Gel Ink pens that give a watercolor-like wash

Isn’t it strange how coincidence flows? A few weeks ago, someone asked me if I knew a contact from within Jetpens.  I said no, because though I’ve submitted work for consideration in their blog, and I buy from the company often, I didn’t have a specific relationship with the company.

And then about 10 days ago, I received an email from Jetpens asking if I wanted to review product for them.  You betcha, I did!

A few days later, I received a 6-pack of Pilot Hi-Tec-C Maica Gel Ink Pens.  I’m working on a series of examples using the pens, and I hope to have a complete review for you next week, but I wanted to share this surprise I discovered along the way.

No gel pen I’ve ever used has been waterproof.  I didn’t expect the Maica pens to be, but I decided to test them anyway to see how resistant they were.  As it turns out, not very.  And wonderfully so!

I was amazed at how well the pigment color stayed bright even with heavy washes.  I wasn’t able to totally smooth out the hard lines where I first added color but I could blend them out further by lifting color.  If fact, I could lift a small amount of color on a wet brush and use it elsewhere on the page.



This painting was done in a Crok’ Book sized 6.75″ x 4.25″ (17 x 11 cm), and I had to work a bit to get the ink to move and cover the entire page.  The Crok’ Book has Clairefontaine paper which is high quality, and I had no pilling or tearing drawing over wet areas.  But the pens do have a hard metal-tip and working on another paper, I found that drawing into the wet ink resulted in tears.

I won’t characterize these gel pens as water-soluble pens.  But having said this, I’ve worked with water-soluble colored pencils and crayons that were harder to spread and less intense in color.

If you test your paper, and/or let layers dry in between, the Pilot Hi-Tec-C Maica Gel Ink Pens work well for small areas of colored wash.  The pens I’m using are 0.3 mm which is small, and I think I’d use a larger point size if I planned to use washes very much.  The larger size would make it easier to get the initial color down.  I do like this 0.3 mm size though.  It provides a very small line for detail.

Keep your eye out  on my blog next week for more information on these pens!


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