Artistcellar White Pen Review!

Hello! Today I have a pen review for the WHITE pens that Artistcellar sells. I think every artist I know uses white pens to journal and draw over dark backgrounds. And we're all looking for the one perfect pen. There might not be a pen that does it all, but I have some that are pretty darn good for what they do.

Let's start out with the ball tip pens. We sell two kinds, the Uniball Signo and the Sakura Gelly Roll. They are both excellent pens.

The Signo has a nice bold white line and is very opaque. It flows very smoothly. Great for doodling and writing, as well as accenting drawings and paintings (like putting those highlights in eyes!)

The gelly roll also produces a nice bright white line and flows smoothly, although the line width is just s smidge smaller than the signo so it doesn't appear as bright white. But here is the difference:

Even though I have read reviews that the Signo is waterproof, my tests showed differently. I found the gelly roll pen tended to be more smearproof when brushed with water. The Signo... not so much. Smear city. It was even worse on the acrylic surface. They BOTH smeared with water, but to be fair I only waited a few minutes to try it.


I would say that both of these pens would be best used as a very top layer of a drawing or painting. And caution used when sealing or spraying it. Let it dry thoroughly and spray lightly.

Next up are the markers. We have two sizes of Sharpie oil-based markers and Sharpie water-based markers (called Poster Paint markers). The oil-based markers practically disappeared in uncoated porous paper. Not much to get a picture of. The water-based marker looked great.

Once dry neither one smeared at all.  On a non-porous surface, The oil-based was a little lighter than the water-based, which was very opaque white. They wrote smoothly, and from experience I know they write over most surfaces (although the white ink will pick up any water soluble medium you write on top of.) Both were permanent when brushed with water.

 The last pen I have is the Pitt Artist Pen in white. Also called the Stampers Big White pen.

You can actually use this pen to color in stamps and viola! Stamp with it.

The first stamp impression I did was on a dirty stamp (who cleans their stamps anyway? I don't trust 'em!) The Mustache and the last design were done on a clean stamp, the impression was much better. 

So... this pen/marker rocks! It has a felt bullet tip, acid free, india ink, and totally waterproof on both porous surfaces and acrylic paint surface once dry. (And you don't have to shake it and pump it to work) It WILL pick up water soluble medium, but that's the medium's fault, not the marker :-) You can see below it picked up some tint from the ink that was already on the dirty stamp.

I've decided that I don't use this pen enough! I need to put it in rotation with my other white pens and get more use out of it.

Well that was fun. Let me know if you have any questions about the test or want me to test anything else. Have a great weekend! 


Lisa Cousineau
Lisa Cousineau


3 Responses


June 19, 2015

This is soooo helpful, thanks so much! Thank you for writing and organizing all this info :)

John V. Keogh
John V. Keogh

June 11, 2015

Interesting! I agree about the Signo – it’s great. I have a Sakura pen which appears to be identical to yours but is called the Glaze, maybe the European name. It is XPGB #850. A bit watery, and goes white when dry!

Renee Zarate
Renee Zarate

May 29, 2015

Hi Lisa, I love my white Signo pen and my Fude Ball black pen the most. Your break down of all your pens is great, makes me want to try a couple of others! Thanks, Renee

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