My Favourite Coloured Pens

(Staples Brand) Assorted Colour Mini-Gel Stick Pens, 3.75 inches / 9.52 cm in length, 12/Pack ($4.99 CAN) 

(Staples Brand) Assorted Colour Mini-Gel Stick Pens, 3.75 inches / 9.52 cm in length, 12/Pack ($4.99 CAN) 

The mini-gel pens shown in an open plastic photo storage case. Mandala cards (shown behind the pens) fit nicely behind the pens, to make a handy, self-contained colouring kit. 

The mini-gel pens shown in an open plastic photo storage case. Mandala cards (shown behind the pens) fit nicely behind the pens, to make a handy, self-contained colouring kit. 

The mini-gel pens shown in the closed case.

The mini-gel pens shown in the closed case.

For me, one of the satisfying aspects of colouring is the actual process, no matter the final result. It can be fun to explore the many markers, coloured pencils and pens available, which not only give different effects, but provide different kinesthetic experiences, too. The way the pens feel in the hand and how they feel as they spread their colour really make a difference in how enjoyable the process is and adds an additional layer to the visual pleasure of colouring. 

For many years I've enjoyed the Staples' brand mini-gel pens. I had originally used them for journalling, but found they were also fun to use for colouring, especially for smaller areas which require more detailed work.

The 12-pack of assorted colours includes:

  • red and pink,
  • 3 shades of green, (2 are very similar) 
  • 3 shades of blue
  • 2 shades of purple
  • orange
  • black

You might notice there is no colour in the yellow spectrum, which would be a welcome addition. (Interesting to note that Crayola just announced it was "retiring" the dandelion yellow colour from its own standard 24-pack of crayons, to be replaced by something on the blue spectrum.)

Each of the mini-gel pens is about 9.5 cm (3.75 inches) long, so they are small and portable, easily fitting into a small pencil case or pocket. They also fit well–all 12 of them–in plastic photo storage cases. (I've been pleased with the IRIS brand which come in different translucent colours, which I've found from time to time at our local Michaels store.) Add some mandala colouring cards, and you have a self-contained "colouring kit" which is handy to take along in a handbag or briefcase. These would also make a great set to give away to workshop participants or as party favours. 

The mini pens are also relatively inexpensive: $4.99 CAN for the set of 12. In my experience they have been of consistent quality over the years: they write cleanly and the ink flows smoothly without skipping; they haven't leaked and the caps fit well. 

Besides their use in colouring cards and journalling, I've also enjoyed these pens for drawing and doodling and used them for more colourful note-taking and underlining. It's great to have a nice variety to choose from. They work well for colour-coding my to-do lists and date books too.

If you've enjoyed a particular set of markers, pens or pencils, please feel free to share your favourites in the comments section below. 


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