Journal52:Prompt 12–A Day in the Life of Me #Journal52 #ArtJournaling #LifeImitatesDoodles


Lots, lots, lots of things going on, and I’d just about decided to skip this prompt.  Nothing came to mind, and I had other creative things to think about.

But the word spaghetti is always available, and I decided to go for a variation on this theme.

I laid down my background using *Montana Markers (markers filled with acrylic paint).

Then I used **Sakura Stardust Gellyroll pens to do my writing.

I’d write my word with one color of pen, then outline it and draw doodles in the empty spaces.

In the dark blue section, I used Sakura’s Moonlight gellyrolls, which are fluorescent and great for drawing over black.

The reflective color and all the linework around it made the words difficult to read, so this is great if you want (nearly) secret journaling or like me, prefer the meaning to be secondary to the visual aspect.  If I had wanted to keep the words more readable, I would have used less of the Stardust pens and more of the classic Gellyrolls, with a greater contrast of color.  Or used a different kind of pen altogether.

Another bad thing about the Stardust and Moonlight gellyrolls is that they are very hard to scan or photograph.  I managed to get the colors fairly true, but I couldn’t get a full shot that didn’t look like a hot mess.  I think you get the idea though.

*Montana Markers are plastic tube markers filled with acrylic paint.  The paint is very fluid and thinner than most acrylic paint that comes in tubes or bottles.  It dries matte and semi to totally transparent depending on the color.  You can get empty tubes and add your own paint.  Paint refills and replacement nibs are available.  Acrylic paints often have a sticky finish that can cause your pages to stick together, but Montana Markers don’t.  They come in different nib sizes.  I like the 15mm size myself, because you can cover a large area quickly.

I use the 2mm size for small detail, though I need to replace the nib on this one.  You can see the smaller nib is plastic rather than fabric.

Montana brand has many different types of markers, so if you decide to buy these, make sure you get the acrylic paint kind (or empty) and the size nib you want.

The price varies by size, going from about $6 USD up to $9 USD.  More expensive than cheap acrylic craft paint, but cheaper than high-end acrylic paints.  You don’t need brushes or sponges or other tools to apply the paint (but you can use those tools by touching them to the nib if you wish) and there’s no clean-up if you’re careful not to drip off the paper.

You can get drip effects by pushing down hard on the pen to really get the ink flowing, or just put down a nice, thin layer.

If you are just starting out with acrylics, intend to take your paints traveling, or just want a no-fuss, no-muss option, these may be a good choice for you.  I’d definitely start with just one though, and try it before deciding to invest in a bunch.

**Sakura Stardust Gellyrolls. Sakura has several types of gel ink pens.  The Stardust line has glitter suspended in the ink, so you get a nice sparkly, glittery look with no fuss or muss.  The glitter will get on you, if you disturb the ink while it is wet, but it stays put fairly once dry.

Their Moonlight line is fluorescent.  The Silver Shadow and Gold Shadow have colors that turn mostly silver or gold with a colored outline.  The Classic Gellyroll has bright colors with a thick ink that dries ever-so-slightly raised.

The Gellyrolls are great fun and give fantastic effects, but they aren’t without their problems.  As I’ve noted above, they are hard to scan or photograph.  Often the colors simply appear white when you try, although they look amazing in real life.

The ink is so thick in these pens that they can skip if you draw too fast, and then will blob when the ink catches up.  In some temps and/or humidities they may dry up quickly.  These problems aren’t particular to the Sakura brand.  All gel pens suffer these problems to some degree.

I think they’re worth it, but if you are new to gel pens, I recommend buying just one or two (white’s a good choice to start with) and playing with them to see if you find it worth-while as well.

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One comment

  1. digginit12 · April 3, 2014

    Great info. I like your advice to be cautious before investing in new tools. Being new to mixed media after zentangling for awhile, I did a collage and used watercolor I some areas.
    Excited to journal with a new set of 4 Micron pens, I jumped in and suddenly my pens quit working. I tried cleaning them on plain paper wiping them with water and rubbing alcohol, but nothing worked. Is there a solution? Should I have journaled first? Used a different type of pen? Any words of wisdom welcome. Enjoying your blog. BJ

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