Sakura Gelly Roll User Guide

Sakura Gelly Rolls: Description, Examples & Identification.

[Originally posted in 2011, updated June 2016]

Sakura Gelly Roll User Guide

This is a user guide for Sakura Gelly Rolls, with color charts, identification, reference info & examples. These pens are on my list of favorite pens for doodling & drawing, and they are so juicy that they merit a special directory!

Gelly Rolls are perfectly engineered. The two things I like best about them? The ink flow and the luscious colors. The pens last a long time and they are inexpensive. The truth is that I have loved Gelly Rolls since I first tried them in about 2008. They write smoothly, effortlessly and consistently. The ink is permanent and waterproof after a few minutes.

mandala doodles - black sakura gelly roll and sakura glaze

mandala doodles - black sakura gelly roll and sakura glaze

I've put together a little overview for you plus a palette with a little color swatch and color code number from the pen. The examples are drawn on plain white copy paper. The black line next to the first color of each pen shows what the color looks like over a black line made with PITT pen.

Stardust & Glaze

stardust

stardust

STARDUST

Sakura Gelly Roll Stardust Pen. The stardust pen draws a .5mm line.  The line is translucent + sparkly on white paper. 12 colors plus clear.

Identification: Stardust pens have a shooting star on the transparent lid and on the body of the pen. There's a dot of the ink color in the inside of the lid. The bodies are transparent so you can see the color of the ink and how much is left.

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glaze

glaze

GLAZE

Sakura Glaze. So technically these are categorized as Glaze rather than Gelly Rolls but I'm grouping them together for this guide.  Glaze pens are translucent, bright and cheerful, witha .7mm raised, shiny, translucent line. The ink stays wet the longest of all of the pens in this review and the ink is puddly if you hold in the same spot and just move a little bit. The tip is precise and these are great for coloring in detailed doodles. The ink dries in about a minute but stays a bit tacky for about 10 minutes so these can be easy to accidentally smudge.

Identification:  Glaze pens have translucent lids and "Glaze" on the body of the pen. I've only seen them sold in sets of 10. There are actually about 18 colors but some of the colors are very similar.

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This mandala was drawn with black ink and colored with Glaze pens.

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This accordian book was drawn mostly in Glaze pens.

Classic {Fine and Medium}

fine and medium

fine and medium

FINE TIP

fine

fine

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Mandala in black fine point gelly roll.

Quote written in black fine point doodled with moonlight pens.

Sakura Gelly Roll Fine. Think of these as neon Gelly Rolls; they don't glow in the dark but they are super groovy. Draws a .3mm line (from a .6mm roller ball tip) and writes in a thin opaque line. Ink is semi-opaque over black PITT pen. The ink takes a few seconds to dry.

Identification:  Fine tip pens have "FINE" on the body of the pen and opaque lids. They come in 6 colors including black. 

MEDIUM

medium

medium

Sakura Gelly Roll Medium. Draws a 4mm line (.8 roller ball nib). Ink is semi-opaque over black pitt pen. The white Gelly Roll is beloved by art journalists and doodlers alike.

Identification:  They have "MED" on the body of the pen and most have sparkly translucent lids. They come in 11 colors including black.

The white writing in the center is medium point white Gelly Roll on black paper. 

Quote in white medium point white Gelly Roll on a background of acrylic paint.

Metallic + Moonlight

metallic & moonlight

metallic & moonlight

METALLIC

metallic

metallic

Sakura Gelly Roll Metallic. Draws a .4mm line. The lines from the metallics are thin and shiny with muted colors. The ink is semi-opaque. They look gorgeous on black or white paper.

Identification: Metallic pens say "Metallic" on the body of the pen and lids are sparkly and translucent. They come in 10 colors and you can buy them in sets or individually.

MOONLIGHT

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moonlight

moonlight

Sakura Gelly Roll Moonlight. Draws a .5mm line. The moonlight writes in "luminous gel ink that glows under black light" {per Blick}, opaque on black or white paper. The ink is opaque over black PITT pen.

Identification: Each pen has a moon imprint on the lid and the body of the pen. These pens come in 10 colors, half are fluorescent.

Drawing on Black Paper or Acrylic Paint.

What works best? For black paper or dark colored acrylic paint, I would suggest the metallic, medium, moonlight, some of the Stardust. What doesn't show up? Glaze {they are transparent}, Fine and some of the Stardust. Refer to the color chart above to see how each pen shows up on black paper.

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Journaling in fine tip, medium tip and moonlight Gelly Rolls on an acrylic background. 

So how do you decide? I would suggest getting a few of any of the Gelly Rolls {keep in mind that the Glaze are completely different} and see if you like drawing with a metallic nibbed pen with gel ink. If so, indulge in more.

How do you draw better lines? By drawing lots of lines. Here are some tips!