Friday, 22 July 2016

A white paint pen / mark making comparison

Hello my friends!
I was doing a comparison of my white paint pens and thought it may be of some interest to some of you.  So, today I am sharing my results.
I have a couple of Posca paint pens.  These are not readily available.  In fact I don't personally know of any where local where I can purchase them, so I ordered them off  They took forever to get here and were a little pricey.  But I have to say, they are really good, probably the best that I have tried.
I purchased the Sharpie locally, I'm not sure where, probably Michaels or DeSerres.  They are easy to find.
I found the Daler Rowney paint pen at Walmart yesterday.  It came in a package of two, one white and one black.  I t was $4.97 for the package.  I was very pleasantly surprised wit these pens.  I had not seen them before, but am glad to find a paint pen that is locally available.  The Decocolor paint pen was purchased at the Creative Festival I attended a couple of months ago in Toronto.  I got three of them and was assured by the booth owner that they were great and would work on anything.  I will let you judge the results.
I bought my Pitt pen at Michaels or DeSerres.
I got my Uniball pen online and my Gelli Roll gel pen locally.
The first substrate I tried them on was black card

The Posca pens were great, the Sharpie soaked in to the uncoated card quite a bit.  The Daler Rowney pen worked quite well.  The Decocolor paint pen almost disappeared into the black card.  It actually shows up better in the photo than it does in reality.  The Pitt pen was okay and the Uniball and Gelliroll gel pen were fine on black card.

I decided to coat the card with matte and gloss Mod Podge, as most mixed media pieces would be coated with this or some sort of medium.

They all worked fairly well once the card was coated.  Interestingly, the finer Posca pen splattered a little bit when writing over the texture of the brush strokes.  The Decocolor pen worked much better, but is still somewhat translucent. The PITT pen is not super opaque.

As you can see, the results on the gloss Mod Podge are the same as the Matte  Mod Podge.

I also had an extra fine Sharpie paint pen, but disappointingly, I could not compare it because the pen would not write.  The paint did  come out, but the pen just did not work.  I have to mention that I have found that to be the case with other Sharpie paint pens.  They work great the first time I use them, but when I go back and try use them a second or third time, they often don't work well.

So in conclusion, this is what I have found.  To me, the Posca pens were the best, although I was a little disappointed in the splattering of the fine pen on texture, because I know any of my mixed media projects will be textured and it would be nice to have a fine pen for writing.  I am hoping that it may "calm down".  My second favouite, for my purposes, is the Daler Rowney pen that I just discovered.  It works well and it is reasonably priced.  I wish it came with a finer nib, but this will probably be my "go-to" pen as it is economical and available locally.  I will be on the look-out for a finer line paint pen that is more easily attainable that gives good results.  I will let you know how that goes  I will not purchase the Decocolour pen again.  I love my PITT pens and will always have a use for them, so I will always keep a white one on hand.  Lastly, I really like my Gelli Roll gel pen and my Uniball gel pen.

I hope this has been of some help to those of you who may be wondering what kind of white pen to purchase.

Thanks for stopping by, have an awesome and artful day!


  1. Great tutorial, very useful. Thank you so much, Angela x

  2. Great comparison! You know I wanted to do a very similar post a year ago, but my hard drive crashed while I was working on it, I lost my photos and I never bothered to retake them. I did exactly the same with the black gessoed background - great minds do think alike, it seems! :) I think my favourite white pen must be the water-based sharpie. That's the only one I didn't manage to kill so far, LOL!

    1. Thank you! I hope you do find the time to do your comparison, I would love to see what your results are. The right white pen seems to be had to find so i am really curious as to what everyone else prefers. Great minds!! lol


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