Marker Rendering: “Gelly Roll”* Pen For Highlights!

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Recently a student introduced me to using a white “Sakura Gelly Roll Pen” for highlights in hand rendering, and I found this to be an excellent tool, so I will share some related information here.

Previously, for hand rendering,  I had used white “Prismacolor Premier” colored pencil for highlights and white/light areas. These are my overall favorite  colored pencils for hand rendering as they lay down the most color when full coverage is desired. I often use these white colored pencils to create sharp white highlights on edges (say they edge of a table or granite counter), I also use them to wash over larger areas of marker to lighten portions of objects and interiors.  IMG_5843

The “Gelly Roll Pen” seems to work better than colored pencils for creating sharp edges and smaller highlighted areas. Below I have an image of lines drawn in Gelly Roll Pen over dark brown marker —hopefully you can observe the sharp white lines even with this quick iPhone photo.

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One of students in my summer class, the very talented Mao Vang, did a fantastic rendering of a whimsical chair and used the Gelly Roll Pen for the highlights —again this is a quick phone photo that does not do her work justice but it conveys the idea. (In person the rendering is more subtle and delicate than this image portrays).

Also included is a photo of her un-rendered line drawing of the chair. Mao used the quick sketch perspective method outlined in my book Interior Design Visual Presentation to develop the line drawing.

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Whimsical Chair Rendering, by Mao Vang

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Whimsical Chair Perspective Line Drawing, by Mao Vang

Hand rendering is a skill that continues to come in handy in this age of digital rendering and the skills learned from working by hand can translate nicely into rendering using Photoshop and Illustrator software.

Below is a link to a packet of “Gelly Roll Pens” on Amazon —you can also pick up single pens at most craft stores. A link to Prismacolor pencils on Amazon is also below. I hope to discuss hand rendering a bit more in future posts.

Sakura White “Gelly Roll Pen” (pack) on Amazon:

White “Prismacolor Premier” Pencil on Amazon:

*This is a brand name for a white gel pen that is pretty inexpensive and works for me, there are others that are quite good as well. Also, back in the old days we used white gouache paint on little tiny brushes to create white highlights (I am going to post an example of that in the future).