If we all go back in time and take a look at society from a different perspective, no one would be able to predict that adult coloring books would be the next biggest trend. Furthermore, nobody would be able to foresee that it would be such an enduring fad.
But now that it’s there, and everyone seems to be enjoying its relaxing benefits, we might as well learn how to do it properly. After all, it does exercise the creative parts of our minds. We are so much more skilled at handling coloring materials compared to when we were kids. But of course, since not all of us are artists, we can learn a thing or two about how to make masterpieces out of pre-drawn images.
Since our only task is to fill in a couple of intricate drawings (and do so in the most artistic way possible) we should know that the key to success here is to choose the right coloring material. We’re not saying you can use only one kind, but it’s still a widely debated topic whether it is better to use colored pencils or gel pens.
Today we will try to shed light on this topic, so you can decide for yourself which is more suitable for your style. Art is subjective, so we can’t settle the score once and for all – nor will we ever be able to.
But at least we can help you decide which the real winner is.
What is a Colored Pencil?
You should know what a pencil is – we used them when we were kids. Some of us still do, because they are conveniently erasable. Its colored counterpart is just that: colored.
However, do keep in mind that colored pencils are rarely erasable. They are shaped like pencils, but they don’t have the key factor that differentiates pencils from other writing tools: the eraser.
Why Use Colored Pencils?
Colored pencils are cheap and easily found in any bookstore or school supplies store. They’re great if you want to start off with something basic, or if you want adult coloring to remain a casual part of your daily activities. It’s nothing serious, but it’s definitely efficient.
If you do want to take coloring seriously, these ones are also up for the task (it really only depends on your skill level, patience, and willingness to exert effort in practicing). You can use it to practice your shading skills, and generally hone your artistic talents.
Just take note that colored pencils can take a long time to fill in large areas, and if you’re not patient, this option might not be for you. It is also slightly restrictive in the sense that you can’t put in too much pressure or your pencils will break. It can also be a hassle to sharpen these things frequently.
What is a Gel Pen?
Gel pens are mostly like pens, but they produce shiny, often colorful ink. They come in glitter colors, metallic colors, and standard hues. They are characterized by their shiny and solid output. It’s also quite cheap, but not as accessible as colored pencils, as they are slightly less common. If you want to have a full set of these, you may need to buy them individually.
Why Use Gel Pens?
You can opt for gel pens if you want a solution to what the colored pencils lack: solid coloring. You can use minimal pressure on these and still get the same results. Filling in large areas can still be a problem but not as difficult as when you’re using colored pencils. Your artwork will come out looking like posters.
However, it lacks the creative flexibility that colored pencils and proper shading can provide. These are solid and consistent, so you can’t get all artistic with these. You’ll still get pretty images, only without much of your personal touch.
Also, ink takes a long time to dry, and the low-quality gel pens can sometimes be blotchy. It’s inconvenient and even downright annoying for some users.
Which Should You Use?
Again, it all depends on your preferences and overall coloring style. If you’re a serious artist, you might prefer colored pencils, but we’d say that gel pens also offer a unique and interesting alternative.
As of writing, the great debate over which is better still rages, and it might not ever subside. The only sort of peace you’ll get from this article is in the knowledge that you now know what you like better, personally.