The Art Lab, Episode 44: Gel Pen String Art

featured image 11

Hello, dears!

I absolutely LOVE the art we’re going to do today, but first of all… THANK YOU THANK YOU, GUYS, for all of the splendid birthday wishes. Whether it was a gift, a card, an email, or a comment, whatever it was – IT MADE MY DAY! MANY TIMES! You guys are SO SO SWEET and I am beyond blessed to call you my friends. ❀ (And yes, I am going to do a post about my gifts. πŸ˜‰ But you’ll just have to wait for that, hee hee.) That thank you was way too short and small, but I’m guessing you want to see the rest of the post so I’ll stop now. BUT thank you one last time for making my birthday a wonderful day. πŸ™‚ ❀ ❀

AHEM. Time for the art! I think this might be my favorite piece of art I’ve done for Art Lab, or at least one of my favorites! Here’s the stunning art inspiration for today:

I really like this pattern and how itҀ™s growing and evolving while IҀ™m drawing it. #doodle #doodling #drawing #teckning #pattern #mânsterҀ¦


HOW NEAT IS THAT? :O After pondering for a while, I came up with the idea of making the design into a constellation-type doodle with a watercolor background. I think the finished result looks gorgeous! Ready to start? Alright!

1. Selecting a canvas depends on your supply of both patience and time. You’ll need both for this project. πŸ˜‰ If you have a limited supply of the aforementioned, I would suggest making this an ATC. If you’re bored and want to spend a while just making art, use a sketchbook page.

If you like clean white borders as much as I do, put strips of washi tape around the edge of your paper.

art 1

2. Paint a graded wash of watercolor, starting with dark blue at the top and fading into purple and then pink at the bottom.

art 2

3. Using a white gel pen, make a diagonal band of densely clustered dots across the top of the page.

art 3

4. Fill the rest of the page with dots, spreading them further and further apart from each other as you move away from the first band of stars.

art 4

5. Now for the fun (but tedious) part! Connect the dots. You don’t have to connect every dot to every other, but that’s what I did. For maximum impact, you’re going for a bunch of triangles – if an area has more than three sides, you missed a dot. Don’t cross over any lines or it will get too muddled.

art 5

art 6

6. Once you near the right bottom corner, take a break and sketch in the outline of a tree on a hill. (I should have done this before I started the stars, but I didn’t. I recommend learning from my mistake. πŸ˜‰ ) Make an elongated cloud shape on a trunk, and “cut out” a few holes in the leaves and branches for extra realism.

art 7

7. Mark the sketch with a bunch of dots to connect later. Don’t do them too close together, but the fewer dots you use, the more geometric your tree will be.

art 8

8. Connect the rest of the dots.

art 9

9. Now take a black brush pen or Sharpie and color in between the lines. πŸ˜‰

art 11

10. Ta-daa! Now for the great reveal…

art 12


art 13

art 16art 14

art 15

I really love how this turned out, and I hope you guys do too! Do you think you’ll make this? If you do, I’d love to see it! Click here to see how to send it in and add it to our Art Lab gallery.

Thanks for reading, dears, and have a lovely day!


P. S. Not all the pictures are showing up on my computer, but I THINK that’s just the slow internet. Can you guys see everything alright?


133 thoughts on “The Art Lab, Episode 44: Gel Pen String Art

  1. That is SUCH a beautiful picture! You are an amazing artist, Allison!
    And yes, the pictures all loaded fine. (Which is actually suprising because our connection is so bad!😊) Thank you for sharing it!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I just got for a gift yesterday some white gel pens. I haven’t had time to start this project yet, but hopefully I’ll get around to it soon, because I love how it looks! BUT, I did already have a paper with a light blue/green watercolor wash on it, so I started trying out the line-dot technique on it, and it looks gorgeous so I can’t wait to see what it looks like with a darker watercolor!


        1. Really? That’s great! I love white gel pens. πŸ™‚ And YAY I hope you can! Ooooohhh I’ll bet that looks amazing! Thanks for the comment, Isabel!


  2. This is SO beautiful, Allison! πŸ™‚ I love the contrast of the clean, geometric black and white against the soft, colorful watercolors. I really need to get some nice gel pens so I can try this. XD As always, your art is incredible! πŸ˜€

    -Clara ❀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww, thank you! And yes, I love that too! Heh heh, you should – white gel pens are amazing. πŸ˜‰ I just use the Jelly Roll brand I believe. And aww, thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. EEEEEEP THIS IS AMAZING I LOOOOVE IT! Sooo pretty, Allison! I love the colors, and even though it looks pretty complex, I bet even I could do this…which says a lot. XD I should try it one day when I have time to spend on art πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m so happy you had such an awesome birthday – you deserved it! πŸ™‚ Yes, all the pictures were there and they were ASTOUNDING, my goodness, that is one of my favorite pieces of art you’ve done – it’s amazing! πŸ™‚ So cool! πŸ™‚

    I can’t wait to see the post about your gifts…:P

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That is possibly one of the prettiest things that I have ever seen. *squeals* I would love to try it…if I had enough patience, that is. πŸ˜›
    Also, I sent your card five days ago but yesterday it came back to me…guess what? I forgot to put on the stamp. *facepalm*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHHHH thank you so much! Hee hee, well if you’re doubtful, I recommend trying an ATC. πŸ˜‰
      Also OH DEAR, ha ha, that’s just fine. πŸ˜‰ I can’t wait to get it, though!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I tried it, but I modified it a little, because I don’t have the patience for a big copy but i wanted a bigger picture. I kept the background and the tree the same. Before I drew the tree, I diluted a little bit of acrylic paint and splattered it over the background for some faint stars. It turned out really well. Thanks for the tutorial!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thanks! HA HA well it might just look more tedious than it is. XD If you did it on a smaller page I’m absolutely sure you could! πŸ˜‰


  7. Reblogged this on JB Art Drawings and commented:
    I’m going to have to have a go at this type of art, it’s so simple yet so effective. I probably won’t include the watercolour bit (mainly because I haven’t got any watercolour paint) but I’ll certainly try my hand at this technique, who knows, I might even use my colour pens for a change!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Not at all, it’s fantasist, I’m going to give it go myself this weekend! Thanks for sharing your art with us πŸ™‚ x


  8. Very cool. I love working with pen on top of watercolor too! (although I have only experimented with black ink so far). Made a few mistakes doing the watercolor AFTER the pen and then it makes the ink run!! haha. Live a learn right? Going to try white gel next. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh yes, I love using pens and watercolor together! Ha ha, yeah, I’ve had issues with that too. :[] One thing you could try is using Micron pens: once they dry (which takes just a few seconds), they’re completely waterproof! It’s really helpful. I hope your art turns out well, and thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I was just looking at your dear friends blog (Aria Photo the blog), and saw the post she made, and she linked your blog. So I checked it out, and noticed You like Art! I was so excited to learn this. I am also a fellow artist! Though I use a different art media, I’m still quite interested. And might I say, your drawing is so Cute! My word, the white jell pen can be so much fun to use (unless you get the wrong white jell pen πŸ˜‰ )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s so neat! Thanks for dropping by! πŸ˜€ And ooh, really? That’s great, because I do love art. ❀ What is your favorite art media to use? Also thank you so much! And YES, white gel pens are amazing. πŸ™‚


          1. Heh heh, sadly there not copics. I use a couple of brands, Touchnew, Prismacolor, and Dainayw. Copics are so just darn expensive! I see you like watercoloring, I know some youtubers that are great at watercoloring! Fran Meneses, and Ashiyaart. Heard of them? πŸ™‚


            1. Oh shucks. Ahh, okay. Which one of those would you recommend? I KNOW, Copics are outrageously expensive! I do like watercoloring, but I haven’t heard of those YouTubers. Thanks so much for the suggestions! I also like makoccino and PearFleur are also both great at watercolor. πŸ™‚


              1. Hmm.. Which one? Well the TOUCHNEW comes only, I believe, in bullet nibs (which stinks), but their great for beginners! Dainayw comes with brush nibs (and others I believe), and brush nibs are the BEST! They both do have their pros, and cons, but to start out get the TOUCHNEW markers, they can be kinda cheap. I got an 80 pack for about 30$, and a 20 pack for 16. The major con about it is that it comes with a bullet nib, so its SUPER hard to fill in big spaces, but also tiny ones.


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