How to keep gel pens from smudging? If you are using gel pens, you probably ask this question at some point in your life. Gel pens are great in writing and even in a drawing. But it could sometimes cause you a headache.
The common problem of gel pens is smudges. And nobody wants to see distorted writing or drawing. Fortunately, there are techniques you can do to keep your gel pens from smudging.
In this post, we will share with you some steps to help you prevent your gel pens smudge. There are several factors that could trigger the smudging tendency of your gel pen. This involves how you take care of your paper or working surface, the amount of ink you’re putting onto the paper, and how you make the ink dry much quicker.
As a gel pen user, you have to understand how your writing tool works. Gel pens may require more care and technical considerations. That’s what you are going to learn from this post.
Here are the techniques you can do to keep your gel pen works for your advantage. Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
1. Do your best to not touch the surface you’re working on.
It is easier to avoid retouching the paper if you are just writing. But if you are drawing using your gel pen, the story is totally different. This is because you constantly go back and forth for the areas that need detailed lines or colors of the image you’re trying to emphasize.
But the constant resetting of your palm on the surface of the paper will most likely create problems. The ink will stain your hand or worse creates smudges and unnecessary marks on your masterpiece. You don’t like it. So you don’t have a choice but to minimize your hand contact with the surface you’re painting.
One of the best ways to avoid smudges on your artwork is by using a Mahl Stick. This special type of stick is being used by artists for centuries. What this stick does is it helps you gain consistent hand steadiness and balance while doing delicate maneuvers on your art.
2. Minimize the amount of ink on the surface.
Obviously, smudges happen when the ink is super thick on the surface. This hinders the ink from drying quickly. Unfortunately, most gel pens and fountain pens generate more ink than needed on the paper. As a result, your work is pretty much prone to smudges or accidental distortion.
One solution to this problem is what most people called “Ink Blotter”. It is a special paper primarily used to retrieve an excessive amount of ink from the surface of the paper. By lessening the thickness, the ink will dry faster.
3. Apply an appropriate amount of heat or air to dry the ink faster.
If you don’t have a Mahl Stick or an Ink Blotter, don’t worry. You still have a way to avoid smudges on your artwork. The best choice in your case is to either heat up or blow the ink a little bit to speed up its drying process.
You can use a heat gun or a blow dryer. In our case, we commonly use the blow dryer. We found it more effective than the heat gun. However, just make sure that you control the strength of the air that hits the ink. If you’re not careful about it, the air could also cause smudges because it can make the ink explodes on the surface.
4. Find the perfect angle while working.
Another strategy you can try is working on a slanting space. Instead of laying your paper on the top of the table, slant it at 45 degrees. At this angle, the gravity will not greatly pull the ink onto the paper. Thus, you will be able to control the amount of ink that flows onto the surface. Less ink means a quick drying time.
But of course, you can try many angles that work for you well.
5. Use a paper that absorbs the ink quickly.
Sometimes, what keeps the ink from drying fast is the paper you’re working on. Avoid glossy papers. These papers do not absorb ink quickly. Depending on the demand of your artwork, as long as possible, stay away from glossy papers. You will find them hard to work with especially when you’re using gel pens.
6. Stay focus and be patient.
Experiencing problems with your artwork can trigger frustrations and headaches. At that moment, what you need is focus and patience. Know that every problem must have a solution. Artists have a tremendous amount of compassion for themselves. Do not blame yourself for any mistakes that you may come across.
Gel pens are obviously some of the best tools to use for your craft projects. In fact, some artists claim that there’s nothing that could alter these pens in terms of coloring an artwork.
With gel pens, you can easily have almost endless color options that you can use. However, these tools are far from being perfect. There are problems that you will encounter.
Here, aside from giving tips on how to keep gel pens from smudging, we will also share with you some tips on how you can maximize your gel pens’ potential.
Here are the common problems with gel pens and the best practices you can do to minimize them.
1. Leaky pens
Gel pens do leak sometimes. It happens when you don’t seal the pen tight. Gel pens usually have caps that have special mechanisms to prevent the ink from leaking. The caps do have a rubberized liner that will tightly seal the pen. Before storing the pen anywhere, make sure that it is safe by putting its cap.
2. Skipping pens
Gel pens may also skip sometimes. The common cause of this problem is the dried ink on the nib or the tip of the pen. There are many things you can do to quickly make your pen back on track. For detailed discussion and tips on this regard, read this related article we previously published.
3. Smearing pens
Like other pens, the ink of gel pens may take a couple of minutes to dry. Either you are writing or drawing on a paper, this will most likely create smears. Use the techniques discussed above to prevent this from happening. Or, slow down your pacing and wait for the ink to completely dry before you continue finishing your art. This is your ultimate way to avoid any smudges on your work.
There you go, you have our tips on how to keep gel pens from smudging. For more tips about pens, feel free to read our related articles here.