5 Gel Pen Techniques to Brighten Up Your Coloring

The art of “coloring in” has come a long way since the days of cartoon characters and crayons.

Many adults are rediscovering the joy of coloring with books of beautifully intricate designs and patterns. The coloring books of our childhood have certainly grown up—and so have the crayons. From colored pencils to brush markers to gel pens, there are a million new ways to make your coloring a unique work of art.

Gel pens are one of the most popular adult coloring tools available today—they come in a huge range of rich colors, and have a fine tip perfect for detail work and adding highlights over markers or paint. Whether you use them on their own or with your other favorite coloring toys, GelWriters are one of the most versatile supplies you can have in your toolbox.

Coloring in doesn’t always have to mean filling in every space completely—experimenting with different patterns can add playful layers of dimension and texture to your coloring. Gel pens are perfect for creating textured designs, even in larger open spaces and background areas.

Here are a few fun techniques to add texture to your coloring:


Hatching is a simple method of filling a space with hand-drawn lines. Place your lines closer together for a darker, more filled-in effect, or space them out to allow more of the background to show through. And don’t worry if your lines aren’t straight—the slight irregularities are what make it unique.

hatching gel pen technique


Crosshatching adds even more texture, layering hatching lines over each other at different angles. Start with a layer of hatching lines going up and down, then add layers going across and at a 45-degree angle. Adding a few lines or a whole layer in another color creates extra dimension.

crosshatching gel pen technique


Stippling is a doodling technique using dots to fill in a space. Varying the density and uniformity of the dots will create a gradient shading effect. And try using different colors to really add some fun dimension to your coloring!

stippling gel pen technique


Yes, scribbling—the easiest technique of all! Scribbling inside the lines creates an interesting texture on the page, especially when combined with solids and other patterns. Play around with different styles of scribble lines and tighter or looser patterns to see how it changes the look of your coloring page.


Why should the coloring book artists have all the fun? Experiment with creating your own patterns and designs inside the lines. Waves, polka dots, geometric shapes—grab your gel pens and let your imagination run wild!

file_002 5 Gel Pen Techniques to Brighten Up Your Coloring Hatching GelWriter Ecr4Kids San Diego CA

We hope these techniques inspire you to get out your GelWriters and doodle your way through your next coloring book!

Do you have any favorite gel pen coloring techniques? We’d love to hear about it and see your artwork on Facebook and Instagram!