The Best White Pen for Watercolor

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Learn more about the best white pens for watercolors. I tested several white pen options to see which pen covers watercolor the best.

You might also like this post on the best waterproof pens to use under watercolor paint.

pin image - white ink and pens on wood table

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The Best White Pen for Watercolors

I love using white ink over watercolor paint. It’s the perfect way to add highlights and details to a piece that needs a little more work.

white ink and pens on table

The Testing Process

Each pen was tested on top of black ink, watercolor paint, and over gouache.

I tested 2 gel pens, white ink with a dip pen, and a posca pen. Technically posca pens are markers, but I wanted to include a posca pen in the test anyway because it works similarly to a pen.

The Results

testing white ink over black ink, watercolor and gouache

I’ve provided links to both Blick and Amazon. Personally, I prefer shopping at Blick because the prices are so much lower.

Sakura Gelly Roll

white jelly roll pen

Sakura Gelly Roll. (Amazon Link) This pen is affordable and easy to find in craft stores.

The Gelly Roll pen has the faintest result over the dark ink, watercolor, and gouache.

Over watercolor, the pen is pale and has a line in the center. It might cover well with a few passes, though.

Newer pens work better than old pens. So if your pen has been sitting in your pencil bag for a while, you might not get the best results.

It’s not the best choice, but it works in a pinch.

Uniball Signo

uniball signo pen in white

Uniball Signo. (Amazon Link) This is my go-to pen for watercolor.

This pen performed pretty well over all of the mediums.

However, it did a little worse over gouache. (I use the 1.0mm size.)

This pen is pretty affordable and easy to find as well.

Bombay Ink

white ink

Dr. Ph Martin’s Bombay Ink with a Dip Pen. (Amazon Link)

I know dip pens aren’t for everyone, but I love using them in my art. You can also use this ink with a small paintbrush.

This ink is a little faint, especially over the watercolor paint.

The other downside is that ink isn’t very travel-friendly.

Posca Pen

white posca pen

Uni Posca. (Amazon Link) Posca pens (or markers) are acrylic paint markers.

The Posca pen covered the dark mediums so well since the paint is nice and opaque.

Posca pens come in a ton of sizes and colors. (For reference, I use the .7mm size.)

My Overall Thoughts on White Pens

I went into the test with a bias towards the Uniball Signo pen, so I wasn’t surprised to see that it performed so well.

The Posca was my other favorite pen. It covers so well and was pleasant to use.

Other Alternatives to White Ink

If you don’t have any white pens, you can also use white gouache or white acrylic paint (artist-grade, not craft paint.) Use a tiny brush for the best results.

By the way, titanium white is more opaque than zinc white.

White colored pencils are also a good choice.

What is your favorite white pen to use with watercolor?

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pin image - white inks and pens for using with watercolors

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