Unless you have been coloring in a cave, you will have seen gold, silver and bronze everywhere you look for the past few weeks. TV screens have been awash with athletes receiving medals in sunny Rio and now, in honour of the Olympics, thecoloringbook.club bring you their definitive review of coloring with metallic pens. Limber up people, the starter’s gun is about to fire on our metallic pen coloring review. Will Staedtler Metallic Pens take the Gold medal? Read on to find out…
Shiny happy people
This month I treated myself to a shiny new metallic pen set from Staedtler. The pack contains five pens in different colors: Blue, Silver, Gold, Rose and Green. In this coloring pen review I will take you through my first impressions and walkthrough some simple coloring techniques using these metallic pens on our free to download fish themed coloring page.
The first thing to mention is that these pens have a reasonably thick nib. Staedtler suggest you can get a line from 1.0 mm to 2.0 mm thick and that measurement seems about right from my testing. If you are looking for a metallic fineliner then there are better options out there. If you are after something to quickly cover areas of your page and provide some medium detail coloring then these soft nibs are a good choice.
Going for gold
The gold ink … provides a nice thick covering which applies smoothly without any paper stipple.
The barrel of the pen is circular, this is a change from the triangular shape that other Staedtler pens, like fineliners and the neon markers I reviewed previously, use. I personally prefer the pen shape to be triangular since it stops the pen rolling away, there is no denying though that these pens fit comfortably in your hand and are easy to control.
The first test is to see if the pen colors are a true representation. As you can see the gold ink is certainly very close to the color of the pen and provides a nice thick covering which applies smoothly without any paper stipple.
By applying a similar test to the rest of the colors you can see that the finish of most of the pens is equally faithful to the colors suggested by the packaging. The green is slightly darker than the outer packaging promises, but is still reasonably close and a good looking color!
All pens give a nice shiny finish to their color and their is no noticeable odour to the ink.
Given how thick the coating of ink is when I cored my little swatches I was surprised to see that there was minimal bleed through the back of the paper. In fact, the black ink I used to draw my borders bled through the paper more than any of the metallic inks. Never the less it is always advisable to have a spare sheet of paper between your coloring page and the surface below no matter what medium you are coloring in.
A quick smudge test shows you do need to be careful when using metallic pens. The coating of ink is rich and therefore you need to be careful to allow the surface to apply before dragging your hand across the page. The test below was with a purposeful smudge of my hand, but in real coloring I found that it was no easier to smudge this ink than if I had been using my ordinary pens.
Gold and Silver Coloring Walkthrough
To give these pens a thorough test I am going to add some color to this free fish themed coloring page. Since metallic pens are really good at coloring over darker colors I have already filled some sections of my fish in black.
First, I use the silver pen to add some simple embellishment to the black sections of the design.
As you can see the silver stands out well against the black and, despite the nib being slightly thicker than I would usually like, I am able to get some nice detail to that small fish eye.
The gold pen really covers the page well. It provides a lovely shiny finish and applies very evenly.
The gold and silver contrast really well against those dark black areas, this is often why you will see metallic pens used to embellish designs rather than being the primary colors used on a design, they can add that extra little zing to make your coloring page pop!
Silver and gold
I finish off the fish with silver and gold. You can see in this picture how opaque the colors are, it means you need to be careful when coloring against a line as it is very easy to cover the black line with these metallic pens.
Deep blue sea
The metallic blue in this set is a lovely color and particularly well suited to this design.
The blue looks particularly striking against the thick black line I added to the waves.
I completed the picture by introducing some silver embellishments to the waves and adding some black line work back into the fish. Being able to use a black line on top of these metallic colors is really useful and the ink applies well. This means that not only can the metallic colors be used on dark ink but it is also possible to color on top of the metallics themselves making these pens very versatile.
Here is the finished picture. I added the gold dots to the black to show how, even on waterproof ink, these metallic pens produce a really satisfying opaque color finish.
I will definitely be experimenting more with metallic pens in my coloring now that I have this set in my pencil case!
These Staedtler metallic pens give a great first impression, I like the feel of them and the results I achieved from my first test. I am really impressed with how they produce a nice opaque finish on dark colors and that there is no need to shake or pump the pen to get the ink to flow. Metallic colors are often used to embellish a design, adding highlights or contrast against a dark background. In my example I wanted to focus on using the metallic pens alone and am impressed with how my little fish coloring page turned out. I will definitely be experimenting more with metallic pens in my coloring now that I have this set in my pencil case!
Do you already use metallic pens? Can you recommend a brand or offer any tips for using them effectively? Let us know below.