The Gold Shadow and Silver Shadow Gelly Rolls are the latest additions to my Gelly Roll collection. I chose the Gold Shadow in green and the Silver Shadow in blue. Just as with other Gelly Rolls, the design of these pens is very basic and minimalist, just a translucent round barrel with no grip and a basic cap. The cap indicates the colour of the ink, and the symbol on the clip indicates the variety of the pen. The Gold Shadow has an opaque metallic-coloured cap; the Silver Shadow a translucent coloured cap. Although the design is not really important because I do not use these as writing pens, one thing I really don't like is the barcode printed directly on the barrel. This is not a major issue, but it is something that always irritates me with all kinds of pens because it just makes the pen look cheap, and not in a good way.
|I do love these little designs on the clip that Sakura always matches to each variety of Gelly Roll.|
But on to the important stuff - how well do these pens write? Well, they're Gelly Rolls, so they're wet writers, but in comparison to other Gelly Rolls*, these Gold and Silver Shadows seem even wetter and inkier than usual. They also write with a very bold line (the Silver Shadow may be slightly bolder than the Gold Shadow), so you won't want to use them for small details or for writing if you have small handwriting. Unsurprisingly, considering the inkiness and boldness of the line, these pens are also very slow to dry. This is also typical for Gelly Rolls, but also seems even more pronounced with the Gold and Silver Shadows than with other Gelly Rolls. And (with the Gold Shadow much more than the Silver Shadow), the ink has a rather "sticky" or viscous quality, so that if I don't lift the pen high enough off the page between letters (or doodles), I get this little line of ink between the letters as the ink trails from one letter to another. The ink in these pens also seems to be a bit more prone to bleeding through paper than that of other Gelly Rolls. Curiously, it is only the coloured part of the ink that bleeds through, while the gold and silver seems to float on top of the coloured ink.
|Mandala drawing. These pens are way more fun to doodle with than they are to write with.|
If these pens were marketed as writing pens, they would be a complete fail because of the issues I have identified above. But, because these are craft pens, I'm not judging them by the same standards as a writing pen. They write very smoothly (definitely a lot smoother than the standard Gelly Roll) and lay down a lot of ink, which makes them great for doodling or adding some colour and metallic shine to a journal page. They write with a gold or silver line that is outlined in colour. They write well on both light and dark paper, although the Silver Shadow stands out better on dark paper than the Gold. The main concern I have with them is the drying time. Especially since I turn my page around a lot when I am drawing a mandala or something like that, I have to be careful with these pens because it would be very easy to turn my page into a smudgy mess. Another thing I don't like: These pens really don't have much colour in their lines. The gold and silver dominates and the colour only appears in a narrow border. On some papers there really isn't much difference between these pens and ordinary gold or silver pens (especially on the dark cardstock in the writing sample below).
|These aren't writing pens, but here's a writing sample to show you how they are to write with and to compare how they look on white and dark paper.|
|Trying to show the metallic shimmer of these pens.|
Overall, the Gold Shadow and Silver Shadow Sakura Gelly Rolls are not bad craft pens, especially if you are looking for a bold metallic pen with a hint of colour. They are not my favourite Gelly Rolls, and they definitely have a different feel to them than the other Gelly Rolls that I have used. These are nice pens, but I do not think I'll be using them very often. I like them, but I do not love them.
*Other Gelly Rolls: When I refer to other Gelly Rolls in this review, I'm really just referring to the standard Gelly Roll, the Gelly Roll Moonlight, and the Gelly Roll Stardust, these being the only other Gelly Rolls that I have used so far.