a “holy grail” gel pen? What are some of your favorite brands?

I was not given this product for compensation or review. The product was purchased by me and the opinions supplied are my own.

Review – Pentel EnerGel Pens

Journaling is one of those things I try to do on a regular basis. Much like showering, praying, or snuggling with my cat, it just doesn’t feel right unless I journal every day. It’s especially important to me when I’m the most tired, frustrated, or creatively stuck. Those are the times I usually need it the most and nothing helps me get through it like a good pen. One of my current favorites are the Pentel EnerGel pens.

Pentel EnerGel pens review

Why I like them:

The EnerGel pens are among the smoothest I’ve tried. They don’t skip and the ink applies evenly and dries fast. The fast-drying ink is advertised as being particularly good for lefties. Even though I’m not a lefty, I can certainly say that the ink rarely smudges when I use them.

Another thing I like is that there’s a decent variety of colors. EnerGel pens come in the standard black and blue, but also green, red, purple, and pink.

There are two different choices of points: 0.5mm and 0.7mm. I have both sizes, but I prefer the 0.5mm variety because my handwriting is small and thin. I’ve also used the 0.5mm for Zentangle-type activities and I like how clean and crisp thinner lines look.

I like the general design of the pen. They look sleek and because the pen is the same color as the ink inside, it’s very easy to tell which color you’re about to use. Though I think the grip is comfortable and my hand doesn’t get sore after a lot of writing, I think it could be a little bit softer.

I’m not sure if it’s because of how frequently I use these pens or if they just don’t hold a lot of ink, but I do find that I go through them very quickly. Luckily, the EnerGel pens seem to be widely available. I’ve seen them at office supply stores, supermarkets, and drugstores.

Artfully Megan Signature

Do you journal regularly? If so, what are your favorite pens to use?

I was not given this product for compensation or review. The product was purchased by me and the opinions supplied are my own.

Top 3 Favorite Art Supplies of 2014

Another year is coming to a close and as I look forward to the future and what it might hold for me artistically, I’d like to step back a minute and review my top 3 favorite art supplies of 2014.

Top 3 favorite art supplies of 2014

1. Gelly Roll gel pens

If there’s one product I had to say I used the most in 2014, it would have to be these. The Gelly Roll pens come in a variety of different finishes, but my favorites this year have been the Souffle and more recently the Stardust varieties.

When you first start writing with the Souffle pens, you almost don’t see a thing. But as it dries you get the full color. These dry as opaque, creamy colors with a matte finish. They also dry somewhat raised, which looks a bit like embossing. I like to use the Souffle pens to draw or write against all backgrounds, light or dark. I think it really makes things pop and transforms a one-color background into something really special.

The sparkle of the holiday season might have influenced my decision to add the Stardust pens to the list, too, but I really feel like I used them in almost everything in the later half of 2014. The best way I know how to describe them is that they are clear ink with very fine glitter included. Even though they come in a variety of different colors, I like using the clear Stardust pen the most for a more subtle shimmer.

In addition to the Souffle and Stardust pens, I also heavily utilize the white pen to add contrast, especially against the darker backgrounds.

2.  Washi Tape

I wasn’t always into these just because I couldn’t justify the $5 price tag, but then I saw quite a few of them on sale at my local craft store and in the dollar bins at Target (who knew?!) and I was hooked.

They come in a lot of different colors and patterns so they’re very versatile. When I went shopping for holiday card supplies I picked up a ton of festive washi tape that I used in every card. In addition to using washi tape to decorate greeting cards, I also use it for added interest in some of my art journal pages. I’ve also used them in the past to decorate boxes for the cookies I like to bake and distribute to friends and family.

I love that–because they’re made out of paper–you can write on them. Sometimes I will use them in my daily journal as colorful dividers or as page tabs to create sections. I also like that unlike other tape, there’s something about it that makes it just sticky enough to stick to what you need it to, but not so much that you can never take it off again. This has come in handy on projects where I’ve changed my mind and I absolutely love that there’s virtually no residue.

3. Prismacolor Colored Pencils and Colorless Blender

My favorite subject when it comes to art is portraits. Even though I haven’t created too many this year, the ones I enjoyed the most were the ones I did with Prismacolor colored pencils. I got my first set of 50 when I was in high school and even though I have a new set, I still use the old ones to this day.

What I like the most about these is that they’re soft and very pigmented. You don’t need to press down all that hard to get a lot of color payoff. They’re fairly easy to blend together on their own, but I really like having that smooth, blended look so I almost always use their colorless blender when I’m drawing. I think it does a great job of meshing the colors together without really altering the colors themselves. In fact, sometimes it looks as though the colors become more vivid after using it. Like the colored pencils, it’s also soft and easy to work with.

So those were my top 3 favorite art supplies of 2014. I think I’ll definitely continue using them in 2015, but there’s a couple things on my radar that I’ve been wanting to try.

Artfully Megan Signature

What were your favorite art supplies of 2014? Are there any you’re looking forward to trying out in 2015?

I was not given any of these products for compensation or review. The products were purchased by me and the opinions supplied are my own.

Handmade Holiday Cards 2014

I’m not sure when it clicked in my mind that I could combine my art journaling techniques with card-making, but when I did my interest in it really took off. I think I really started getting into handmade holiday cards a year or so ago. Before that, I remember doing it on occasion just for fun, but now almost every card I make is handmade in one way or another.

Some of the supplies I used to craft my 2014 holiday cards.

Some of the supplies I used to craft my 2014 holiday cards.

If I had to describe my current style, I would say it’s simple. It’s usually just a mixture of paper collage, markers, pens, puff paints, and stickers (specifically Hello Kitty ones!). This year I decided to dress it up a little bit with some festive washi tape and rhinestones. I’m still learning which techniques and products I prefer, but I’m enjoying trying new things out with each special season.

This year’s cards have already been mailed and I’m really looking forward to people getting them! Sometimes I wonder if people realize how much fun it is for me to make these things. I usually try to select an individual theme for each card that I think the person would like. Even though it takes a lot of time to pull that concept together into a tangible card, I enjoy seeing my friends and family happy and sharing a little piece of what I love.

Artfully Megan Signature

Do you make your own cards? What’s your favorite part about it?