Gelly Roll Archives - Blog

Marker Supply’s Pen Pal Contest!

The new Marker Supply contest is here!  This time, EVERYONE who participates will get something in return. 🙂

With April being “National Letterwriting Month”, we’re all about celebrating handwritten letters and notes- so we couldn’t think of any better way to run this month’s contest but to have you send us some snail mail.

Physically putting a pen to paper and writing as a form of communication has almost become a lost art for most people. Since markers, pens, and pencils are our world here at Marker Supply, we want to see them in action.
Plus, the Marker Supply warehouse has recently expanded into a new space. We now will feature the “marker fan art corner”, a special section for showing off cool things our customers have created. This contest can be the perfect opportunity for you to help us start filling it up!



To be a part of our “Pen Pal Contest”, just send us something in the mail during the month of April.

It can be:
A letter or a note, about anything! Tell us about what kind or art you like to do, which supplies you like to use, what you think about our store, or ask us a question if you have one. It doesn’t even have to be about markers, you can talk about the weather or your summer vacation plans if you want to. 😉

Something written in your favorite form of calligraphy/lettering: If you are one of those folks who love to practice calligraphy or hand-lettering of any style- send us a note, one of your favorite quotes, or anything you like to write in your choice of fancy scripts.

A drawing or cartoon: Sometimes, pictures speak louder than words, and hand-drawn pictures can be just as special as a letter. So if drawing is your thing, just send us a doodle! A page from a coloring book works great too!

Send your snail mail to us here:
Marker Supply Pen Pal Contest
240 Great Circle Road, Suite 334
Nashville, TN 37228

Here’s one of the awesome pieces of “marker fan mail” we received last year:



EVERYONE that sends us mail will get something in their mailbox back from Marker Supply that includes a special pack of pens and a coupon code!

There will also be a randomly-selected Grand Prize Winner that will win
a 74-piece boxed set of Sakura Gelly Roll pens!


The Sakura Gelly Roll pens are one of our favorite pens for writing. With different varieties producing different effects, these unique pens let you letter with multiple colors, on light OR dark papers, and add special touches like glitter and metallic sheen. How do you choose which Gelly Roll you like the most? If you are the grand prize winner of this month’s contest, you won’t have to.. because you’ll get them all!

For every individual piece of mail that you send us, you’ll earn one entry into the grand prize drawing. However, only one participation prize pen pack/coupon code will be sent out per person.

Grand prize winner will be selected from a random drawing of all letters received that were postmarked in April. All prizes will be sent out to the addresses used on the mail that was sent to us.  Feel free to contact us HERE with any questions. 


Happy writing!! 🙂


Here at the Marker Supply warehouse, one of the most common things people come looking for are opaque white ink pens for writing on paper.

Unfortunately, we always have to say that these types of pens are still practically non-existent.

The main reason?
The type of ink required to make a functional white ink pen has been very difficult to produce. It would need to be both thin enough to flow through a pen tip AND thick enough to stay a visible white once it’s marked onto paper.


Pigments vs. Dyes

There’s a little illustration we’ve heard that can help explain a big difference between two types of ink- Pigments and Dyes:

First, take 2 glasses of water.

In one glass, pour in some sugar.
In the other glass, pour in some dirt.

Both begin to cloud the water as you stir them up.
But notice what happens after just a minute when they settle..

The sugar is still there, but has fully dissolved into the water
and everything returns to a totally liquid state.
The glass with the dirt still has solid particles everywhere
and a thick layer of mud has collected on the bottom.


Most pen inks are colored with dyes (like the water example with the sugar), which are either liquid, or in a solid form that quickly dissolves, and then can easily flow through the pen. However, this property can also cause the ink to either leak through the pen tip too quickly, and/or soak completely into porous surfaces like paper and become transparent- meaning that this type of white ink won’t be seen because the ink isn’t thick enough to keep its color visible on top of an absorbent surface.

What helps some colors to show up the best when making ink is to use pigment. Pigments (like the water example with the dirt) are dense, finely ground particles that stay solid as they add their color. They don’t dissolve into fluid, but are rather just suspended in it. To get a good, opaque white, you need a LOT of pigment. When you try and put too much into a pen however, it won’t flow through the tip like a normal ink without clogging or drying up.

(Fun Fact: The most common pigment used to create the color white is Titanium Dioxide.)


Gel Ink

The marking pen world made a big step in the creation of white pens with the invention of Gel Ink. Originally marketed in 1984 by Japanese company Sakura, it finally allows a roller ball pen to use a white ink.


(Fun Fact: As researchers worked to develop gel ink, they tried a wide variety of materials to get the consistency just right, including yams and egg whites!
For some more great history on the invention of Sakura’s Gelly Roll pens, read this interesting article:

Gel ink is not quite the same as ordinary pen ink, as it is a lot thicker- causing issues like needing to move the pen more slowly as you write, and the marks taking longer to dry. Also, the roller ball tips still can occasionally clog. (If this happens, rolling the pen tip over a wet paper towel may help.) Despite their issues, we are still very happy to have them as an option for white ink!


Find these white gel pens at Marker Supply:
Uni-ball Signo Gel Impact
Sakura Gelly Roll Classic Medium Tip
Marvy Gel Reminisce


White ink comparisons on black paper

Other than gel pens, you can also find good white marking tools for paper when you look into pencils, oil-pastels, even correction pens! There are also valve-action markers that use more of a “paint” than an “ink”. Although paint markers tend to show up better on non-porous surfaces, such as glass or metal, some have been known to work adequately for certain paper projects.

Have a look at this comparison chart showing several white marking tools on plain black paper to see the ones that may work best for you! Find them all at



As experiments continue in the pen industry, white ink is getting closer and closer to becoming more common!

But as for now, which white pen/marker have you found works best for you??

Let us know and feel free to share your white marker artwork on our social media pages!
Instagram #MarkerSupply
Twitter @MarkerSupply

Some Metallic Markers We Love!



This month’s focus on metallic markers had us rounding up some of our favorites!
Here’s a closer look at some of our go-to metallic picks:

*Pebeo 4Artist Copper Marker*


An impressive metallic marker that we fell in love with instantly. This oil-based copper paint pen makes smooth and shiny marks that look just like a melted penny! These markers can be used on multiple surfaces and give any craft a real WOW factor.

*Fabricolor Fine Tip Gold & Silver*


When asked what our recommendation is for autographs or other markings on black/dark fabrics, our best pick is the Zig Fabricolor Fine Tip marker in silver. Its super light ink appears almost white but gives a brighter, slightly shiny appearance that really stands out. The Zig Fabricolor Fine Tip gold marker is a deep, almost bronze-like gold, with bright gold specks blended in that looks beautiful on all types of fabrics!

*Fudebiyori Metallic Brush Markers*

With their soft and flexible brush tip, the Fudebiyori (Foo-dee-bee-your-ee) markers work very well for lettering as well as making other designs, borders, and more. The ink flows super smoothly from the tip, and brings incredible metallic colors to light or dark papers.

*Wink of Stella Glitter Brush Pens*

Glitter can be added to SO many things, making them stand out with a sparkle. The amount of glitter that these pens lay down along with their color is pretty amazing! They are available in a variety of different colors, and can be used alone or over the top of other colored areas. Plus, this pen is easily controllable with a squeezable barrel and real bristle-type brush.

*Gelly Roll Shadow*


A special type of Gelly Roll, the “Shadow” roller ball gel pens have the unique feature of writing with a color that quickly turns into a metallic color (gold or silver) and leaves just a hint of the other color on the edges for a fun effect as you write!


Have a look at these great markers and more at!

Coloring Book Markers: Pens & Pencils

The new craze of coloring books has people searching for the best tools to bring color and life to their pages. There are so many kinds to choose from! Marker Supply is focusing several blogs on markers and more that are perfect for use in coloring!

See Part 1: Zig Double-Ended Markers

See Part 3: Alcohol-Based Markers


Part 2: Pens & Pencils

If you’re unsure about how your coloring page paper will handle using markers, you can always go with alternative tools such as gel pens and colored pencils!



The Sakura Gelly Roll pens are fantastic tools for adding special effects to your coloring books. You can use them alone or on top of already colored spaces. Color carefully however! The gel ink is very opaque (non-see-through) and will cover over the black outlines of your images.
Gelly Rolls come in classic colors, or try our favorites with fun features:
Gelly Roll Stardust with super glittery ink!
Gelly Roll Moonlight with bright, neon ink!
Gelly Roll Metallic with a sheen of colorful metallic ink!

Or try our new giant 74-piece Gelly Roll Collection!




Another great choice for adding some sparkle effects to your pages! These special glitter pens come in either a fine plastic tip, or a bristle brush tip, and along with their color, they lay down a nice amount of shimmer. Use them alone, or over already-colored pages! (The clear Wink of Stella markers are great for overlaying on top of color!)




The Prismacolor Premier pencils come in a large range of 150 colors and a variety of sets, allowing you to find just the colors you need! There are even different styles to fit your coloring needs, including the Verithin with a more narrow lead and the Col-Erase with an eraser tip! The soft cores and high color pigments make these super easy, artist-quality tools to color with!




A fun type of pencil that will color normally as other colored pencils do, but when blended with water, the Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils with move along with the water and act like watercolor paints! You don’t need to use much for awesome blending and shadowing effects! (Tip: For best results, make sure your paper is thick enough or specially designed for use with watercolor mediums. When tools are used with water on too thin of paper, your pages can buckle, wrinkle, or tear.)




A special type of colored pencil from Faber-Castell, the Polychromos use an oil base rather than a wax base- allowing for super smooth color laydown and blending. The thick 3.8mm leads come inside a premium cedar wood casing, making these super strong coloring tools. They are available in 120 rich, permanent colors.



tritoneRAWtipsweb TritonecolorSWATCH

A new and limited-time colored pencil line here at Marker Supply, the TriTone Pencils feature a blend of 3 different colors within each pencil tip- giving you some fun color effects! Color normally or twist the pencil as you color for a unique coloring style!


Stay tuned to the Marker Supply Blog for more coloring book marker highlights!

Hop on our social media pages and hashtag #MarkerSupply to let us know which markers you like to use!

Happy coloring, everyone!!