Learn How to Blend Gel Pens With These 3 Easy Techniques

Transform your next coloring project with these three super easy gel pen blending methods!

By Cher Kaufmann

Today, we’re going to be talking about gel pens and the ways you can boost your coloring by seamlessly blending your gel pen ink! There are three easy methods: Blending with water, blending gel pen to gel pen, and blending with glycerin.

Blending Gel Pens with Water

Blending gel pen with water works best if you have a base layer of colored pencils down on the page first. Then, all you need to do is lay the gel pen over the colored pencil and take a brush with a little water and move the gel pen ink around to blend it out. Want a little more instruction? Check out our video on how to layer colored pencil and gel pen.

Blending Gel Pen to Gel Pen

This one’s easy — all you’re doing is blending one color of gel pen into another. One thing to consider with this technique is that you’re going to be working with two gel pens—preferably ones that leave a lot of ink onto the paper. Put a good layer of the first gel pen down and with your second gel pen, overlap the first color in little circles. This helps to encourage the gel pens to leave a nice blended layer.

Blending Gel Pens with Glycerin

Vegetable glycerin can be found anywhere from craft stores to health food stores and is probably the best medium for seamlessly blending gel pen ink. With glycerin, there are three different blending techniques you can use. Now, one thing to note: Glycerin will stay wet for approximately sixty seconds to three minutes, depending on how much you apply and the type of paper that you’re using. So when doing these techniques, remember to do move quickly because gel pen ink moves easier when it’s still wet!

Glycerin Under Gel Pen:

Start with a small bit of glycerin in a small bowl. Lightly dip your brush—you don’t want too much glycerin on it. Once you dab off the excess, take your brush and put glycerin down onto the area where you want to color with gel pen. When you start to add the ink, you’ll notice that the layer of glycerin acts as an agent that attracts water (almost like watercolor painting), allowing the gel pen ink to feather out on the paper. When you add your second color, the glycerin will create a beautiful connection from one color to the other, giving it a nicely blended look.

Glycerin Over Gel Pen:

For this method, you have to work kind of fast. Start by adding your two colors of gel pen to your work area (we recommend starting with a small spot, like a leaf). With a brush dipped in glycerin, begin to move in circular motions to encourage the ink to move together. What’s nice about this technique is that since glycerin helps make the ink more liquid, you will end up with lots of pigment on your brush. Use that pigment to color other areas with the leftover gel pen ink you’ve picked up on the brush!

Glycerin Mixed with Gel Pen:

For this method, you’ll need something with a slick surface, like a blending palette that’s designed for watercolor markers but anything that acts like a dry erase board. If you don’t have a blending palette, you can use a piece of packing tape on a piece of paper and it will work the same. Put a little bit of gel pen onto the tape (the slick surface helps the gel pen move around instead of soaking right into the paper). Then, like using a paint palette, add glycerin to your brush and mix it in with your gel pen ink. You can begin to move the gel pen and glycerin onto your paper and essentially use it like watercolor paints in any area of the page that you want. While the glycerin is still wet or damp, you can go back and add gel pen straight on top to get more intensity and nice blend. What’s nice about this technique is that your gel pens will go a lot farther than having to color everything in by hand in tiny circles.


Now that you have these new ways to use gel pens, we want to see what you create! Share your finished works of art with us on Instagram using #MyPoshColoring, or send them to us via email at editorial@poshcoloringstudio.com!


Tags: Tips & Techniques