Using glossy papers with gel pens is an absolute mess. Gel inks have a higher water amount in them while the surface of the glossy paper is suitable for dry inks. When both are combined, the final result isn’t something nice at all.
There are some ways you can quickly dry your gel pen’s ink on glossy paper. But it’s important to know that even if you dry it up, you should be extra careful not to smudge it or mess the ink up. We’ll talk about all of these in this guide. To be honest, it’s not that hard to keep ink intact on these papers if you’re careful.
How to keep gel pen ink dry and intact on a glossy paper
There are a few tips you should keep in mind. Let’s discuss them below
Use only as much as ink needed, not more
People new to gel pens might not understand how does a gel pen works. Gel inks don’t have to be applied a lot. Only a little amount is enough. And when you’re using it on glossy papers, the lesser the ink, the better. Try to use the least amount of ink necessary to create the color’s intensity. Don’t apply more layers or it’ll take longer to dry.
Don’t touch the paper’s surface
If you’re writing on glossy paper then this isn’t something you probably need to worry about. But if you’re into painting on glossy paper or basically using color on it then this surely can be something you worry about.
When you’re using gel ink on glossy paper, once a part of a drawing is done on one area of the paper and you go to another area, then it’s not a problem. If you allow one area to dry after working and don’t touch it again, it’ll dry up quickly.
But easier said than done, unless you’re just writing, it’s nearly impossible not to go back to an area you worked on and do the drawing adjustments. When you paint, you don’t complete it in one stroke. Many strokes are done on one part of the paper and this repetition is one major cause of gel pen mess.
But how does it happen? There are two major ways repetitive works on a glossy pen can create a mess. Firstly, when ink is applied the first time, it immediately starts to lose its water content, slowly drying up on the glossy paper. The process just takes more time than it does with non-glossy papers.
But when more layers of ink are applied to the first one, the drying time increases radically. This results in ink that may take quite a long time depending on the number of layers on the paper.
Then there’s the other problem – smudging. When you touch the surface colored with gel ink you’re almost bound to touch some part of it somehow. However extra careful you may get, it’s hard to escape the fact that there’s always a high chance of touching the ink.
Touching will inevitably cause you to adjust the ink again and slow down the drying process as a result.
Use a heat drying tool
There are ink driers available on the market that you can use to soak up the excess water from the gel ink. Doing this will shorten its drying time. Also, you can soak up the water with tissue paper or a blow dryer. All of these are common ways to dry up gel ink from glossy paper and they work pretty well.
Don’t keep the papers stacked
Once the papers are out of the printer or you’re done drawing on them, don’t put each on top of the other. This will cause not only the papers but also the colors to stick to one another. Keep them separated in a dry area. If possible keep the papers under sunlight or UV light for some time to speed up the drying process.
Use specially made inks
There are some inks specially made to work with glossy photo papers. They tend to dry up quicker than traditional gel-based pens. Also, you’ll find some variations of the photo paper that absorbs the ink fast, helping it to dry up soon. You can try to use these too.
As a matter of fact, in modern printers, there are some presets you can use if you use glossy paper. The printer will optimize the ink in a way that accelerates the drying time.
Glossy photo paper and gel pens don’t suit each other in the best ways. But if you take the points carefully and take the time to heat the papers, you can speed up the drying time by a great amount. Don’t touch the paper surfaces before they’re dried well.